A federal judge has given the Obama administration another month to settle a lawsuit over a government plan that pits salmon restoration against hydroelectric dams in the Northwest.
At the request of Coby Howell, an attorney for the NOAA Fisheries Service, U.S. District Judge James Redden has given the administration until Sept. 15 to finalize its position on the current plan for salmon restoration, a plan conceived by the former Bush administration.
Environmentalists, fishermen and the state of Oregon are suing the federal government, claiming salmon populations won’t recover without removing four hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River in Washington. (HydroWorld 8/10/09)
In a letter to Judge Redden, Howell said the Obama administration needs more time to explain its position to the lawsuit’s plaintiffs.
“We would like to discuss and explain our process and position on the (biological opinion) with all of the parties before formally presenting our position to the court,” Howell wrote.