Editorial: Tribes work towards salmon restoration
"We've all heard a lot about lawsuits over fish, dams and water here in the Northwest.

By now, most of us are either tired of the issue or polarized by it.

But earlier this year something big happened, and the litigation ceased.

Perhaps the two most visible players -- Indian tribes and the federal government -- signed an agreement that should prevent new lawsuits for the next 10 years.

For their part, the tribes -- Yakama, Colville, Warm Springs and Umatilla -- will share in $900 million from the federal government to be put toward salmon restoration.

Idaho and Montana, plus three federal agencies -- Bonneville Power Administration, Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation -- joined in the Columbia Basin Fish Accords, signing a ceremonial deer skin as part of the agreement.

Just last week, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of southeastern Idaho announced plans to join the agreement. Those tribes were the first to ask the federal government to provide protection for sockeye salmon nearly two decades ago.

That's good news, leaving only one significant holdout from the accord: the Nez Perce Tribe, which still holds strong to the belief that the only way to restore salmon is to remove the lower Snake River dams."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Addition of Idaho tribes benefits salmon accord (The Tri-City Herald 9/26)