the film
Commentaries and editorials

Everyone Wins

by Susan Scully
Lewiston Tribune, April 3, 2022

Graphic: Survival of juvenile salmon from the Washington/Idaho border to beyond Bonneville Dam has averaged around 50% survival.  In other words, half of them die while migrating through the federal hydropower system. Win-lose results are for athletic competitions and card games.

However, in the game of life, we work towards win-win outcomes. Keeping the four federal lower Snake River dams will result in lose-lose situations for Idaho's wild salmon, steelhead and the Lewiston area's economy.

When those four dams were built, it was a recognized fact that the fish population would plummet. Therefore, hatcheries were required to be built.

Since building the dams, wild fish numbers declined, contributing to the loss of our Idaho heritage, local jobs, businesses, affordable recreation and community development.

Lewiston was promised that the dams would improve our economy. But the Lewiston Region II North Central job growth is lowest in the state at 6.2% since 1996, while the five other regions grew 21.7% to 61.8%.

Some people fear farmers' transportation costs and energy costs will rise. But thankfully, that is not accurate. The Columbia Basin Plan and funding leaves no one behind.

Crops can be transported economically on new, modern railway systems.

Avista's energy does not come from those dams.

Also, modern energy sources will bring costs down.

Cruise companies can dock at Pasco and transport tourists (paying up to $7,000) to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley by jet boat, rail or luxury buses. Tourists will stay here longer and eat in local restaurants.

Lewiston will remove most rip-rap and restore sandy beaches and a beautiful waterfront for affordable daily use.

We need the fish, better economy and vibrant community life. It's a win-win.

Susan Scully, Lewiston
Everyone Wins
Lewiston Tribune, April 3, 2022

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