Redden Tighten's the Noose
Yesterday (10/7) Judge James Redden issued an Order and Remand to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries, Army Corps of Engineers and th Bureau of Reclamation. He said that they have failed to comply with the E.S.A. (Endangered Species Act) in regards to dam opperations on the Columbia and Snake River systems. He is giving them 1 year to come up with a solution. Here are some excerpts from his order that are provided by Earthjustice;
"The many failures in the past have taught us that the preperation or revision of NOAA's biological opinion on remand must not be a secret process with a disastrous surprise ending. The parties must confer and collaborate if we are to reach the goal of a valid biological opinion. The Governments inaction appears to some parties to be a strategy intended to avoid making hard choices and offending those who favor the status quo. Without real action from the Action Agencies, the result will be the LOSS of the Wild Salmon"
'The May 26, 2005 Opinion and Order demonstrated that the runs for all 12 listed Species, and the one Species proposed for listing, continue to dwindle. Four of the Species are in danger of extinction, and the remainder 9 Threatend are likely to become Endangered in the near future"
"A failure now will result in vacating the biological opinion. The Action Agencies and others will be exposed to liability for TAKING listed species under section 9 of the E.S.A. This may sound benign to some, but the parties are aware of the severe consequences that would follow."
"In such an event, the Courts would be required to 'Run the River'. The Executive, Legislative, and especially the Judicial Branches abhour such action by the Courts. Such a dysfunction of Government is NOT a rational option. There must be cooperation between the parties and all of the three branches of Government to avoid such an embarrassment"
"NOAA and the Action Agencies seem offended at the thought of doing more than merely listining to others, but more than that is needed to produce a Biological Opinion lodged without challenge. This remand, like the rewmand of the 2000BiOP requires NOAA and the Action Agencies to be aware of the possibility of breaching 4 dams on the Lower Snake River if all else fails. 'Speeching' on the dams will NOT avoid breaching the dams. Cooperation and assistance may."
Earthjustice has a link to the full text of this ruling, I would suggest that everyone take the time to read it. Judge Redden is standing up for ethical treatment of Species that are on the brink. Support him, support the fish.