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Commentaries and editorials

Dams Devastate Salmon Runs

by Joel Kawahara
The Oregonian, June 8(?), 2005

U.S. District Judge James Redden's decision to toss out the third federal salmon plan in a row ("Judge rips federal salmon plan," May 27) may be a godsend [for me,] as a commercial fisherman in Washington state -- but only if Congress takes it cue.

For more than a decade, the federal government has ignored good science and sound economics in order to defend four outdated, wasteful dams. These dams have devastated healthy, valuable runs of wild salmon and the commercial, recreational and tribal economies that have traditionally depended upon them.

Hopefully Judge Redden's ruling will get Congress' attention.

We need leadership from our Northwest congressional delegation members to craft an effective political solution that will remove these four dams, restore healthy salmon runs, save taxpayer dollars, rebuild our fishing communities and keep local communities whole.

In the meantime, I'm headed to Alaska, where effective habitat protection and fisheries management mean a healthy salmon economy. I look forward to the time when I can practice my trade locally once again.

Joel Kawahara, Quilcene, Wash.
Dams Devastate Salmon Runs
The Oregonian, June 8(?), 2005

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