Sen. Crapo says All Options Including Breaching
by Rocky Barker
Sen. Mike Crapo said all options -- including dam breaching -- must be on the table for a Northwest-wide collaboration to resolve issues over salmon and dams.
And the Idaho Republican, fresh off of his success leading a collaboration on the Owyhee canyonlands, said he is willing to lead the larger, more complex effort. He challenged members of the Northwest Energy Coalition meeting at the Red Lion Downtowner Friday to join him.
"Does that mean dam breaching must be on the table?" he asked. "Yes. But that also means not dam breaching must be on the table."
The Bush Administration convened what it called a collaborative effort between federal dam managers, wildlife officials, the region's Indian tribes and the states of Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon to write a salmon and dam plan that would meet a federal judge's approval. Oregon and the Nez Perce tribe did not agree with the plan, called a biological opinion.
And environmental groups, including the Northwest Energy Coalition, fishermen and fishing industry groups were not included in the collaborative.
Crapo said those groups need to be involved in any solution along with all the people involved including Idaho water users, shippers, utilities, farmers and industry. A collaborative effort is the only way everyone in the region can win, Crapo said.
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