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Before the Dams

by Mark Edelblute
Lewiston Tribune, March 20, 2022

Graphic: Recent Downriver Grain Shipments on the Snake River (2000 - 2019) I grew up here in the '50s and '60s. It's unfortunate that people who did not grow up here have failed to learn what things were like before the dams.

In the first place, almost all the grain was shipped by rail, not by trucks.

Not only that, but when the locks are shut down for maintenance, nothing goes up or down.

Second, there was as much boating on the Snake River then as now -- maybe even more -- and that was almost exclusively with prop boats. People fished, they skied, they swam in clean water from beautiful white sand beaches, that were not fouled by silt and goose poop.

In addition, thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we have lost access to our rivers.

There were at least four privately owned marinas between the blue bridge and Asotin where people could moor their boats without having to take them home every night.

These are just a few of the things this valley has lost. The Army Corps might not even have to drain Dworshak in July and August, which leaves all the campsites high and dry.

I am amazed the Clearwater County commissioners came out against dam removal considering how much that area depends on recreation. Maybe people should educate themselves and read Congressman Mike Simpson's proposal before they go off half-cocked and make false statements.

Mark Edelblute, Lewiston
Before the Dams
Lewiston Tribune, March 20, 2022

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