The Politics of Restoring versus Restocking Salmon in the Columbia River


  • Michael V. McGinnis

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Political Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, U.S.A.
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    • Current affiliation: Center for Bioregional Studies and Research.

7602 Hollister, #202, Goleta, CA 93117, U.S.A.


This essay reviews the recent attempts by the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council (NPPC) to conserve and restore wild salmon lost to hydroelectric development along the Columbia River and its tributaries. The restoration of the wild salmon is predicated on cooperation between myriad stakeholders in a planning process that includes the NPPC, 11 state and federal agencies, 13 Indian tribes, 8 utilities, and numerous interest groups. The two goals of the essay are (1) to review the recent amendments to the NPPC's fish and wildlife program, and (2) to describe the political barriers to restoration versus restocking of wild salmon in the Columbia River. The failure of political and administrative entities to deal with the problem of restoring wild salmon may result in drastic requirements being imposed by the imperatives of the Endangered Species Act.