Greed Driven MotivesKeene Hueftle, letter to Wood River Journal - September 29, 1999
Over the years, have you noticed that in Idaho's state and federal politics, when it comes to conserving Idaho's natural resources, all you have to do is follow the money trails -- usually in the form of campaign contributions and other forms of gifting. It is then that you discover why our own paid politicians, in their rhetoric, their advice to us voters, in their legislative moves, continually favor the greedy corporate and large industry profits over the preserving and protecting of our natural, precious resources.
Our own native salmon and steelhead have been, and are, in critically serious jeopardy. Some salmon species (stocks) have already been driven to extinction by careless, greedy and often thoughtless men.
Yet, our own federal politicians, our governor, and many of our elected legislators are still supporting and advocating what is, in the short haul, economically profitable, not what is biologically necessary in order to save and restore our remaining salmon and steelhead.
Also, other paid "guns" like Mr. Sherl Chapman, the hired executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association, have been putting out misleading statements and propaganda in order to, again, further their own greed-driven desires over the vital biological needs of our anadromous native fishes.
The fact is baby salmon and steelhead (smolts) require the biochemical neurobrain imprinting experience that happens to them in their downstream migration to the ocean -- not harmful barging, nor strobelights, not "fish-friendly" turbines -- to get them through over 350-plus miles virtually stagnant, warm (lethally warm), low-oxygenated water making up the four dams and long reservoirs on Washington State's Snake River, and the four dammed reservoirs on the Columbia River.
Those same tax-paid, voter elected politicians and other corporate politicians and other corportate "hired guns" who keep telling us they need more and more science to prove that the removal of the earthen portions of the four Snake River dams will dramatically help restore our remaining salmon and steelhead to their once historic numbers, only need to set aside then greed-driven motives, and then recognize motives, and then recognize that for thousands and thousands of years (the biological proof), Idaho's native salmon and steelhead naturally adapted, evolved, reproduced and flourished in the once undammed Snake River and Salmon River systems.
And, if our own elected, tax-paid politicians were not being heavily influenced by the big corporate and industry greedy mentality, they would then be telling us that there have been, and are, serious, intelligent, unbiased professionals who have studied carefully the long-range economic benefits to Idaho and the Northwest, and who now have concluded that the long-term economic benefits for removing the earthen portions of the four lower Snake River dams far outweigh the relative short-term economic profits if we (if they) let our native salmon and steelhead go to extinction. Then add to that the intrinsic and cultural values that these magnificent seagoing fish mean to us now, and forevermore.
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