Tribal burial case — Federal Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You has handed a defeat to tribal members who say a sacred site was destroyed to expand a highway near Mount Hood. The elders from Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde claim the Federal Highway Administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They said the government in 2008 could have widened the road without bulldozing a site that included a stone altar and medicinal plants. But the judge’s ruling said tribal members failed to show that the project substantially burdened their right to practice religion. Transportation officials widened U.S. Highway 26 after receiving complaints about a dangerous stretch east of Portland. Tribal leaders said in a statement Monday they plan to appeal.
Salmon woes — Ongoing problems with Sacramento River salmon survival means there likely will be very little, if any, sport and commercial salmon fishing this summer off the Southern Oregon coast. Preliminary stock assessments estimate only 229,400 fall chinook will be in the ocean; that’s 1,300 fewer than last year’s small run.