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Opposing Dam Breaching in Idaho is Silly.
We Gain Nothing from the Snake River Dams

by David Cannamela
Idaho Statesman, February 26, 2024

Graphic: Returns of wild adult salmon and steelhead originating in the Snake River Basin through 2021. Idaho losing out on Snake River dams

Any effort by any Idahoans to prevent restoration of the lower Snake River (via dam removal) is misguided, misinformed and visionless. Those four dams provide two things for some Idahoans: electricity and shipping from the Port of Lewiston, both of which can be replaced.

No Idahoans get irrigation water out of the lower Snake and the dams provide no flood control. Meanwhile, for most Idahoans, Americans at large, and especially Native Americans, the losses caused by those dams far outweigh the gains: gone are the social, cultural, economic and biological gifts of what was once among the most productive salmon, steelhead and lamprey runs on the planet. The system, including the POL, is funded, including subsidies, by us.

In essence, we have funded our own impoverishment, moreover, with no good reason. Because we’re picking up the tab, we should put our money to good use. Why not fund replacement of the services the dams provide so that we can have it both ways. Idahoans, please ask yourselves; “What is my vision of Idaho for future generations?” Does it include the health, wealth, beauty, resilience, sustainability, productivity and richness of a restored Columbia-Snake River/ocean ecosystem, or is it something much, much less?

David Cannamela, Boise
Opposing Dam Breaching in Idaho is Silly. We Gain Nothing from the Snake River Dams
Idaho Statesman, February 26, 2024

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