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by Terry Flores
Re: "There's good news and bad news for Northwest's salmon" (Viewpoint, 9-22).
We agree with Bill Arthur and Sara Patton that this year's record run of adult fall chinook is great news for the fish and for all of us who treasure the Columbia and Snake rivers. But we disagree that there is "bad" news.
This is the largest return of fall chinook since counting began at Bonneville Dam in 1939. It is proof that the restoration effort by federal and state agencies and tribes -- as well as the families and businesses shouldering the costs -- is paying off, aided by good ocean conditions.
Yet conservation and commercial fishing groups have indicated once again that they will challenge in court the federal salmon plan that is the foundation for all this progress. The plan itself, they say, will force them to litigate. Why? Because the plan does not call for removal of the Snake River dams.
This myopic attitude is discouraging because only an act of Congress can remove the dams, an unlikely prospect given the irreplaceable benefits the dams bring -- including the irrigation, trade and commerce that underpin our economy.
Northwest residents support a balance between helping salmon and sustaining our economy and quality of life. That's exactly what we have with achieved with this salmon plan, and the fall chinook returns help bear that out. Both are worth celebrating.
There's Good News and Bad News for Northwest's Salmon by Bill Arthur & Sara Patton, Tacoma News Tribune, 9/22/13
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