After a few weeks of chaos — brought on by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision to shred promises and financial bargains struck with recreational fishermen — we come to a second decisive moment. Tomorrow/Monday, Commissioners and Staff from Oregon and Washington are meeting to try to sort out what to do about this mess.
As you may recall, following the Oregon Commission’s decision to abandon promises to remove mainstem gillnet fisheries from the Columbia River there has been considerable reaction (including our coverage) and even a startling letter from Governor Brown of Oregon directing them to reverse course. How this will, if at all, modify the Oregon Commission’s position is not yet clear.
As a result of all the chaos to the South, we believe it falls to the Washington Delegation to continue to show the leadership and steady hand on these issues. The WA Commission listened carefully to the arguments and economics, and already adopted a compromise schedule on Fall fisheries. This is precisely what the Oregon Commission should have done in the first place — and what their Governor is imploring them to do now.
We want to encourage the Washington delegation to remain confident that they’ve done the right things so far — remaining flexible but keeping their commitments. This isn’t a “split the difference” situation–this is a “lead by example” one. Keep it up!