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18.5.04

Salmon Update

West Coast Salmon Likely To Remain Protected

The Bush administration yesterday infuriated Northwest developers and farmers by telling Congress it expects to keep Endangered Species Act protections for 25 of 26 troubled runs of West Coast salmon.

Environmentalists welcomed the news, but some said the administration acted only because of a backlash over its hatchery proposals.

... Just two weeks ago, based on leaked documents showing that federal agencies planned to count millions of hatchery fish alongside wild fish in assessing the health of salmon and steelhead runs, both sides assumed that the Bush administration was laying the groundwork to remove endangered-species protections.

-- via Chris Mooney


I appreciate the fact that it would have been nice if the administration had done the right thing from the get-go, but it seems excessive to dismiss the change of course as only as a result of a backlash. That "only" is how democracy works. We want our government to be responsive to public opinion.

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