The law locks up both man and woman
Who steal the goose from off the common
But lets the greater felon loose
Who steals the common from the goose
Wild Snake River salmon and steelhead are a unique evolutionary heritage
tens of millions of years old. Once numbering in millions of adult fish
annually, they are threatened with extinction on our watch.
The cascade of ongoing adverse environmental, economic, social, and cultural
consequences is a tragedy of epic proportions. It is the direct result
of an egregious failure of governance.
The public has been betrayed by compromised elected officials, failed
public institutions, and allied enablers that feed off the deaths of wild
Snake River salmon and dependent economies. They collaborate to evade
the will of the Nation, the rule of law, and the discipline of the market.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis held that "sunlight is the best
of disinfectants" for failure of governance and failure of the market.
The Accountability Project puts "sunlight" on failed public institutions
and allied apologists for extinction of wild Snake River salmon and steelhead
whose future existence now hangs precariously in the balance.
NW Power Act Initiative
The Northwest Power Act became law December 5, 1980. It contained strong
provisions intended to restore Columbia/Snake River salmon and steelhead
devastated by the Army Corps of Engineers' negligent failure to design
its dams to pass fish as Congress intended in authorizing their construction.
The act established a regional council composed of two governor-appointed
members from Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. The council's principal
mandate was to specify changes in the dams necessary to restore decimated
salmon and steelhead runs, then to specify measures necessary to mitigate
the expected loss of electrical energy. The act gave Bonneville Power
Administration new authority to acquire additional resources to accomplish
It would have been easy. It never happened. There was an epic failure of governance and of the rule of law.
Thirty years and many hundreds of millions of public dollars later,
the Northwest is reaping the ecological, economic and social whirlwind of that failure.
Snake River salmon and steelhead are listed under the Endangered Species
Act. Government has been corrupted. People throughout the region are pitted
against one another in internecine conflict. Federal courts inexorably
have been drawn into the fray.
This Accountability Project initiative will document the disconnect between
the mandates of the Northwest Power Act and the results a third of a century
later. It will document the factors contributing to that disparity. It
will propose remedies for this calamitous failure of governance and betrayal
of the public trust.
For more information and/or to support this Accountability Project initiative.
plight of Snake River salmon was the impetus for founding NRIC 34
years ago. Over the intervening years NRIC has relentlessly championed
wild Snake River salmon and dependent economies at local, state, regional,
and national levels. NRIC filed path-breaking lawsuits. Produced innumerable
reports and articles. Recruited public and political support for salmon-protective
policies and regulations. Recruited more champions; initiated the Save Our Wild