Larry Craig's Parting Words?
As most readers know, we studiously avoid political discussions (it’s something we learned while guiding people in small boats), but it’s plain bad news that senator Larry Craig of Idaho added language to a new appropriations bill that would force the Interior Department to ignore a court ruling favoring salmon recovery. The provision, Sec. 127, directs that “The Secretary of the Interior should seek to carry out without further delay the provisions identified in the Upper Snake River Basin Biological Opinion released by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Region dated March 31, 2005 for the conservation of salmon and steelhead species in the Columbia and Snake River Basins and the Upper Snake River Basin Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dated March 31, 2005 for the conservation of various species in the Pacific Northwest.”
According to Save Our Wild Salmon, at least 20 national environmental, conservation and outdoor groups say the action to include the language was in very bad faith: “‘Salmon and salmon-based communities are fighting for their lives throughout the Northwest, including Idaho, where Pacific salmon are most imperiled. Now is not the time, and a congressional spending bill is certainly not the place, to risk derailing salmon recovery.'”