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Commentaries and editorials

Costly Snake Dams

by Brenda Bielke
The Idaho Statesman, January 6, 2004

Referencing Evan Merrell´s letter about the four lower Snake River dams (Dec. 22), he is correct, on one point, they are very expensive.

Those dams are very high cost with low value. They produce very little electricity during the time of year when we need it most — low value. They do support high-cost navigation (to us taxpayers) that can be replaced with affordable rail to farmers and other shippers. Potlatch is moving most of its Pacific Rim exports to the Seattle area via truck and rail.

Because of sediment accumulation at the mouth of the Clearwater River, Lower Granite Dam has created a potential flooding problem for Lewiston. The Corps of Engineers´ answer to floods is raising the existing levee system — high cost.

Lower Snake River dam removal is the best opportunity to recover Idaho´s salmon and steelhead — a high-value resource to the state of Idaho.

Brenda Bielke, Boise
Costly Snake Dams
The Idaho Statesman, January 6, 2004

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