Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Judge Has Serious Concerns About Columbia-Snake Salmon Plan

Salmon advocates are heading back to Court on Monday, November 23 to present arguments in their legal challenge to a 2008 federal salmon plan. On September 15, the Obama administration decided to adopt the 2008 Bush administration plan — including support for the Bush-era scientific analysis and legal standard — over the strong objections of regional fish biologists, former Northwest Governors, and people and businesses across the nation. The groups are joined in the litigation by the State of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho.

From the Associated Press:
The federal judge overseeing the balancing act between salmon and Columbia Basin dams said he doesn't think he can consider new steps the Obama administration wants to take.

In a letter on Friday to lawyers in the case, U.S. District Judge James Redden wrote he was concerned that federal law prohibits him from considering any of the new parts of the 2008 plan.

The reason he cited is they were developed unilaterally by the federal government, and not, as he had suggested, in conjunction with the other parties involved in the lawsuit challenging federal plans for protecting salmon.

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