Early this year, Save Our Wild Salmon issued a scathing analysis of the federal governments failure to meet its promise to protect salmon and steelhead from the effects of 14 hydropower dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. According to the coalition, which includes the Sierra Club, the feds have implemented only a quarter of the 199 measures called for in the official recovery plan, which was designed to forestall the removal of the dams.
The National Marine Fisheries Service took issue with the criticism, but it couldnt dismiss a subsequent ruling by federal district court judge James Redden that the plan itself was too lax. Agreeing with the Sierra Club and other plaintiffs, Redden declared that the plan relies upon actions by private parties, states, or local entities that may never occur, and addresses too narrow a geographic area. The judge gave the NMFS until next spring to overhaul the plan. Just to make sure hes got the agencys attention, Redden is demanding progress reports every three months. Reed McManus