Dam Removal Can Restore Salmon Populationby Envrionmental Resource Center
Idaho Mountain Express, August 19, 1998
Recently, the breaching of four dams on the Lower Snake River has been supported by dozens of citizen groups and newspapers. The dams kill young salmon as the fish move through power turbines, in bypass systems and on barges used to transport them around the dams. If this killiing continues, the salmon will eventually disappear. Breaching these dams, which currently provide barge navigation and small amounts of hydroelectricity, would restore the salmon populations in Idaho.
Some of the benefits of removing the dams include a reemergence of the commercial and sport fishing industry within Idaho's economy, the removal of salmon on the endangered Species Act list, and the preservation of water formerly sent out of Idaho to transport salmon to the sea. The replenshing of salmo also means a replensihing of the nutrients to Idaho forests, a process which occurs when spawning salmon bring these nutrients back from the ocean and release them after death.
The long term plan for removal of the dams must include reinvestment into the port citites that currently rely economically on them. However, proper planning will ensure that breaching the dams now will bnefit everyone later.
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