License to kill: how Washington may lose its right to wipe out salmon – Crosscut

Good to hear that the three judge panel is not buying the wildly overinflated State cost estimates.  The need to move forward and replace these culverts is critical. The Tribes are not buying the State’s argument either.

…. (The) 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided the state must do more toward fixing its hundreds of culverts. The court affirmed a lower court decision ordering the state to replace its worst salmon-killing culverts that block passage upstream for the fish. A unanimous three-judge panel held that the culverts violate federal treaties signed with Washington tribes. When the 9th Circuit ruled for the feds and tribes on appeal, it scathingly rejected the state’s arguments and even its math. For one thing, the court found the state’s cost estimates — running to $1.9 billion — were “dramatically overstated.” This case really goes back to issues raised nearly half a century ago, and its legal underpinnings stretch back more than a century before that.  Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)