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Commentaries and editorials

Best Fishing Chance

by Jeff Barney
Boise Weekly, January 20, 2000

Like it or not, for whatever reason the extraction industries based in the Pacific Northwest are on the decline. The small communities reliant on logging and mining are in a state of transition and, in order to remain economically viable, must seek other activities to replace lost jobs and revenue.

Fortunately for many states and communities, the solutions to these economic puzzles can be drawn from the very same natural-resources base that has sustained them in years past, albeit in different ways.

For example, recent studies have shown that the return of harvestable populations of salmon to Idaho would provide a definite financial return to Idaho's rural riverside communities, with more than $71 million in direct annual revenues and 2,100 Idaho jobs, 700 of which would remain in these small towns. Currently between $5 million and $8 million is lost annually due to resident and non-resident salmon fishermen leaving Idaho to fish elsewhere.

Bypassing the four Lower Snake dams is the best chance the fish, fishermen, and Idaho economy have for success.

Jeff Barney
Best Fishing Chance
Boise Weekly, January 20, 2000

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