'Dam Stupid'by David L. Anderson, Wildlife Biologist, Boise
Boise Weekly - November 4, 1999
I was totally insulted by the full-page advertisement on the back page of your Oct. 21 issue. Rather than "dam tough," I think the header of the ad should have been "dam stupid." This ad is nothing but a sham lie from economic parties in Lewiston.
To insinuate that the mere quality of a barge is somehow superior to the natural processes under shich salmon have evolved for tens of thousands of years simply insults the intelligence of your readers. However, it is the headline at the bottom claiming that 98 percent of smolts survive barging that angers me most.
Who is stupid enough to believe that the capture and transport of juvenile salmon is not stressful in and of itself? Who believes that all those smolts leaving the barge are still alive the day or week after? How do the leaders of Lewiston explain that 0 percent of the smolts that leave the barge alive return to Idaho to spawn? Lets get the facts straight and leave the lies behind once and for all.
Idaho salmon runs all declined to near extinction at the same time the four Lower Snake River dams were built in the 1970s. After 30 years of barging, salmon runs have not improved and remain on the verge of extinction.
Every biologist in the Pacific Northwest has agreed that the most likely solution to save Idaho salmon is to breach the dams, and that the continued barging of smolts is not likely to save our salmon.
My question is, What does the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce fear from wild salmon? Apparently they doubt that this great country that put men on the moon can ship wheat to Pasco and Portland without a dammed river as a conduit. I say, damn the barges not the salmon. And in the future please do not print this insulting gibberish in your paper.
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