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GOV. GARDNER SUPPORTS POWER COUNCIL PLAN FOR SALMON RECOVERY

 GOV. GARDNER SUPPORTS POWER COUNCIL PLAN FOR SALMON RECOVERY
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northwest Power Planning Council's expected plan to save Columbia River salmon drew praise today from Gov. Booth Gardner, who said the proposal calls for regional interests to shoulder their fair share of the burden.
 "The region, acting through the council, has made remarkable progress toward a consensus recovery plan," Gardner said. "We got what we wanted -- a plan to restore our wild salmon runs that fairly distributes the impacts throughout the region."
 The regional approach to saving Snake River salmon stocks being considered for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act proves the Northwest can handle the problem on its own, Gardner said.
 "It has been and will be difficult," he admitted, "but we don't want Washington, D.C., or a federal judge running the Columbia and Snake river systems."
 Although the council's plan still requires final approval by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Gardner said he hoped the federal agency would view the plan as a sign the region is prepared to do what is necessary to save the wild salmon runs.
 "I'm particularly pleased with the region's perseverance, which resulted in our finding common ground," he said. "We have learned from our experience with the spotted owl. Saving the salmon is a complex problem, but it is a manageable problem."
 For example, irrigators will get the means to continue to water their crops despite the planned drawdowns of Columbia and Snake river reservoirs, he said.
 The council plan will also likely increase wholesale power rates, Gardner said, "but as a region it is a burden we can handle. We all have benefitted from the Columbia River; we must all give a little back to restore the fish."
 Gardner emphasized the plan's only chance at working would be if all players in the region did their part.
 "Washington is committed to the council's plan," he said, "but our actions will only be effective as long as all the parties involved do their part as well."
 Gardner said he intends to work closely with Rollie Schmitten of the NMFS to ensure survival of the salmon.
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: Carlos Pedraza of Washington State Governor's Office, 206-753-6790/ CO: Washington State Governor's Office; Northwest Power Planning
 Council ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH-SC -- SE011 -- 1274 12/10/91 20:46 EST
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Date:Dec 10, 1991
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