Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Klamath River and Salmon

I've been watching and reading the missives from Friends of the River in California about the bus company up in Oregon that refused to run an ad for the Klamath Salmon. Yeh, the fish. The bus company refused to post the ad on the bus. Why? Because of the political nature of the ad; not because it was pornographic or violent or subject to any strange interpretations. The ad simply says, "Salmon shouldn't run up your electric bill... They should run up the Klamath River."

Whoa... that's quite risque, isn't it? The picture shows three salmon fish swimming towards a barrier of electrical outlets. The bottom of the ad has a website address for the Salmon for Savings program. WOW. This ad could definitely offend... maybe a politician.

So Friends of the River sued their ass and the ACLU and the Karuk Tribe are happier than heck that Judge Henry Breithaupt wrote in his opinion that Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon "TriMet" has violated both the Oregon Constitution and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Judge Breithaupt stated that the "decision was made on the basis of the nature of this message rather than any risks or limitations expressed in its standards."

An appeal is expected. The Portland area residents that are getting their electricity from the Klamath dams deserve to know that dam removal can save them money on their utility bills. FOR's Hydropower Policy Advocate Kelly Catlett said today, "“We are pleased that the judge upheld the rights of Pacific Power’s customers to hear that dam removal can save them a significant amount of money.”

Friends of the River has been working to remove obsolete dams on the Klamath River. In my opinion, the lawsuit they brought is a significant one. At least the Klamath community will now have the right to decide for themselves. And those who mute or censor the information will now think twice.

Thanks to Friends of the River for this information! ...and F.O.R.... give 'em hell!