Public Statement on Historical
by Gene Spangrude
Several letters have been written over the recent years by scientists to various ranking leaders concerning the Lower Snake River and salmon.
In 1999, approximately 200 scientists wrote a letter to President Clinton; in 2015 several scientists wrote a letter to the West Coast regional director of NOAA Fisheries; and in 2019 approximately 55 Scientists sent a letter to northwest policymakers about how federal dams and climate impacts are increasing water temperatures in the Lower Snake River.
What is interesting to me is that none of these letters has ever mentioned or referenced several years of daily water temperature data collection that was done on the Lower Snake River during "natural pre-Lower Snake River Dam conditions" in the 1950s.
This water temperature data was published by the United States Geological Survey and is readily available to the general public through their annual reports which were published in the 1950s.
This data clearly shows that exceeding the critical 68 degree "thresh hold" was an annual event, even under "pre-dam conditions," and that water temperatures could occasionally reach the high 70s degrees, even under "natural conditions" on the Lower Snake River in the 1950s. Temperatures above 68 degrees can be noted to have lasted for weeks at a time during some years.
I'd be interested in the scientists who wrote the recent 2019 letter looking at this historical water temperature data that was collected on the natural Lower Snake River in the 1950s and then making some public statement concerning this data that was published by a recognized leading federal water resources agency, the USGS.
Some of the scientists' current concerns appear to have occurred in the past even within the "natural Lower Snake RIver" environment; and it would be interesting to learn how the removal of these projects would remedy conditions which were noted long before their construction.
Fish Declines Preceded Dams by Gene Spangrude, Lewiston Tribune, 12/3/18
Truth About River Water
Temperature is Inconvenient by Gene Spangrude, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, 10/28/18
Yes, Let's Look at 'Facts' on Dams by Gene Spangrude, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, 8/13/17
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