Daily DrakeSpill

SpillThis week NOAA released its 751-page draft plan for protecting endangered Columbia and Snake River salmon, which is basically a carbon copy of three previous federal-court rejected incarnations.

Holding out hope for fourth time’s a charmSave Our Wild Salmon executive director, Joseph Bogaard, said: “Unfortunately, the latest blueprint barely changes the plan rejected by the district court in 2011, despite that court’s clear direction that federal agencies must do more to safeguard imperiled salmon and steelhead.”

That last plan was tossed due to its heavy dependence on unspecific habitat improvements. It also neglected the possibility of breaching the Snake River’s four dams in eastern Washington. Similarly, Monday’s déjà vu draft plan also leaves dams out of the equation, stating that status quo operations are sufficient for the survival of migrating juvenile salmon. In addition, it rolls back opportunities to enhance salmon spill at dam sites—water sent over the top to help salmon safely reach the Pacific.

Via Save Our Wild Salmon: “A basic level of spill has been in place under court order since 2006. Federal, state and Tribal scientists have studied the impacts of existing spill and concluded that it is boosting salmon survival. These scientists say expanding spill could help stabilize or maybe even recover some salmon stocks. But instead of considering this in its draft plan, NOAA Fisheries would allow dam operators to roll back current spill to even lower levels, rejecting sound science in the process.”

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Tom Bie

Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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