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Commentaries and editorials

Salmon and Water

by John Heimer
Letters, The Idaho Statesman, November 5, 2003

I have followed with interest the controversies regarding salmon and irrigation water. I would like to compliment Sen. Mike Crapo for bringing opposing interests together to solve a contentious problem. It seems that emotion has become a large part of this debate, as irrigation interests have indicated they won´t compromise. They claim that if they did, all of Southern Idaho would again become a desert, and its entire economy would falter. I feel this is a scare tactic on the part of irrigation interests and that we indeed can have both irrigation water and salmon.

Instead of drawing a line in the sand, irrigation interests could come to the table in good faith and attempt to find workable solutions to this problem. Salmon, like farm crops, need water. They also need unrestrictive upstream and downstream passage. A very high majority of professional fishery biologists have agreed that the best way to restore salmon runs in Idaho would be to remove dams on the Snake River downstream.

Through open dialogue and meaningful give-and-take discussions which result in on-the-ground actions, interest groups can reach common ground to support both fish and irrigation.

John Heimer, Boise
Salmon and Water
The Idaho Statesman, November 5, 2003

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