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Old 10-09-2005, 03:13 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
Deerhaawk,

I agree, it is a start.

I do wonder how the Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers are going to react though since Redden's order conflicts somewhat with the Spokane federal judge's order (which was upheld by the 9th Circuit last fall) that pretty said the lower Snake and upper Columbia dams can be run as the Bureau of Rec and Army Corps see fit since it cannot be proven without question that the dams and how they are operated are preventing the rebuilding of the fish populations. I suspect both of these agencies will be filing appeals based on the conflict between these rulings, although they may very well wait until after NOAA's recovery plan is re-written before doing so.

As I opined last year, it appears we are entering into a phase of various and sundry lawsuits being filed in different federal district courts by the various interested in the Columbia/Snake fish or power/agriculture/industrial/development potential. It seems this is exactly what is happening because we are having different judges sitting on different federal district courts ruling on the Columbia/Snake and the rulings are not in agreement with each other. There also seems to be a bit of "judge shopping" going on by the interests groups to get the rulings each one wants and then let the 9th circuit work it out on the appeals.

You also have the tribal fishing rights that were granted by treaty and affirmed by the federal courts, which could well prove to be a wild card that either helps or hinders the recovery efforts.

What I'm trying to point out is that no one court decision is going to put it to rest and that there are factors other than the dams and fish passage that are impacting the survival and numbers of fish. And among these factors are the treaty tribes fishing rights, WDFW, ODFW, non-tribal commercial fishermen, municipalities, power producers, agriculture, developers, industry, shippers, sportsfishers, and federal judge rulings that are in conflict with one another to some degree or another. In other words, we can't hang our hats on Redden's ruling and assume the fight for the survival of the fish has turned the tide in the favor of the fish.
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