Editorial: Latest salmon deal is disappointing (again)

Court-driven salmon recovery planning for the Columbia River has turned into a tired game of federal agencies seeing how little they can get away with doing, while most citizens wish for something new.

The current process resembles the annual fall television season in which a crop of uninspired and unfunny programs premier with great fanfare, only to limply vanish a few weeks later.

Old hands in the salmon-recovery game are all too familiar with the release last month of the latest 610-page supplemental biological opinion (bi-op) produced by NOAA Fisheries on behalf of the Bonneville Power Administration and other agencies that run the Columbia hydropower system. It is the newest sequel in a series of unambitious attempts to comply with the Endangered Species Act as interpreted by federal judges.

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