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2020Talks - November 18, 2019 

Former Pres. Barack Obama cautioned Democrats to be more moderate, and incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wins over Trump-backed Republican opponent.

Daily Newscasts

New BiOp: Same Song, Next Verse, Fewer Salmon?

November 1, 2007

Seattle, WA – A "platinum-plated roadmap to extinction." That's what one sport-fishing spokesperson calls the new ten-year federal plan for saving wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The document, known as a "Biological Opinion" (BiOp), was released yesterday, and critics say it suggests all the same approaches the government has used for years -- that haven't worked. Dan Ritzman, Northwest regional director of the Sierra Club, says time is running out for dwindling native salmon populations.

"While they've been tinkering with this plan for the last two years, these fish continue to disappear from the rivers. Fishermen have lost their jobs, communities are suffering, and billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted."

Ritzman explains one of the most persistent issues is whether to remove four dams along the Lower Snake River to make fish migration easier, a point on which the Bush Administration apparently won't budge.

"The operation of these dams works for certain key constituents of the Administration, but they don't work for the broad spectrum of people in the Pacific Northwest, and they don't work for the fish."

The federal government calls the new BiOp draft "aggressive and comprehensive," and says it contains more than 70 recommendations to save salmon. Conservation groups say the fine print reveals nothing new, and that an independent study is needed.

The public comment period for the plan begins today. The federal NOAA Fisheries Service releases Biological Opinions; access the new draft online, at www.nwr/

Chris Thomas/John Robinson, Public News Service - WA