The Solution - Lower Snake Dam Removal

Snake River Salmon and Steelhead Recovery = Lower Snake Dam Removal

The prevailing science supports lower Snake River Dam removal as the best, if not the only way to recover wild Snake River salmon and steelhead. 

Any discussion of lower Snake dam removal is a major threat to the BPA, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers and industrial users. The feds worry that if the lower Snake dams were removed, any of 31 federal projects in the Columbia Basin could be at risk for removal. This is absurd. The other line of thinking is that removing the lower Snake Dams would devastate the economy in the Northwest. This is a total myth.

It shouldn't be surprising to see the feds and industrial interests take such an extreme point of view. They believe the river was turned into a hydroelectric and navigation factory to power the Northwest economy, and it's too late to restore the wild fish.

The feds think, "This is our river. We stole it fair and square. We're not giving it back," says Ed Chaney of Eagle, Idaho, who has been engaged in the salmon wars as a fish advocate since the late 1960s.

It's an incredible arrogant view of the world, in my opinion. Last time I checked, the Snake and Columbia rivers including the hydroelectric factory that's replaced the rivers, belong to all of us.

Nevertheless, the hue and cry from federal dam operators, industrial users and Northwest politicians has resulted in keeping the discussion of removing lower Snake River dams safely under the rug. A federal judge needs to look under the carpet and make a decision that is not based on politics, but on sound legal principles and scientific data.

To conquer the hardball politics and open the dialogue and debate of the critical issues will necessitate an enlightened constituency that is versed in the issues. I see my role as an educator to help people understand the issues and sort out the facts. Please let me know if you would like to hear a presentation about Snake River salmon and steelhead. It's all straight talk. No government gobbledygook.

Status Quo Winners
Utilities who buy power from BPA, navigators who ship goods upstream and downstream from Portland to Lewiston and some flat-water recreation enthusiasts have a vested interest in preserving the dams in the lower Snake River. Cheap power and transportation are the drivers. Government subsidies hold the prices low especially when the environmental costs (externalities) are not adequately covered.

Status Quo Losers
Native Americans Tribes, sport and commercial fishers, hunters, recreational users, outfitters and guides and rural businesses are the status quo losers. All wild places in the Snake River basin that support wild salmon.

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