Let's Seek Creative Solutions
by Wendy McDermott
For more than 20 years, the conversation surrounding recovering wild salmon and steelhead runs and the possible removal of the four lower Snake River dams has been stuck in tired frames: environment vs. economy. Urban vs. rural. Enough.
Salmon and orca populations are sliding toward extinction. Our region is facing real decisions when it comes to the future of our energy, our economy and our climate. It's time for creative solutions. This is precisely why a stakeholder forum such as the one recommended by Gov. Jay Inslee's Southern Resident Orca Whale Recovery Task Force is needed. It's time to bring together Washington's residents to have a conversation.
Should it be determined that it's time for the lower Snake dams to be removed, then communities must have the opportunity to collaboratively develop a transition plan to ensure the region's needs will continue to be met. We can work together to ensure federal and state investments would replace the dams' benefits, and help impacted individuals and communities.
We must insist that the people who depend on the lower Snake River have a say in its future. We must insist on a path forward that works for salmon and people.
After 20 Years and $1 Billion Spent on Washington State Salmon Programs, Fish Still Declining by Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times, 1/17/19
Orca Survival May Be Impossible without Lower Snake River Dam Removal, Scientists Say by Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times, 10/15/18
Delisting of Snake River Fall Chinook Rejected by Laura Berg, NW Fishletter, June 2016
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