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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Water is Life? Salmon Life Doesn't Matter to the State of Washington

Imagine a conflict over flowing waters: The Powers That Be versus Native Americans struggling to maintain a remnant of their way of being.

Sound familiar? This time, it’s not pipes carrying oil under the water in North Dakota; this time, it’s pipes carrying water under the roads in Washington. It’s culverts. Thousands of culverts throughout the state are blocked, damaged or badly designed so that salmon can’t get past them to spawn. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the State of Washington needs to fix those culverts in order to meet treaty requirements with the state’s tribes who gave away their homes in exchange for the promise of the life that the salmon bring. Rather than comply, Washington’s Attorney General is trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn that ruling, so that Washington can watch the dwindling salmon runs continue their decline.

State officials, of course, side with business, development, and big money; use scary What if arguments that exaggerate unlikely scenarios to explain their position. The AG says that he favors fixing the culverts and upholding treaty rights, but that the court’s ruling could be construed as giving those who support salmon conservation too much power to obstruct existing and future development. To put that another way: if salmon could spawn in flowing money, we’d be all in for salmon conservation.

Attorney General Who Battled Trump, Attacks Tribal Treaty Rights
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ, Last Real Indians

“We’ve never seen this assault on Treaty rights since Slade Gordon. I put him [Attorney General Bob Ferguson] right next to Slade. Slade lost, so will Ferguson.” Brian Cladoosby, Chairman Swinomish Tribe and President of the National Congress of American Indians

Last January, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, rose to national prominence when he filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s Executive Order to temporarily ban refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries. A U.S. District Court would later agree with Ferguson and issued a Temporary Restraining Order halting the implementation nationwide.

Ferguson, who was hailed a hero and Trump fighter, is now turning his attacks on Northwest Tribes and their treaty rights.


Northwest Treaty Tribes — Tribes Disappointed with State Culvert Appeal to Supreme Court
KUOW — He took on Trump. Now he’s taking on tribes over salmon
The Capital Press — Washington culvert case seen as Western water issue
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