The governors of four north- western US states have reached a consensus on a broad set of recommendations for protecting threatened and endangered salmon in the Pacific North- west. The consensus plan does not include breaching of any of the dams on the Snake river, a measure that many environmentalists and biologists say is crucial to the survival of the fish.

Idaho governor Dirk Kemp- thorne, Montana governor Marc Racicot, Oregon gover- nor John Kitzhaber and Washington governor Gary Locke have said a plan for salmon recovery based on specific federal, state and regional plans that protect fish and affected communities, should be reached by federal and state officials in consultation with tribal leaders no later than January 2001.

The governors said fish recovery efforts must not only focus on current accessible habitat, but must also look for opportunities to increase the current level of habitat access with all dams remaining in place. ‘We are keenly aware of the extent to which breaching the four lower Snake river dams has become a polarising and divisive issue,’ the governors said when they announced their recommendations.