Dec 7, 2017Irrigators urge “god squad” to protect Columbia-Snake River system
The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association (CSRIA) recently ran an open letter ad in Washington, D.C. and Pacific Northwest news media urging the Trump administration to protect the Columbia-Snake River system.
“The system’s non-carbon emitting turbines electrify the region’s commerce, serving some of the most influential companies in the world—like Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Nike, and others—and energize the homes of millions of Northwest and California citizens,” the letter read in part. “The System creates an accessible water source for the most productive and efficient irrigated farms on the planet; it offers commercial navigation to ship the nation’s wheat to coastal sea ports; it provides for unique recreational opportunities.”
The ad in the Washington Examiner, The Hill and Capital Press was specifically addressed to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and urged them to convene the Endangered Species Act Committee (i.e. god squad).
The letter points out that an ESA Committee review is needed because “…the political, and bureaucratic, leviathan created by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has nurtured twenty-five years of Columbia-Snake River litigation, now being encouraged by a single, federal district court judge (Oregon)… this judge now refuses to review evidence that points toward the destruction of about two-thirds of Idaho’s wild spring chinook run, the lethal product of inept ESA management regimes and failed oversight of the so-called fish managers.”
The ad follows US District Judge Michael Simon’s recent rejection of CSRIA’s motion that the barging of juvenile fish should be increased instead of spill, even though additional spill would cause an associated decrease in juvenile fish survival and adult returns. CSRIA’s argued that “a decision to increase spill is also a decision to decrease juvenile transportation, and that is unquestionably bad for fish.”