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Commentaries and editorials

Simpson Must Act Now to
Breach the Four Lower Snake Dams

by Shiva Rajbhandari
Idaho Press, January 7, 2021

Graphic: Snake River Steelhead have triggered the Early Warning Indicator of the Federal Columbia River Power System's 2014 Supplemental Biological Opinion So Republicans don't have control of the federal government. Congressman Simpson might as well sit tight for the next two years and do nothing. But wait, what's that? Idaho's renowned Sockeye, Chinook, and Steelhead, keystone species for the Snake River ecosystem, can't wait two years? By then the wild fish, which once returned in the millions to their Idaho spawning grounds, literally painting the streams streaks of red and silver, fertilizing our forests, and feeding our birds of prey, will be dammed to extinction? Idaho will miss out on what could be a $500 million fish and game economy, while the Bonneville Power Administration goes bankrupt anyway?

Simpson must act now to breach the four Lower Snake dams and save our wild salmon and steelhead. He must reach across the aisle, both within Congress and to our neighboring Governors Brown and Inslee (who are already onboard), get the pointless and costly dams replaced with cheap, clean energy, and bring our fish back from the brink.

I'm a Sophomore at Boise High. For kids like me, seeing this essential part of our ecosystems perish is disheartening to say the least. For generations, Idahoans, like my grandpa, have brought their families to fish these tributary streams, reconnect with the wilderness, and make a living. It is unfair that I, and the generations that follow me, get no say in the wellbeing of our ecosystems. Without Congressman Simpson's prompt action, we will be denied the Idahoan legacy of world-famous fishing with our children and grandchildren. Our hometown hockey team, will, like everything else in the state, be renamed after potatoes. Idaho will lose a real treasure.

I urge those reading to write to Congressman Simpson and ask that he act to breach the four Lower Snake River dams and save our beloved fish.

Shiva Rajbhandari, Boise
Simpson Must Act Now to Breach the Four Lower Snake Dams
Idaho Press, January 7, 2021

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