Judge's ruling is latest signal to federal agencies that status quo isn't workingA federal judge's ruling in Portland last week sounds a lot like what Columbia River fishermen, conservationists and tribes have been shouting for years - agencies can't legally skew Endangered Species Act decisions in favor of hydropower, irrigators and other upriver economic interests.

The ESA laws and, more importantly, the realities of endangered species recovery do not neatly conform to whatever is most convenient for the political operatives who staff the upper levels of the NOAA Fisheries service, Bonneville Power Administration, Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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