More than perhaps any creature, salmon epitomize modern wildlife management. We are willing to bend over backwards, to the point of comedy, to recover species we cherish: We captive-breed black-footed ferrets; we shoot barred owls to save spotted owls; we patiently teach whooping cranes to migrate behind aircraft. Yet coexistence occurs strictly on our terms — and there is always at least one term left non-negotiable. We spend millions on wildlife crossings over highways, yet would never close the highways themselves; we relocate imperiled trees to help them weather climate change without daring to retool our carbon-based economy. In the Columbia Basin, the dams, and their power, are the inviolable condition, the infrastructure that fish and managers must turn cartwheels to accommodate. We will give salmon everything, except what we don’t want to give.The great salmon compromise: High Country News' Ben Goldfarb explores the complicated legal and biological tradeoffs in federal and tribal salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. [more inside]
Eric Nusbaum tours the largest environmental cleanup operation the United States government has ever undertaken, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Over the last 20 years, Hanford has also become something else: a tourist destination. If you want to see just how big the reservation is, or get an idea of how much work remains to be done there, you can sign up for an official government tour of the site. About 60 public tours are offered per year. The tours are free, but highly sought after. Last year, registration opened at midnight on March 6, and closed by 5 a.m.
The Hanford Site in SoutheastWashington (located on the Columbia River) is considered the dirtiest place on earth. 177 Underground storage tanks hold over 50 million gallons of radioactive and toxic waste. And they are leaking. [more inside]
Gov't will no longer report on M3 money supply, nor count Columbia River salmon Without explanation, the the Federal Reserve Board will, in March 2006, be stopping publication of its "M3" money supply information. Funding for the lab responsible for counting salmon on the Columbia River has also been eliminated.
Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise. What have you been up to for the past week? How about the next 6 months? If you're Christopher Swain, the answer is "swimming - and lots of it". Swain plans swim the 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from headwaters to the Pacific over about 180 days. The further downriver he goes, the riskier it gets - aside from the rapids and ocean freighters that await him, he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins - which is the point of the swim, to raise awareness and support for river protection. "I learned that tasting every mile of a river is a great way to build the credibility to speak on its behalf"