In a letter to the feds issued yesterday in National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service, Judge James Redden of the District of Oregon applauded the new administration's attempts to reconcile the operation of federal hydropower and reclamation projects along the Snake and Columbia Rivers with the ESA. Nevertheless, Judge Redden expressed doubt as to whether such a reconciliation can be achieved, expressing disapproval of the feds' proposed "trending toward recovery" standard. He advised the feds to consider a contingency plan that would include the breaching of dams along the lower Snake River.
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