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A Disservice to Washingtonians

by Linwood Laughy
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, October 4, 2019

Adult counts of wild Chinook and Steelhead returning to Idaho (source: Idaho Fish & Game) Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers does her grain-growing constituents a disservice with her recent attack on Governor Inslee's plan to engage Washingtonians in a discussion about the possible impacts of breaching the lower Snake River dams.

Perhaps she still fantasizes about her "record runs" of Snake River salmon and steelhead and continues to believe that reducing the Pacific Northwest's power surplus to 17 percent rather than the present 21 percent will cripple the Pacific Northwest's economy.

McMorris Rodgers states the salmon/orca/dams issues should be decided by science, not politics, yet she ignores completely repeated declarations by dozens of PNW fish scientists that keeping these dams in place will drive Snake River spring/summer Chinook, sockeye, and B-run steelhead to extinction. She criticizes those who favor breaching for representing "special interests." Is she unaware that she herself is representing special interests and is the epitome of someone playing politics?

726,225 individuals have signed a petition calling for lower Snake River dam removal. Pacific coast and Columbia River commercial fishers, PNW sports anglers, outfitters and guides, fish-dependent communities and Native American tribes recognize the need to breach the lower Snake River dams.

A number of groups working to restore Snake River salmon and steelhead have expressed their willingness to work with grain growers to develop alternative means of getting their crops to market. McMorris Rodgers' disinformation campaign likely discourages those farmers from participating in any such problem-solving dialogue.

Linwood Laughy, Moscow
A Disservice to Washingtonians
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, October 4, 2019

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