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Commentaries and editorials

Breach Dworshak?

by Phil Wright
Lewiston Tribune, June 1, 2005

I've read many letters over the years in support of dam breaching, but the one printed March 13 (Larry McLaud) leaves one wondering. No one could in any way seriously be thinking of breaching Dworshak Dam could they? I've never even heard it proposed, most likely because anybody in his right mind would never even consider it.

Why not breach Dworshak Dam? For the very same reason we shouldn't breach any of the lower Snake River dams. Of course if they had it their way we'd remove all dams on the Columbia/Snake river complex and magically the salmon/steelhead runs would be restored, voila, economic good times return. As John Stossel says, "Give me a break!"

We've heard all the arguments on both sides of dam breaching. Both sides throw their predictable arguments into the fray, but one that rarely gets mentioned is what is going to happen to all the silt that has been laid down over the years. Think of the amount of silt behind the following dams: Ice Harbor, filled in 1962; Lower Monumental, in 1969; Little Goose, in 1970; Dworshak, in 1973; and finally Lower Granite, in 1975. There is between 30 and 43 years of silt built up behind these dams, folks. When they are breached just what do you think is going to happens to all that silt?

This has not, and I believe will not be addressed by the proponents of dam breaching because the logical answer will destroy their argument. No amount of bank stabilization will hold any of it in place, so as the annual uncontrolled floods inevitably occur silt will be washed into the river, choking up things down river and killing the very fish they are striving to save. ...

Phil Wright, Lewiston
Breach Dworshak?
Lewiston Tribune, June 1, 2005

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