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Bentz Could Help
Native Salmon

by Paulette Wittwer
The Oregonian, December 26, 2023

SARs for Wild Chinook Salmon vary markedly with the number of dams and reservoirs that the various runs encounter (source graphic: Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho). We're at a turning point in the Pacific Northwest regarding our native salmon. We either act soon to save them or they will be gone. According to many scientists, the best answer is to provide them with their former cool, pristine spawning grounds on the lower Snake River, currently filled with a series of four aging dams that the salmon must navigate, ("Conservationists, tribes say deal with Biden administration is a road map to breach Snake River dams," Dec. 15).

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz is in a position to help. He's on the U.S. House Water, Wildlife and Fisheries subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee. It seems that Bentz, with a responsibility toward our national fisheries, could use his influence to address the shocking impending loss of our native salmon.

To the contrary. Bentz has organized hearings on the Snake River with a focus on keeping the dams. He obviously sees his role as protector of the dams, using fear tactics about energy costs without them and conspiracy implications pointed at the Biden Administration.

This is so frustratingly typical of our current politics. Rather than working together for solutions, too often our leaders are oppositional. Instead of taking sides, Bentz could use his leadership to support collaboration and even compromise on the goal of protecting our salmon while providing clean, affordable energy that doesn't kill the fish. I believe a majority of Oregonians would vote for that.

Paulette Wittwer, Portland
Bentz Could Help Native Salmon
The Oregonian, December 26, 2023

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