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Commentaries and editorials

Hastings Stands Tough on
Dam Breaching Question

by Editorial Board
Tri-City Herald, March 3, 2011

... tearing down any dam on the Snake River puts every other Columbia River system dam at risk.

Washington Rep. Doc Hastings The previous president of the United States, George W. Bush, came out here to declare, with Ice Harbor Dam as a backdrop, that it and others like it would not come down during his presidency.

President Bush is out of office now, but the man who brought him here, U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, is still on the job and still declaring those dams won't come down as long as he can stop their removal.

And with his Republican Party's victories in the House of Representatives in 2010, Hastings has jumped to the chairmanship of the House committee where any destruction or breaching of dams must start.

Hastings said he is concerned that tearing down any dam on the Snake River puts every other Columbia River system dam at risk. Some environmentalists believe that the only way to save endangered fish is to breach dams on the Lower Snake River and it's an option of last resort in the federal salmon recovery plan.

The cry to take down the four dams on the Lower Snake -- all with fish ladders --awhile ignoring dams further upstream in Idaho that have no ladders makes no sense.

But environmental extremists have been trying to pull just such a coup for about the past 15 years.

"Dam breaching is the last resort -- until the first lawsuit," Hastings said.

Hastings says that under current management practices with the dams untouched, fish runs have come back in numbers that haven't been seen since records began being kept in 1938.

Keep the faith, Doc. This board is behind you on this issue.

Comment posted by redfishbluefish:
Your editorial board puzzles me when it writes, "The cry to take down the four dams on the Lower Snake -- all with fish ladders --awhile ignoring dams further upstream in Idaho that have no ladders makes no sense."

First off, Idaho's endangered salmon and steelhead receive a relatively high mortality on their downstream juvenile journey through the reservoirs impounded by the dams (see Fish ladders assist adults on their return yielding impressive survival rates.

Secondly, Idaho's endangered salmon and steelhead adults have no further dams to encounter once above Lewiston, Idaho. These adult fish are heading upstream to spawn in the pristine Salmon River basin, aka. the Frank Church Wilderness where no dams exist.

My bewilderment arises from the choice that either your editorial board is ignorant of these stark facts, or that the editorial board wishes it's readers to be ignorant of such.

To stay current on these issues might I recommend

Comment posted by guilrl:
I can't think of anything that "Doc" (and he is not even PhD material) has done that could be considered noteworthy, since he was elected by the Conservatives who want to protect the Constitution, and yet are destroying all of our Bill of Rights. Doc in my opinon is just a puppet of the Republican Reich who votes according to what they tell him to vote on. I have written many letters to this man, and have never gotten anything back but a nicely written form letter by one of his aides. Instead of initiating something that would benefit this area like building new dams to replace the old aging ones, he comes out on an outdated yet non-issue stance that no one cares about.

Comment posted by citrix_99301:
Wow, Doc Hastings draws a line in the sand on a complete non-issue. It hasn't been since the Clinton years that anyone even talked about this.

Comment posted by Lilith:
Doc favors the mom and apple pie of the dams. Some of the FDR socialism that worked for us all. Wow. News!

Meanwhile, Doc's buddy's keep hiring illegals whom we must support with social services and criminal justice resources, which is a less satisfying socialism with many negative costs for the rest of us.

Doc is just not very useful to the District or to the country. (Sure, Republicans need rubber stamps...but....)

Comment posted by TrueConservative:
If breaching the Dams was the only issue that Hastings is standing on - I would vote for him. But he has continually voted the Republican Agenda in spite of what our district needs, causing reductions in Education, Health Care, Jobs Programs, Unemployment Benefits, Social Security, even if these program cuts will increase the deficit and hurt everyone in our area. It's time he rethinks what items of the Republican Agenda will support our community and those that don't and start representing us - we are the ones that vote for him and he isn't doing us justice.

Comment posted by Concerned50:
Sorry if all the liberals on here are upset. Booo hooo! The fact is that central Washington counties Benton, Franklin, and Grant are the some of the fastest growing in the nation. Wait wait, his voting for conservative values are killing us????? Then you morons say dam breaching is not an issue. Yes let's put you guys in charge. It would be like a bunch of Nancy Pelosi's who have no clue how business works and thinks government spending creates permanent jobs.

As for Hanford, your criticism needs to be pointed towards are two senators who will not take on Reid and Yucca mountain. Any money spent and Handford until then is 100% waste! If it kills that many jobs he is doing his duty to my kids. CEOs are not the only one's who have greed problems; I can point to a bunch on this board right now who all they care about is local jobs and not what is best for the long run.

Comment posted by RoveBlossom:
"True"Conservative: Are you welfare momma Clint Didier under that silly name?

We are growing because of the tax-teat-feeding we receive at Hanford, and because of the flood of illegals whom tax-payers subsidize so they can survive to produce tax-subsidized crops with tax-subsidized water, for welfare-momma farmers.

If that is "true" conservativism, then all "true conservatives" are happy socialists.

Editorial Board
Hastings Stands Tough on Dam Breaching Question
Tri-City Herald, March 3, 2011

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