Bush administration announces salmon restoration initiative

January 26, 2004

Associated Press
King 5 News

STEVENSON, Wash. - Senior Bush administration officials announced a proposed $10 million increase for Northwest salmon restoration on Monday at Bonneville Dam.

The increase brings to $100 million the total that will be used to restore salmon habitat throughout the Northwest.

"Habitat restoration is making a difference," said Conrad Lautenbacher, administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

file photo
Sockeye salmon are among the species trying to make a comeback under the Endangered Species Act, which became law 30 years ago.
But environmentalists called the appearance, and the choice of venue, ironic.

"They are making salmon speeches at big dams dams are extremely lethal for fish," said Charles Hudson, spokesman for the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission.

Tribal groups applauded the increase in funding, but stressed that the figure fell far short of their expectations. The Intertribal Fish Commission said a $110 million increase is needed to fund all ongoing restoration projects.

Bush administration officials, though, said they had to weigh both economic and environmental concerns.

"It's a balancing act," said James Connaughton, chairman of the president's council on environmental quality.


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