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Commentaries and editorials

Dams are Great Obstacle

by Richard Kennon
The Columbian, June 6, 2006

With his May 30 column, "Breaching Snake Dams Will Hurt Economy," Don Brunell of the Association of Washington Businesses again ignores the facts and misleads the public. Despite his exhaustive efforts to fingerpoint at every other possible culprit, the lower Snake River dams remain among our salmon and steelhead's greatest obstacles in the Columbia basin.

The federal government's own documents state clearly that in the Columbia basin, dams can kill up to 92 percent of young salmon migrating to the Pacific Ocean. There is nothing fuzzy about this math.

These same federal documents also state in equally clear terms that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams will provide the "a huge benefit" to these listed stocks when compared any other "recovery measure."

Our region and our country will never protect nor restore these salmon populations from extinction with the four high-cost, low-value dams in place.

And as long as our elected leaders continue to stick their collective heads in the sand, we will continue to waste billions of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars and have very little to show for it. Ignoring the advice of scientists comes with a very high price tag.

We need leadership in the region to bring people together and solve these problems. Six billion-plus dollars proposed, not one salmon is yet recovered.

Richard Kennon, Yacolt
Dams are Great Obstacle
The Columbian, June 6, 2006

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