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October 01, 2007

Sex Scandals Have Consequences

One of the many pleasant upsides to the Larry Craig sex scandal and his subsequent removal from leadership positions (in addition to a healthy helping of schadenfreude) is the fact that he's no longer able to obstruct efforts to restore salmon habitat on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Senate Democrats, exercising their slim majority, have waded into two contentious issues — both related to Snake River salmon.

First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada asked federal regulators to require passage for salmon and steelhead for relicensing of the Hells Canyon Complex, a series of dams on the Snake River between Oregon and Idaho.

Reid says the passage would allow salmon to return to their historic spawning grounds in northern Nevada, where the fish used to run thick nearly a century ago.

Meanwhile, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has asked her colleagues to undo Craig's bid to use a federal spending bill to dictate water flow for Snake River fish.

Salmon advocates were thrilled at the actions of the two western Democrats, which they say could go a long way to protect and restore salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin, which spans Idaho, Washington state, Oregon and Wyoming.

Posted by Jon Stahl on October 1, 2007 at 11:59 PM in Environment | Permalink

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