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Commentaries and editorials

Dam Alternatives

by Steve Siler
The Daily Astorian, October 9, 2009

Recovering salmon is challenging because there is so much at stake. Our ecosystem, our economy and our energy sources are all affected. But I'd like to think the Northwest is up to the challenge. Unfortunately, aside from vague contingency measures for fish, the Obama administration's latest salmon plan for the Columbia River basin provides the same cynical road map for treading water on recovering wild salmon. Communities that depend on this resource will continue to lose out.

The Sept. 21 editorial ("Don't wait for transformation," The Daily Astorian) is right to add another huge wrinkle: the dramatic effect climate change poses for the Northwest. In light of this threat, why not provide salmon a renewed corridor through the Snake River basin, which houses the best habitat in the continental U.S. and once produced half of the salmon in the entire Columbia watershed? Let's explore alternatives to the low-value dams on the Snake River now, not some distant future.

Steve Siler, Astoria
Dam Alternatives
The Daily Astorian, October 9, 2009

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