Oregon Public Broadcasting

A federal judge in Portland is planning to step down, after shaping salmon and hydropower policy on the Columbia and Snake rivers for more than a decade.  

Judge James Redden said in a short email that he will step down soon to give his replacement time to review the history of this legal challenge. That should help the new judge prepare for a big job in 2014.

That's when the federal government must present the court with a new plan to restore endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Doug Johnson is a spokesman for Bonneville Power Administration, which sells electricity from dams on the two rivers. He credited Judge Redden with insisting on cooperation.

"It's collaboration that led to the Columbia River Basin accords that we've entered into with several Northwest tribes and states. And under those agreements we'll continue to work to restore habitat and collaborate on other projects," he said.

Judge Redden struck down three management plans since 2000 proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also required dams to spill more water to help fish migrate.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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