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Commentaries and editorials

Dam Removal is Wrong

by Robert Neal
The Columbian, November 3, 2006

Removal of the Snake River dams is the wrong approach. It might make sense if Snake River fish were the only ones endangered, but they make up less than a third of the endangered fish in the Pacific Northwest. At least one coastal run with no dams and pristine habitat is also threatened. Snake River dams responsible? Seems unlikely. If the Snake River dams are removed, it will do nothing for the rest of the endangered runs.

If the Snake runs are in such danger of extinction that we have to remove the dams, why has the large increase in harvest over the past few years been allowed? Why is the current 25 to 40 percent harvest rate of endangered Snake River fish allowed? Why is this year's Snake River fall chinook run above the 10-year average, and why is it far above the 30-year average? Also, why do people need to quote 20-year-old statistics to prove how bad the dams are? Why do dams preferentially kill fish that taste good?

These questions need answers before we think about removing a valuable resource that keeps millions of tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere each year.

Robert Neal
Dam Removal is Wrong
The Columbian, November 3, 2006

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