Strategy . . : :
Save scarce Idaho water, important for hydropower generation, recreation, irrigation.
Situation . . : :
The salmon, symbolic of the fierce spirit of the people of the Northwest, is disappearing from its ancestral waters in the high country of Idaho. Thus, in the early 1990s, Idaho faced a moment of decision: submit to decades of failing federal management of the Columbia River hydro system and learn to live without the salmon, or act decisively to drive meaningful change.
Nationalize the fight to save the salmon through strategic media relations, introducing into the debate those who care about our heritage but who are not dependent upon the cheap hydroelectricity from the eight major dams in the Snake and Columbia river system.
Reposition Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus as not just the region's defender of salmon but as the nation's strongest advocate for preservation of these historically and culturally significant fish.
Implement media relations and marketing campaigns to move the salmon debate onto the national stage.
Outcome . . : :
Decades of auto-pilot federal and regional management of Columbia River hydro system is altered so that important provisions of Andrus' Idaho Plan for salmon are incorporated into projected river and hydro management measures.
Natural resource-dependent industries adopt a more proactive, constructive position in the debate, and forestry, agriculture and river operations are adjusted to become less lethal for salmon.
Andrus' almost solitary fight for the salmon becomes the subject of major think pieces in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other major publications, and a "sportsman governor's last crusade" is chronicled by Dateline NBC.