For the week of March 17, 1999  thru March 23, 1999  


Idaho Pravda

If some Idaho politicians have their way, the state will soon have its own Pravda, the old official news agency of the Soviet Union.

Its only job will be to control news about endangered species and to make sure any conclusions about them are politically correct.

Being politically correct in Idaho is different than elsewhere. Unlike their race-, gender- and creed-sensitive cousins, the political thought police in Idaho are more concerned about salmon, wolves and grizzly bears.

When the Idaho Fish and Game Commission last year agreed that breaching dams on the lower Snake River was the best chance for restoring Idaho’s salmon and steelhead runs, the thought police came unglued.

Farmers would lose all their water and Lewiston would lose all its jobs and its inland seaport, they claimed. Idaho would dry up and blow away, said the police.

It wasn’t the first time Fish and Game had irritated politicians with the facts. Idaho politicians generally do not give a whit about wildlife and get especially cranky when they have to deal with species on the road to oblivion.

So, a few of them decided it would be a good idea to shut up Fish and Game and make recommendations on endangered species the responsibility of some hand-picked "experts" in a new office directed by their friend the governor.

This way, they could return to the good old days, when the only good wolf was a dead wolf and when the only fish they had to think about came in a can.

We’re sure there are still some retired Soviet commissars around who could advise the legislators running the office.


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