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Commentaries and editorials

Find Dry-land Power

by Reed Burkholder
Letters, Idaho Statesman, July 5, 2002

Several hundred chinook salmon from an Idaho Power “mitigation” hatchery were released into the Boise River recently (The Idaho Statesman, June 27). What a contrast this is to the pre-dam era when thousands of wild salmon used to fill the Boise drainage.

Let´s rethink hydropower.

Brownlee Dam, owned by Idaho Power, exterminated the salmon and steelhead runs that used to pass upstream to the Boise River. Additionally, Brownlee Dam destroyed 58 miles of the Snake River and suffocated 15,000 acres with its reservoir.

One newer technology, the gas turbine, can generate the same amount of power as Brownlee Dam on 14 acres of cheatgrass desert. Another new technology, modern wind turbines, can generate the same amount of power on 450 acres of windy ridgelines.

I suggest that these modern, dry-land technologies may be more appropriate for the West than hydropower dams.

Reed Burkholder, Boise
Find Dry-land Power
Idaho Statesman, July 5, 2002

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