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Commentaries and editorials

We Want Salmon and Steelhead Recovered

by Joseph Bogaard
The News Tribune, May 4, 2005

Salmon and fishing advocates are not working to remove the four lower Snake River dams ĺ─˙to make a political statementĺ─¨ (editorial, 5-2). We want salmon and steelhead recovered to self-sustaining, harvestable populations that can again support a healthy, stable salmon economy in the Northwest.

A diverse coalition of commercial and recreational fishing businesses, conservationists, clean energy advocates, fiscal conservatives, scientists, and citizens recognize removing these four dams as the most-effective, least-cost path to restoring Columbia Basin salmon.

While we work towards this long-term solution, we have also fought to protect salmon from federal dam managers almost every year since 1991 when the fish were recognized as endangered. Last year, we took the administration to court to protect spilling water for migrating juvenile salmon on the Columbia-Snake River dams. And we won.

We all have a responsibility to protect and enhance our unique Northwest way of life. This includes stable jobs, good fishing, abundant salmon, healthy food, and places in the outdoors for our families to enjoy.

Today, however, the federal government defends four low-value dams that limit our jobs, fishing and recreation. It wastes billions of taxpayer dollars while these dams extinguish the salmon which are vital to the balance of nature that our region has relied on for centuries.

These dams are a drain on our resources. We can efficiently replace the meager services they provide. We cannot, however, replace the salmon - nor the jobs and cultures that they support - if these costly dams remain in place.

Related Pages:
Survival of Downstream Migration data from NOAA Fisheries, 12/21/00

Joseph Bogaard, West Coast field representative Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition Seattle
We Want Salmon and Steelhead Recovered
The News Tribune, May 4, 2005

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