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PNS Daily Newscast - November 18, 2019 


President Trump invited to testify in person or in writing, says Pelosi; a battle over the worth of rooftop-solar electricity when it's sold back to the grid; the flu gets an early start; and the value of Texas family caregivers.

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

“Buying Silence” on ID Salmon Controversy?

April 8, 2008

Boise, ID – Cash speaks louder than science. That's one view of a deal just announced that gives three Indian tribes almost one billion dollars to use on fish hatcheries and habitat for endangered salmon in exchange for the tribes' promising to quiet their criticism of the federal salmon recovery plan. The tribes also promised to stop calling for the removal of the Snake River dams that federal scientists say have doomed the fish.

Retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional director Bill Shake says the tribes must have felt incredible pressure to sign the deal, because as recently as January they had submitted written comments criticizing how the dams were operated.

"They don't believe that the measures, particularly with flow and spill, are adequate to provide benefits for salmon."

Fisheries biologist Bert Bowler with Snake River Salmon Solutions says the deal doesn't change the science behind federal studies that show how to save endangered salmon and steelhead.

"The ultimate factor will be to get the Lower Snake dams removed and allow those fish then to migrate more freely to the ocean - and back." __

Opponents of removing the dams say they are needed for hydropower generation and irrigation. Bowler says the amount spent on the deal could have paid for removing the dams and reimbursing any losses related to power and farming.

The federal Bonneville Power Administration is making the payments over ten years. The Warm Springs, Yakima and Umatilla tribes signed the deal without comment, although it is promoted as a much-needed influx of cash for fish recovery projects and an economic benefit to the tribes. Idaho's Nez Perce tribe rejected the deal.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - ID