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Commentaries and editorials

Food for Thought on Snake River

by Dave Darlow
Seattle Times, September 30, 2009

It's hard to realize that people are so nearsighted about the Snake River dams that they place the fish above all else ["A Northwest salmon plan," Opinion, Sept. 22].

These people should do away with all motorized vehicles, and go back to horse and carriage.

Let's look at the logistics of a total-dam removal, as I see it: Loss of hydropower, billions of dollars for removal, millions of cubic yards of silt covering the bays, millions of irrigated crop-producing acreage going back to sage brush and scab rock, thousands of crop workers not needed, port facilities abandoned, and lastly parks and boating facilities along the Snake River would be abandoned because the water would be far too low.

The few crop producers left would need to transport everything by truck or rail to the Tri-Cities but if you remember, most rail lines were removed when barge traffic went clear to Lewiston.

Fishing would mostly be from bridges or shores because water current and water depth would make boat fishing allowable in only a limited amount of the free-flowing river in the late fall.

Just some food for thought that to allow a few people to catch a dozen fish or so would increase the cost of imported produce and supplies forever.

Related Pages:
Irrigation from 4 Lower Snake Reservoirs Fact Sheet 1993 by Reed Burkholder
Addressing Irrigators' Concerns Public Testimony at Pasco WA by BlueFish

Elsewhere on the net, bluefish finds the following: Risk Takers, Spokesman-Review 9/19/82

Dave Darlow, 44, is a commercial diver who works in the darkness and solitude of rivers and lakes.

His work often takes him to depths 100 to 230 feet beneath the water's surface, where he has worked on nearly every major dam in the Northwest.

His tools are electric torches, powerful debris vacuums and sometimes explosives, all of which can be tricky to work with in total darkness.

"Fear and panic is the greatest danger to a diver," he says. "Five seconds of panic and there is a 50 percent chance you'll be dead. Like an astronaut coming in for a landing, you don't have time to panic."

Dave Darlow, Spokane
Food for Thought on Snake River
Seattle Times, September 30, 2009

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