How to save Columbia Basin salmon

How about attention fatigue?

The region has spent more than $10 billion over the past two decades struggling to rebuild wild runs of the once-profuse Northwest fish. Along the way, U.S. District Court in Portland has four times rejected as inadequate the federal government’s plan to save our salmon despite mandates to do so under the sweeping Endangered Species Act.

Yet here we are, anticipating from a new presiding judge in 2013 another ruling on whether the correct fish-saving measures are being taken. That’s while some wild runs remain at risk of extinction and the Bonneville Power Administration annually forks over hundreds of millions of dollars in ratepayer money to underwrite habitat restoration projects and bolster water flows through the Columbia Basin’s hydroelectric system, the engine of modern life and commerce hereabouts.

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