A Fighting Chance for Salmon

In 1991, only four sockeye salmon returned to their native waters in Idaho to spawn. In 1992, only one made it back. That solitary and no doubt exhausted salmon might be happy to learn about a major court victory that he and his brethren have just won. A judge in Portland, Oregon, has ruled that the federal government’s operation of hydroelectric dams of Idaho’s Snake River violates the Endangered Species Act. Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus and his stat government allies hailed the decision as similar to the early spotted owl cases that overturned the federal government’s timber practices, and plan to use Judge Malcom Marsh’s decision to win future courtroom victories for the region’s salmon.