Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fact: Columbia River Salmon Enhancement - Bonneville Power Authority Alone Will Spend $75 Million A Year For The Next 10 Years

From High Country News: To the BPA(Bonneville Power Authority), PATH is ancient history. The agency says that its funding process these days is more fair and generous than ever before. In 2008 alone, the BPA spent $80 million dollars on salmon research. Another $75 million a year for the next 10 years has been earmarked for science should the 2008 recovery plan pass judicial muster. According to Bill Maslen, the director of the BPA's Fish and Wildlife Program, this money is doled out through an open, democratic and cooperative process. "Every year we go out and identify what projects need to be done, and we travel the region, trying to build consensus on what we can do. Then we fund projects accordingly. And we've done more of that consensus-building this year than we ever have in years past," he says. Anderson's former grad student, Rich Zabel, says that funding pressures, or even the high-stakes legal battles in which his fish-passage model is used, have no effect at all on his work for NOAA. "I've never felt any political pressure here, and I'll tell you what, if I did, I'd quit (my job) kicking and screaming," he says. "My job is simply to produce the best science possible."

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