GAME FOR WILD SNAKE RIVER SALMON AND STEELHEAD
It is end game for Snake River salmon, one of the world’s most magnificent, unique, perpetually renewable natural resources. Their migratory range extends from 7000 feet in elevation 700 miles inland and thousands of miles along the Pacific Coast. A genetic heritage millions of years in the making, driven to the brink of extinction in 50 years by corrupt political hacks who lost their moral bearings and betrayed the public trust.
Bonneville Power Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries and Northwest Power and Conservation Council for more than 30 years have used public funds to subvert the Snake River salmon restoration provisions of the Northwest Power Act of 1980. They drove the salmon onto the List of Endangered Species. Now they collaborate to subvert the Endangered Species Act.
It also is end game for NRIC. NRIC will not live to see the final chapter in the long-running struggle to restore Snake River salmon and dependent economies. Meanwhile, NRIC is taking the fight to the salmon killers as evidenced by the actions described in these web pages.
We are eyewitness to an epic ecological crime against humanity—happening in real time, in plain view. Corrupt political hacks are now tightening the noose painstakingly woven for decades to kill Snake River salmon and perpetuate the theft of the Snake River Commons.
The noose is woven of four major strands of corruption.
1] A biological opinion prepared pursuant to the Endangered Species Act by NOAA Fisheries under the direction of Bonneville Power Administration. Repeatedly rejected by the federal courts, the BiOp is arguably the most costly and destructive pseudo-scientific hoax in U.S. History. [For overview, see pp 19-24 of NRIC Request for DOE Investigation below.]
2. The Columbia Basin Fish Accords, memoranda of agreement by which Bonneville used more than $1 billion in federal funds to bribe Native American Indian and state governments to a] attempt to influence the federal judge in the ESA litigation and to b] subvert the salmon restoration provisions of the Northwest Power Act. [For overview, see pp 24-27 of following NRIC request for Department of Energy Inspector General investigation.]
3. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. The Council was formed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 and given one year to develop a plan to restore salmon and dependent economies devastated by the Federal Columbia River Power System. The then-perilous plight of Snake River salmon was the driving force. Instead, for more than 30 years the Council conspired with Bonneville and its pork barrel customers to drive Snake River salmon onto the List of Endangered Species. Now, in its recently updated Program based on the BiOp and Accords, the Council conspires to keep them there in perpetuity. [For overview, see NRIC July 25, 2014 Comments below and pp 27-29 of following NRIC request for DOE investigation.]
4. The Council’s regional Power Plan. The Northwest Power Act required the Council to build on its salmon restoration plan—which necessarily required changes in the federal power system—with a plan to ensure a reliable, economic and efficient regional energy supply. Instead, as noted, the Council refused to develop the required salmon restoration plan. Then the Council developed a regional energy plan/portfolio based on the virtual destruction of Snake River salmon, arguably the most economically inefficient and ecologically damaging energy supply in the Nation. [For overview, see
following NRIC comments on the Council's Sixth Power Plan and for details NRIC's lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.]
The Northwest Big Short
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We are eyewitness to an egregious corruption of government in the Pacific Northwest. The disastrous economic, ecological and social consequences extend 1000 miles inland and thousands of miles along the Pacific coast.
It has been happening in plain sight for decades, enabled by a complaisant hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil Northwest congressional delegation, bribed state and Native American Indian governments and a myopic mainstream news media.
On January 14, 2016,NRIC filed suit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's 2014 Fish and Wildlife Program. NRIC is represented by Earth Justice.
download lawsuit announcement
download NRIC opening brief
download Ed Chaney declaration
July 25, 2014 NRIC Comments On Northwest Power and Conservation Council Public Review Draft
Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program 2013/2014.
“You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"
download NRIC comments
July 2013 NRIC letters to Northwest Power and Conservation Council members and Northwest governors that appointed them requesting those implicated in the Columbia Basin Fish Accords recuse themselves from participating in amending the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program. Ignored.
download example letter to NPCC member Karier; download example letter to Washington Governor Inslee
March 2014 NRIC letter to Bill Bradbury, Chairman of Northwest Power and Conservation Council, asking that the Council at least disclose to the public that due to the Council’s complicity in the BiOp and the Accords, the fix is in vis-à-vis pending amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program. Ignored.
April 2014 NRIC letters to Oregon, Washington and Montana Governors (Idaho is lost cause) asking that they jointly petition President Obama to collaborate in a joint state/federal initiative to stop the ongoing misuse of federal funds by federal agencies (led by Bonneville) and the Council to subvert the salmon restoration provisions of Northwest Power Act of 1980, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Ignored.
download example letter
March 25, 2014 NRIC letter documenting Department of Energy Inspector General’s refusal to act on NRIC’s request for investigation of scofflaw culture in Bonneville Power Administration’s upper management despite incontrovertible “smoking gun” evidence.
download letter to DOE Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman
March 4, 2013 NRIC requested Department of Energy Inspector General investigation of the scofflaw culture that has metastasized in Bonneville Power Administration’s upper management.
For more than three decades this scofflaw culture has rejected its legal duty, betrayed the public trust, and knowingly and systematically wasted and otherwise misused billions of federal dollars to subvert the Snake River salmon restoration mandate of the 1980 Northwest Power Act and the extinction prevention mandate of the Endangered Species Act.
download transmittal letter to Secretary of Energy
download transmittal letter to DOE Inspector General
download petition to DOE Inspector General
September 21, 2012 NRIC filed suit in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan.
The Council was established by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to produce a plan that would restore Snake River salmon and maintain a reliable and economical regional power supply. Instead, the Council collaborated with Bonneville Power Administration and others to subvert the Act, drive Snake River salmon onto the List of Endangered Species, and turn their fate over to the federal agencies responsible for driving them to the brink of extinction.
download NRIC opening brief
download NRIC director’s declaration
download NRIC reply brief
April 13, 2010 statement of NRIC Director Ed Chaney presented to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Boise, Idaho.
“I come to bear witness to the official death of the salmon restoration promise of what is commonly called the Northwest Power Act. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this historic occasion.”
November 5, 2009 comments of NRIC Director Ed Chaney on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Draft 6th Power Plan.
“The draft Sixth Power Plan continues the Council’s three‐decades‐long egregious betrayal of the public trust by seeking to subvert the intent of Congress and the letter of the Pacific Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980.”
25 Years of Failure = Threatened Extinction & A Cascade of Economic and Social Disasters
Time to Resurrect the Unfulfilled Promise of the Northwest Power Act of 1980
Remarks of Ed Chaney, on the failure of governance and resultant threatened extinction of wild Snake RIver salmon and steelhead. Presented to Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, Portland, Oregon, February 2005.
Economic Effects of Breaching/Not Breaching the Army Corps of Engineers'
Snake River Dams in S.E. Washington—A
Survey of the Disconnect Between Economic and Political Realities,
The Army Corps of Engineers estimated that breaching the four lower Snake River dams would
cost Idaho $32 million per year.
In fact, even using the Corps' flawed numbers, breaching would produce at least $93 million
per year future net benefit to Idaho. Idaho has lost an estimated $1.9 billion to date as
the result of the Corps' failure to meet its obligation to mitigate for the loss of salmon
and steelhead at the lower Snake River dams.
of Engineers Surrenders to Columbia River Pork Alliance
February, 2002 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surrendered
unconditionally to the Columbia River Pork Alliance.
officially announced that its four dams on the lower Snake
River in southeastern Washington should not be breached–partially
removed–to restore a free-flowing river. Instead, migrating
juvenile salmon and steelhead should be removed from the river
and hauled in trucks and barges hundreds of miles downstream
to the Columbia River estuary for release.
Duping The Northwest and Nation—The
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Economics of Restoring Endangered Snake
River Salmon, December, 2000.
Corps "cooked the books" to create the false illusion that
straining juvenile Snake River salmon out of the river and
barging them 400 miles to the Columbia River estuary would
be economically superior to allowing the fish to migrate naturally.
breaching the four lower Snake River dams would produce more
than $1 billion per year in total Northwest benefits while
keeping whole affected waterway shippers and irrigators.
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