Friday, July 08, 2005

Order To Protect Pacific Northwest Region Salmons

U.S. District Judge James Redden has ordered the government to release heavy amounts of river water over four Columbia basin dams this summer in the Pacific Northwest region. Redden called U.S. efforts to protect salmon an exercise "more in cynicism than in sincerity." The federal dams provide relatively low-cost electricity, irrigation water, and barge transportation across Pacific Northwest states Oregon, Washington and Idaho. However, the big federal dams kill and injure federally protected fish, now comprising 13 populations. Water spilled over dams to help juvenile salmon migrate to sea bypasses turbines and so can't be used to generate electricity. Bob Lohn from the National Marine Fisheries Service believes the government will appeal the court order. Salmon have been an important food source for the Pacific Northwest native people for centuries. These fish are so important that they often use them as subjects in their wonderful Pacific Northwest Native art. For examples, see Pacific Northwest Native Art Salmons.

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