Commentary: Hope renewed is salmon debate

This editorial appeared in The Idaho Statesman.

It's way too early to declare Nov. 4, 2008 a turning point in the salmon debate.

But it isn't too early to hope. This month's elections finally offer a glimmer of optimism to anyone passionate about saving Idaho's wild salmon. Considering the continued plight of the salmon – and the political gridlock at the root of their peril – it feels good to feel hopeful.

Sen.-elect Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has pledged to bring together the region's interest groups in an attempt to negotiate a recovery plan – a tacit suggestion that our state's salmon deserve better than the status quo.

Risch has a vow of help from Democrat Walt Minnick, representative-elect in Idaho's 1st Congressional District. With Democrats in control of Congress and the White House, Minnick brings a lot to the process. Risch certainly has the political savvy to see that.

Here's what President-elect Barack Obama says: "Implementing a meaningful salmon population recovery plan will be a key environmental priority of my administration, and I support efforts to create a salmon recovery plan that balances all of these important environmental, agricultural and renewable energy interests."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Idaho Statesman.