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Research? We Don't Need No Research!

by Shea Andersen
New West, December 15, 2005

Well, you can't say Larry Craig doesn't deliver. The Republican Senator from Idaho managed to find a way to cut funding for a fish passage research center that, according to Rocky Barker's reporting in today's Idaho Statesman, was delivering news about dams that Craig, his critics say, doesn't like.

The Fish Passage Center was a consortium of scientists monitoring the impact of major dams on salmon populations. But, and this is key, Craig managed to get some Northwest Democrats to agree to help him cut funding for the center.

Here's a key paragraph from Barker's report:

"The provision's approval shows that salmon fishermen, environmental groups and Indian tribes have far less political juice than their political opponents, the Bonneville Power Administration, its customers and other agriculture and industry groups dependent on the Snake and Columbia River system."

Craig's staff said the research center had long since moved from simple research to advocacy against dams in the Northwest and, as such, was an inappropriate vessel for federal funding. Again, read Barker's report for the full skinny.

Those that might feel wronged by this and other salmon-related news could join like-minded folks Downtown tonight:

Salmon advocates will hold a wake for the Northwest Power Planning Act from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Loft, 622 W. Idaho St., Boise.

The Northwest Power Act was approved in 1980 with broad support and was designed to balance the region's electric power needs with fish and wildlife concerns. With 12 stocks of salmon and steelhead listed as endangered in the Columbia Basin, salmon advocates say the act has turned out to be a failure.

The wake is open to the public. Music will be provided by Opus One String Quartet, followed by the Capitol City Jazz Band.

Shea Andersen
Research? We Don't Need No Research!
New West, December 15, 2005

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