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Choose Fish Over Dams

by Mitch Sanchotena
Lewiston Tribune, February 26, 2022

Lower Snake River dams and salmon cannot co-exist.

The Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness is located in six different national forests plus a relatively tiny portion of land of the Bureau of Land Management. Lower Snake River dams and salmon cannot co-exist.

We know the science. We know the economics. Both have been peer-reviewed by leading experts in their field. Idaho was once the nation's largest producer of spring and summer chinook and steelhead.

Sen. Frank Church recognized this and established the Frank Church/River of No Return and Selway Bitterroot wilderness areas solely for the protection of steelhead and salmon spawning habitat. More than 5,000 miles of pristine habitat await returning adult salmon. What happened?

In 1975, Lower Granite Dam closed its gates. And in 1978, Idaho's last statewide salmon seasons closed.

Returning these fish will provide Lewiston with an opportunity to have a 12-month steelhead and/or salmon season. As a city of two rivers with world-class-size steelhead to catch, anglers will come from around the world.

Lewiston has many excellent guides. Today they must travel throughout the Northwest and Alaska to provide for themselves and families. Sport fishing is good business. We stay in your motels, eat in your restaurants, buy tackle etc., and leave only to return next week or next month.

Grain shippers will continue to ship grain from a new rail port to Pasco to be loaded onto a barge. No gazillion trucks on the highway. J.R Simplot, and the Mormon church (big agri-businesses) will irrigate from a river rather than a dam with lowered pump intakes.

Together we can do this.

"Remember we just inherit our resources from our ancestors, but rather are borrowing them from our children."

Mitch Sanchotena, Nampa
Choose Fish Over Dams
Lewiston Tribune, February 26, 2022

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