top of page

We are eyewitness to an epic ecological crime against humanity—happening in real time, in plain view. Corrupt political hacks are now tightening the noose painstakingly woven for decades to kill Snake River salmon and perpetuate the theft of the Snake River Commons.

The noose is woven of four major strands of corruption.

1. A biological opinion prepared pursuant to the Endangered Species Act by NOAA Fisheries under the direction of Bonneville Power Administration. Repeatedly rejected by the federal courts, the BiOp is arguably the most costly and destructive pseudo-scientific hoax in U.S. History. [For overview, see pp 19-24 of NRIC Request for DOE Investigation below.]

2. The Columbia Basin Fish Accords, memoranda of agreement by which Bonneville used more than $1 billion in federal funds to bribe Native American Indian and state governments to a] attempt to influence the federal judge in the ESA litigation and to b] subvert the salmon restoration provisions of the Northwest Power Act. [For overview, see pp 24-27 of following NRIC request for Department of Energy Inspector General investigation.]

3. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. The Council was formed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 and given one year to develop a plan to restore salmon and dependent economies devastated by the Federal Columbia River Power System. The then-perilous plight of Snake River salmon was the driving force. Instead, for more than 30 years the Council conspired with Bonneville and its pork barrel customers to drive Snake River salmon onto the List of Endangered Species. Now, in its recently updated Program based on the BiOp and Accords, the Council conspires to keep them there in perpetuity. [For overview, see NRIC July 25, 2014 Comments below and pp 27-29 of following NRIC request for DOE investigation.]

4. The Council’s regional Power Plan. The Northwest Power Act required the Council to build on its salmon restoration plan—which necessarily required changes in the federal power system—with a plan to ensure a reliable, economic and efficient regional energy supply. Instead, as noted, the Council refused to develop the required salmon restoration plan. Then the Council developed a regional energy plan/portfolio based on the virtual destruction of Snake River salmon, arguably the most economically inefficient and ecologically damaging energy supply in the Nation. [For overview, see

following NRIC comments on the Council's Sixth Power Plan and for details NRIC's lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.]

November 19, 2021

Comments on Draft 8th NW Power Plan

July 23, 2021

Seattle Times Full Page Ad

June 2016

The Northwest Big Short

Tangled Webs.jpg

We are eyewitness to an egregious corruption of government in the Pacific Northwest. The disastrous economic, ecological and social consequences extend 1000 miles inland and thousands of miles along the Pacific coast.

It has been happening in plain sight for decades, enabled by a complaisant hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil Northwest congressional delegation, bribed state and Native American Indian governments and a myopic mainstream news media.

January 14, 2016

NRIC filed suit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's 2014 Fish and Wildlife Program.

Lawsuit Announcement

NRIC Opening Brief

Ed Chaney Declaration

July 25, 2014

NRIC Comments On Northwest Power and Conservation Council

Public Review Draft Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program 2013/2014.

“You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"


NRIC Comments

April 14, 2014

NRIC letters to Oregon, Washington and Montana Governors (Idaho is lost cause) asking that they jointly petition President Obama to collaborate in a joint state/federal initiative to stop the ongoing misuse of federal funds by federal agencies (led by Bonneville) and the Council to subvert the salmon restoration provisions of Northwest Power Act of 1980, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Ignored.


Example Letter

March 25, 2014

NRIC letter documenting Department of Energy Inspector General’s refusal to act on NRIC’s request for investigation of scofflaw culture in Bonneville Power Administration’s upper management despite incontrovertible “smoking gun” evidence.


Letter to DOE Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman

March 14, 2014

NRIC letter to Bill Bradbury, Chairman of Northwest Power and Conservation Council, asking that the Council at least disclose to the public that due to the Council’s complicity in the BiOp and the Accords, the fix is in vis-à-vis pending amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program.  Ignored.


Letter to Bill Bradbury

July 2013

NRIC letters to Northwest Power and Conservation Council members and Northwest governors that appointed them requesting those implicated in the Columbia Basin Fish Accords recuse themselves from participating in amending the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program. Ignored.

Example Letter to NPCC Member Karier;

Example letter to Washington Governor Inslee

March 4, 2013

NRIC requested Department of Energy Inspector General investigation of the scofflaw culture that has metastasized in Bonneville Power Administration’s upper management.

For more than three decades this scofflaw culture has rejected its legal duty, betrayed the public trust, and knowingly and systematically wasted and otherwise misused billions of federal dollars to subvert the Snake River salmon restoration mandate of the 1980 Northwest Power Act and the extinction prevention mandate of the Endangered Species Act.

Transmittal letter to Secretary of Energy

Transmittal letter to DOE Inspector General

Petition to DOE Inspector General

September 21, 2012

NRIC filed suit in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan.


The Council was established by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to produce a plan that would restore Snake River salmon and maintain a reliable and economical regional power supply. Instead, the Council collaborated with Bonneville Power Administration and others to subvert the Act, drive Snake River salmon onto the List of Endangered Species, and turn their fate over to the federal agencies responsible for driving them to the brink of extinction.

NRIC Opening Brief

NRIC Director's Declaration

NRIC Reply Brief

November 5, 2009

Comments of NRIC Director Ed Chaney on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Draft 6th Power Plan.


“The draft Sixth Power Plan continues the Council’s three‐decades‐long egregious betrayal of the public trust by seeking to subvert the intent of Congress and the letter of the Pacific Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980.”

Comments Ed Chaney


Part IV, Summer 2007

April 13, 2010

Statement of NRIC Director Ed Chaney presented to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Boise, Idaho.

I come to bear witness to the official death of the salmon restoration promise of what is commonly called the Northwest Power Act. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this historic occasion.

Statement Ed Chaney

Flyfisher Part IV.jpg

February 2005

25 Years of Failure = Threatened Extinction & A Cascade of Economic and Social Disasters
Time to Resurrect the Unfulfilled Promise of the Northwest Power Act of 1980


Remarks of Ed Chaney, on the failure of governance and resultant threatened extinction of wild Snake River salmon and steelhead. Presented to Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, Portland, Oregon, February 2005.

Download tbd

February 2002   

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surrendered unconditionally to the Columbia River Pork Alliance.


The Corps officially announced that its four dams on the lower Snake River in southeastern Washington should not be breached–partially removed–to restore a free-flowing river. Instead, migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead should be removed from the river and hauled in trucks and barges hundreds of miles downstream to the Columbia River estuary for release.

Army Corps of Engineers Surrenders to Columbia River Pork Alliance

December 2000


Duping The Northwest and Nation—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Economics of Restoring Endangered Snake River Salmon.

The Corps "cooked the books" to create the false illusion that straining juvenile Snake River salmon out of the river and barging them 400 miles to the Columbia River estuary would be economically superior to allowing the fish to migrate naturally.

In fact, breaching the four lower Snake River dams would produce more than $1 billion per year in total Northwest benefits while keeping whole affected waterway shippers and irrigators.

Complete Report 


4-page Summary

bottom of page