To find meaningful and durable solutions to complex and urgent problems, a visionary leader keeps this maxim in mind: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Unfortunately, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray have taken a risky step in this very direction regarding the future of the Columbia River Basin and its endangered salmon and steelhead runs (“Act now to save salmon, regardless of dams’ fate,” The Herald, May 30). In the pursuit of an elusive perfect scenario, rather than engaging and building momentum for a region-wide solution, the governor and senator are letting slip a once-in-a-life opportunity to invest in the Northwest’s future.
As a commercial fisherman, I have never felt more abandoned or frustrated by the elected officials I voted into office. The governor and senator say that they care about local jobs. They would do well to remember this: Washington’s fleet of coastal commercial salmon fishermen has gone from 3,041 in 1978 to 102 people fishing in 2018.
Congressmen Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., have grasped the urgency of this crisis to shape a comprehensive regional proposal into a win-win legislation that works for all. We need Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray to do the same. If not, we lose our salmon, jobs, and orcas.