Monday May 20, 2013
Former NW Governors 'Fillet' Federal Salmon Plan (AUDIO)Chris Thomas for Salem-News.com
A letter from the Governor asks the federal government to craft a new salmon recovery plan that is "lawful and science-based."
(PORTLAND, Ore. ONS) - In about one week, the federal government will announce whether it will throw out the previous administration's plan for endangered native salmon recovery and start over.
Three former Northwest governors have already made their minds up, including John Kitzhaber here in Oregon, Cecil Andrus in Idaho and Mike Lowry in Washington.
They've sent a letter to President Obama suggesting he not support the plan, saying they expect the courts to rule the current plan on the table is illegal.
Nicole Cordan, policy and legal director for the group Save Our Wild Salmon, says the governors' viewpoints are significant, because these men sat ringside during most of the salmon battle.
"A couple of these guys were governors at the very beginning, just as these fish were being listed. They have been able to watch this for almost twenty years. I think what they're saying is, 'We've got the picture and we need to stop punting the decision.'"
Much debate has centered around the plan, focusing on dam removal on the Snake River, which is no less controversial today. Cordan's coalition believes a solution is possible, if the federal government would guarantee all sides a seat at the table, she says.
"People want to save these fish in the Pacific Northwest. What they need is some real leadership, that'll allow for discussion and openness and provide different alternatives."
The governors' letter asks the federal government to craft a new salmon recovery plan that is "lawful and science-based." In May, the Obama team had asked for some time to take a closer look at the current plan, which already has been challenged in U.S. District Court by conservation groups and the State of Oregon.
Special thanks to Oregon News Service
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