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Commentaries and editorials

Follow Example of Neighbors in Salmon Recovery

by K. Robert Johnson
The Seattle Times, July 28, 2009

Snake River dams: What would removing them do?
Letters to the Editor

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam is about 10 miles up the Snake River from its confluence with the Columbia. It's among the dams that some suggest should be removed to allow restoration of the river system's natural state. After what I consider nearly two decades of failures, it is hard not to be discouraged about Columbia Basin salmon-recovery efforts. Lance Dickie's column, however, gives me new hope at a time when change really does seem afoot -- except perhaps here in Washington state.

Idaho's senators have expressed support for convening stakeholders to tackle this issue. In Oregon, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Gov. Ted Kulongoski have said the same, and President Obama has recommitted the federal government to science-guided policymaking.

There is, however, a deafening silence coming from our congressional offices here at home. Pulling together the various competing stakeholders around a single table to work together to craft a lawful, effective and responsible recovery plan strikes me as something out of a Politics 101 course.

To Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in particular: We need you on board and as part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Related Pages:
A New Twist in Dam Removal on the Snake River by Lance Dickie, The Seattle Times, 7/23/9
Deja Vu on the Columbia by Paul VanDevelder, Los Angeles Times, 7/25/9
Saving the Columbia and Snake River Salmon by Paul VanDevelder, Los Angeles Times, 7/6/9
The Northwest Salmon Debate by Greg Delwiche, The Seattle Times, 7/2/9

K. Robert Johnson, Renton
Follow Example of Neighbors in Salmon Recovery
The Seattle Times, July 28, 2009

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