I challenge any individual, group or organization to provide answers to the following questions about anadromous fish:
There are undoubtedly other questions that need to be answered before any decision as drastic as removing the four lower Snake River dams can be considered. However, without specific answers to these seven questions such a radical option should not even be allowed at the table.
- What, specifically, is the "genetic" difference between so-called wild fish and hatchery reared fish?
- If a genetic difference does exist between hatchery and wild fish will the offspring of hatchery fish, spawned in the wild, be wild or hatchery, genetically?
- If a specific genetic difference can be demonstrated, between hatchery and wild fish, is it significant enough to risk destroying the existing economic infrastructure of the area to preserve?
- If the four lower Snake River dams were breached can you assure the people of the region it would result in the return of satisfactory numbers of "genetically wild" fish?
- How would siltation, resulting from breaching the four dams, affect anadromous fish runs in the near future and in the long term?
- What economic stake does the environmental community have at risk if the dams are breached?
- Is the real motivation of the self- proclaimed environmental movement to protect and restore genetically wild fish runs or to breach the four lower Snake River dams?
Dick Sherwin, Clarkston
Lewiston Tribune, June 29, 2003
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