Stanley Resolution is a Lesson
by Editorial Board
Let's Hear it for the Stanley City Council.
The council last week went on record supporting a new, objective study of breaching four lower Snake River dams in Washington state. The council's resolution should be required reading for fellow elected officials - especially Gov. Butch Otter and Idaho's congressional delegation - who don't even want to talk about breaching.
Stanley officials do. And yes, it is their business.
As their resolution notes, wild salmon are a missing piece of Stanley's summer recreation portfolio. "Local sport fishing for salmon has been suspended since 1978, to the detriment of local economic development, jobs, families and communities."
The problem isn't upstream habitat, such as the pristine Salmon River that bisects this community of 96 people. Instead, it's "the degraded condition of downriver habitat and migratory conditions."
That's why the Stanley council wants to focus attention where it belongs - downriver. That's why the council supports a House bill to require the feds' General Accounting Office to study how breaching would affect jobs, irrigation, transportation and energy. The bill has 63 House sponsors. Reps. Mike Simpson and Bill Sali have refused to sign on, even though Idaho stands to benefit the most from a fresh look at breaching.
As the saying goes, all politics is local. Downriver, local backers tout the dams' replaceable benefits, such as slackwater shipping and power generation. Upriver, communities such as Stanley pay the price, lament the loss of their salmon and deliver a message casually ignored by Simpson and Sali.
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