Wide Support for Dam Removal
by Michael Garrity
The Spokesman-Review, September 25, 2009
We were surprised that your editorial ("Habitat plan safeguards dams as well as salmon," Sept. 20) singled out our organization, of all the groups fighting for a scientifically and economically rational salmon recovery plan, as the entity that "most harshly" criticized the Obama administration for adopting a Bush-era salmon plan for the Columbia and Snake rivers with only minor tweaks. We are hardly alone in criticizing the plan as insufficient. The state of Oregon, the Nez Perce and Spokane tribes and a long list of conservation, commercial and sport-fishing and taxpayer groups agree that the actions laid out in the salmon plan are unlikely to ensure the survival, let alone recovery, of key Columbia-Snake Basin salmon and steelhead runs.
Years of studies show that a carefully, collaboratively crafted plan to remove the four lower Snake dams and replace their benefits could be a "win-win" for salmon, jobs, energy, transportation and the Inland Northwest's quality of life. Unfortunately, the salmon plan doesn't even call for preparing a dam removal plan as a safety net action except as a very last resort. By the time the safety net could be stitched together, salmon runs may already have hit the pavement.
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