Balancing power needs and the environment: What James Redden says on salmon recovery still matters
Source: Oregon Live
U.S. District Judge James Redden, recently interviewed on the federal Columbia River Power System case he stepped down from last fall, said he thinks the four lower Snake River dams need to be breached to help salmon. Public responses varied; some claimed Redden had "revealed" a biased environmentalism. Nonsense. Redden always did the job he was required to do as the law demanded: finding facts, applying existing law to those facts and making decisions within his power. That's why he enjoyed a perfect record of being affirmed on appeal.
It felt good to hear Redden's assessment. It reflects a common-sense reality that others -- including the government, at times -- have sought to suspend or silence. The Nez Perce Tribe's goal is to restore Columbia and Snake river salmon runs to healthy, harvestable levels. Supported by concurring science extending back more than a decade, the tribe has been a leading advocate for breaching the lower Snake dams and investing in any affected local communities. More natural migration to and from the extraordinary salmon habitat of the Clearwater and Salmon rivers of Idaho would do more to restore salmon and steelhead than any other measure.
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