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Commentaries and editorials

Seattle Has a Strong Connection to Snake Dams

by Elise Richman
The Seattle Times, July 27, 2003

Whatever else members of the Seattle City Council may be guilty of, they deserve a break over their undeservedly infamous resolution supporting the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. No fewer than three P-I opinion pieces last week used this resolution as an example of left-wing council members poking their nose in others' business.

The fact is, the salmon-killing lower Snake dams are the business of the residents of Seattle and every Northwesterner who uses the power these dams produce. Seattle City Light is a major customer of the Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the electricity from the federal dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers. Removing the lower Snake dams (not the larger Columbia River dams) is thought by many fisheries biologists to be a necessary part of any plan to restore sustainable and harvestable runs of wild salmon and steelhead to prime habitat in the Snake River Basin.

The council looked at the well-documented costs and (replaceable) benefits of these dams, and decided that the Pacific Northwest as a whole could do at least as well without them. I encourage the council's continued engagement in this and other issues of regional importance.

Elise Richman, Seattle
Seattle Has a Strong Connection to Snake Dams
The Seattle Times, July 27, 2003

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