the film
Commentaries and editorials

Governors for All in this
Salmon vs. Humans Struggle

by Editors
Idaho Press, June 16, 2003

Summary: Breaching dams will cause more problems in Pacific Northwest.

There are plenty of views on the salmon recovery plan, but we endorse the plan that four Northwest governors reaffirmed last week in Boise.

The quartet met in Boise Thursday and reaffirmed their stand: Leave the four multiple-use dams in Washington -- Ice Harbor Dam, Lower Monumental Dam, Little Goose Dam, and Lower Granite Dam -- intact.

Those governors -- Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, Washington Gov. Gary Locke, Montana Gov. Judy Martz and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski -- say the four lower Snake River dams should not be breached to recover the wild fish in the Snake and Columbia rivers.

They want to continue to find ways to gradually improve spawning habitat and hatcheries.

The Pacific Northwest's wild salmon didn't become endangered overnight -- and the recovery won't happen overnight either.

A month ago, the judge said the governors' plan adopted in 2000 fails to meet Endangered Species Act requirements. He ordered a rewrite and wants the hydroelectric dam operations adjusted.

In short, come up with a plan that shows more results or breach the dams.

Never mind that breaching could destroy:

Who do you think is representing your best interests? The judge who doesn't care what happens if the dams are breached? Or the governors who have taken a five-H approach that says:

Recovery involves the entire life cycle of fish, requiring efforts across "all H's" -- habitat, hydroelectric system, harvest and hatcheries -- along with a fifth "H", for humans.

Where are the humans in the judge's plan?

And what happens if future judges decide more dams should go?

We must balance the wildlife and humans.

Governors for All in this Salmon vs. Humans Struggle
Idaho Press, June 16, 2003

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