On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge James Redden, who is hearing the long-running legal challenge to the Columbia-Snake River Basin salmon plan, rejected the Obama administration's eleventh-hour bid to salvage the Bush-era plan.
In his letter, Redden said, "federal defendents must comply with the [Endangered Species Act]."
Redden has twice before rejected federal salmon plans for Columbia Basin salmon, but he has given the government multiple opportunities to correct the one currently before his court. The judge gave the administration until February 19 to decide whether it will take steps to issue an amended plan that considers all new and pertinent scientific informations and contains measures necessary to protect salmon and steelhead.
Salmon and fishing advocates, as well as the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, the Spokane Tribe of Washington, and the State of Oregon, are greatly encouraged by the judge's action.
"We sure hope they take him up on the idea to fix this plan, and we hope they take the opportunity to truly engage us and the other plaintiffs to find a long-term solution to this long-standing issue in the region," said Nicole Cordan, attorney for the group Save Our Wild Salmon, a grantee of the Conservation Alliance.
To learn more about Columbia-Snake River salmon, and to take action, visit: www.wildsalmon.org
PHOTO © Brandon Cole