by Brett Haverstick
... the information currently being presented at these public meetings is not offering citizens
enough facts about the costs-benefits of the dams and their reservoirs.
I am greatly disappointed in the court-ordered information meetings currently being held by federal agencies regarding the future of the four lower Snake River dams. While attendance was high in both Spokane and Lewiston, public turnout could have been higher if they were scheduled well after the presidential election and the holiday season.
A number of communities, in both Idaho and Oregon, are surprisingly not scheduled to have public meetings, despite being greatly affected by the continued operation of the lower Snake dams. Kamiah or Kooskia are logical choices, as well as Grangeville or Riggins. What about Salmon or Stanley? There isn't one single meeting scheduled for eastern Oregon. All these places have anadromous fisheries important to their economy.
Federal Judge Michael Simon ordered agencies to take a serious look at breaching the dams, and yet, the information currently being presented at these public meetings is not offering citizens enough facts about the costs-benefits of the dams and their reservoirs. The federal government is, instead, burying the issue in a larger public scoping process that looks at the vast Columbia River System Operations and its 14 dams in total. Our communities deserve better.
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