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Commentaries and editorials

Dungeness Runs Decline; No Dams

by Michael Doenges
Tri-City Herald, September 6, 2022

Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee think that removing dams
on the Snake River will improve salmon recovery.

In retrospect, the number of returning adult salmon was relatively level from 1938 through 1990.  The precipitous loss of returning chinook entering the Snake River (Figure 20) accounts for a major share of the decline that has occurred in total return to the Columbia -- Artificial Production Review, NW Power & Conservation Council Recently, I visited the Olympic Peninsula. Reading through the visitors guide, I discovered the following information:

"DUNGENESS RIVER -- The Dungeness River flows through the Sequim-Dungeness Valley and begins high in the Olympic Mountains near Mystery Mountain, flowing into Dungeness Bay on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

"SALMON ON THE RIVER -- Used throughout the year at different times and by different species for migration, rearing and spawning, the river and its associated tributaries have historically supported populations of pink, chinook, coho and chum salmon.

"It is especially important for its population of pink salmon that is unique in the Puget Sound area. The population of pink salmon is entirely native wild stock with no hatchery influence. Its numbers are unfortunately on the decline.

"The chinook population has also decreased and is considered to be severely depressed." Why do the tribes, Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee think that removing dams on the Snake River will improve salmon recovery when the salmon runs are already "on the decline" and "severely depressed" in a free-flowing river with no dams? Where's the science behind that?


The Make America Great Again movement is the greatest threat to our democracy that we've seen in my lifetime. MAGA tried to violently overturn the 2020 presidential election and is positioning itself to control future national elections. MAGA idolizes Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban who has shown how democratic processes can be used to gain power and then subverted to retain power. MAGA has stacked the Supreme Court and is using its leverage in Red states to come after American freedoms. MAGA is calling for violence against the FBI for doing its duty in dealing with Trump's mishandling of documents. We need to send Doug White to Congress. Born and raised a Yakima farmer, years of experience in international business and project development, and innate intelligence and energy make him an exceptional candidate. Most importantly, though, Doug is the antidote to MAGA. Imagine the national shock waves when Washington's Fourth Congressional District sends a Democrat to Congress in a resounding rejection of the extremism that afflicts today's Republican Party!

Other than his vote to impeach Trump, Dan Newhouse has been a MAGA doormat. He adheres to the movement's dictates on all issues even though it's not clear that his obedience will be rewarded at the polls. Saber rattling and a stream of legislative activities that have no chance of going anywhere are all we get from Dan. The point is to convince us he's productive, but let's not be fooled.

Greg Carl, Richland


Harvard research shows downwind of large wind farms the average annual local temperature rise is 1.5-2.0 C or 3-4 degrees F. Since this is average, then when the wind turbines are turning the local temperature is higher … 5, 7, 8 degrees. No one knows as there is no research outside of the perimeter of the wind farms. There is no research downwind of large wind farms on diversified agriculture like wine grapes, orchards and irrigated broadleaf crops and plants.

Gobi Desert sites increased temperatures, as Harvard reports, by 3-4 degree temp rise annual local average increase. Other concerns for Agriculture below large wind farms are increased fluctuation of wind turbulence and increased fluctuation of air movement and changes to weather patterns. Also a reduction in moisture was observed. How could this impact diversified agriculture? Since temperature increases are mostly at night, can this make it 6-8 degrees warmer to pick cherries? Delayed picking? Overripe fruit with delayed picking? Can increased temperature delay sugar content in orchards and vineyards! Push bud break in the spring? Cause more frost control? Delay fall grape picking, pushing harvest into frost? Man-made nature adding problems to Mother Nature. Think out of the box!

Margaret Hue, Kennewick

Michael Doenges, Kennewick
Dungeness Runs Decline; No Dams
Tri-City Herald, September 6, 2022

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