[I]n a summary document, the DOI said that studies had shown that the annual production of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) would rise by 83 percent a year after the dams were removed. However, it did not include any of the uncertainties about how the population would respond that an expert panel commissioned by the DOI had listed. In the final version of the summary--which is now on a government web site--the number was changed to 81.4 percent. [...] The figure comes from an unpublished computer-modeling study and had an uncertainty range of 59.9 percent to 881.4 percent, which was not reported in the summary. [Emphasis mine]
This is ludicrous. Let me be very clear: I lean left when it comes to environmental issues, in particular preservation or restoration of natural landscapes, and I understand the importance of getting rid of dams that are not necessary. I dream of a day when the Glen Canyon dam will be decommissioned, and public lands across the US will not be under constant attack by politicians insisting on the need to sell off large portions of 'unused' lands to the private sector. However, lying to the public to gather support for removal of dams and then firing the whistle-blowers is not the way to get things done. It is extremely unethical, and it is also extremely bad politics at a time when the environmental movement in the US, and modeling in particular, are coming under fire as being fueled by ideology-driven extremists who will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal and don't give a damn about the truth. That this kind of behavior is being practiced by the DOI--the gub'mint, the mainstream--and not some fringe group makes it even worse because it provides some pretty heavy rhetorical ammunition to enemies of environmentalists.
Is it possible that an investigation will clear the Department of the Interior of its part in this scandal by allowing them to demonstrate that they had good reasons for firing Houser? Well, yes, but the taint of choosing politics over facts when deciding to present this information to the public will still remain.