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Judge asks responses to Obama salmon plan

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PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge has asked critics of the Obama administration's plan for Northwest salmon to file their responses by Oct. 2. The administration will then have two weeks to submit its reply to U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland.

Redden outlined the schedule in a letter Wednesday.

The state of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe are among those fighting the plan.

The administration submitted its plan last week, revealing how it thinks it can run the region's system of hydroelectric dams in the Columbia Basin without pushing protected fish closer to extinction. The plan includes climate-change monitoring and the "last-resort" possibility of removing dams.

Critics say it does little to improve the Bush administration plan the judge has already called inadequate, and worry it could lead to drastic measures such as dam removal.