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Commentaries and editorials

Dam Removal

by Lacy Gray, August 21, 2012

20 years ago, Lonesome Larry was the only sockeye salmon to make the 800-mile trip from the Pacific Ocean to Redfish Lake, once a popular spawning area for salmon. On August 15th the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing in Pasco on H.R. 6247, cited as the "Saving Our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act". Doc Hastings, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman and congressman who introduced the bill heard testimony from several witnesses on the benefits of dams, including Kara Rowe from the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, and Chris Voigt from the Washington State Potato Commission. H.R. 6247 declares hydropower a renewable source of energy. Highlights of the bill include establishing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and blocking imposition of the "Chu Memo", which could force power rate increases by BPA and other power marketing administrations.

As the debate over dam removal in Washington state continues to rage on even school children entered the fray, as teachers earlier this year had them researching the different stakeholder interest groups. Students studied the positions held by environmentalists, eastern Washington farmers, hydroelectric companies, and sport and commercial fishermen on the impact of the Dam Removal Project. Ericha Anderson, a teacher at Chinook Elementary in Vancouver, talks about the purpose behind just such a study project with her class.

ANDERSON: With the Snake River Dam Removal Project our biggest focus was getting the students to move beyond reproducing information and to move into that higher level of thinking.

This project really required them to evaluate the information and reason critically as they develop a deeper understanding of the different stakeholders and their positions on the issue.

I'm Lacy Gray and that's Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

Related Pages: Count the Fish

Lacy Gray
Dam Removal <-- Listen at original site., August 21, 2012

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