McMorris Supports the Administration’s Call for Harvest and

Dec 30, 2008


(Washington D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) applauded the announcement made today by James Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, to reduce the overall level of harvest and eliminate hatchery programs that impede the recovery of salmon on the Columbia and Snake River systems.

“One of my top priorities is to promote economic growth for Eastern Washington and I am committed to regaining control of our waterways that provide renewable energy, transportation, and recreation opportunities to the Inland Northwest,” said McMorris. “In order to truly achieve salmon recovery we must commit to a comprehensive and collaborative management strategy. I applaud the administrations decision to build on progress in hydropower and habitat and focus on efforts related to harvest and hatchery. We should not compromise these investments by killing the fish we are trying to save.”

The administration is asking for lower total allowable harvest of salmon and an end to hatchery programs that impede salmon recovery. This new direction is consistent with President Bush’s commitment to end over fishing as stated in the U.S. Ocean Action Plan.

The summer spill injunction by Judge Redden costs rate payers in the Northwest $67 million without guaranteeing any fish will be saved. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) estimates that rates will increase by 4 to 5 percent. Environmental experts state that last summer’s spill assisted just between 25 and 300 adult salmon, meaning it cost rate payers between $250,000 to $3 million per fish.

“Judge Redden’s ruling ignores progress that has been made to allow for both fish recovery and the use of dams. We need to find a more balanced approach that preserves our environment and protects the economic interests of the region. Dams have a huge impact on our economy and are important for irrigation, flood control, and low cost renewable electricity.”

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