the film
Commentaries and editorials

Snake Dam Removal
a Poor Choice

by Roger S. Knutson
The Oregonian, December 13, 2023

SARs for Wild Chinook Salmon vary markedly with the number of dams and reservoirs that the various runs encounter (source graphic: Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho). I am sympathetic to the argument by U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) against removing the Snake River dams, ("Leaked document says US is willing to build energy projects in case Snake River dams are breached," Dec. 1). Those dams store water that can be released to provide much needed non-polluting energy and other benefits. The reservoirs behind dams are valued because they allow dam operators to produce energy at the time of maximum need, unlike solar and wind power.

I question the logic of spending billions of dollars to remove the Snake River dams without an extensive study of the benefits and cost. It is unlikely the vast salmon runs of pioneer days will ever be seen again because of environmental damage in drainage basins from logging, paving and pollution. Additionally. the ocean has been polluted from plastics, chemicals, waste material and the looming threat of global warming from climate change. Fish would receive more benefit if the billions for proposed dam removal were instead spent fighting global warming.

The dam removal projects on the Elwha and Klamath Rivers are very different and may prove worthwhile.

Related Sites:
Leaked Document of 11/2/23 and letter to President by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Left in the Dark: Examining the Biden Administration's Efforts to Eliminate the Pacific Northwest's Clean Energy Production House Committee on Natural Resources, 12/13/23

Roger S. Knutson, Lake Oswego
Snake Dam Removal a Poor Choice
The Oregonian, December 13, 2023

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