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Idaho workgroup starts efforts on salmon, steelhead recovery

Idaho Gov. Brad Little says a salmon and steelhead recovery workgroup he formed should focus on achievable goals that can bolster the state’s struggling fish populations.

Little on Friday also told the nearly two dozen panel members comprised of environmentalists, ranchers, recreationist, power companies, and state officials at their first meeting that the workgroup will help define Idaho’s position for federal efforts to save salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

Billions of dollars have been spent in Idaho, Oregon and Washington to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act. Four of those species are in Idaho.

Little, a Republican, says he’s not convinced that breaching four dams on the Snake River in Washington will help the fish rebound, and advised the group to not get bogged down on that topic.

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