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Commentaries and editorials

Dams: A Misunderstood Issue

by Larry Largent
Coeur d'Alene Press, May 16, 2021

A tugboat pushes wheat barges up the Columbia River with wind turbines above the river bank. Recently on ABC News David Muir implied the four dams on the lower Snake River were causing the depletion of the salmon runs to spawning grounds. This is an issue of dire importance to the inland northwest concerning our supply of reasonably priced generated electricity, low-cost transportation of agriculture produce, and production to and from world markets. Also, reduced wear and tear on our region's highways.

Declining salmon runs are just another misunderstood problem that could be solved without removing the dams. Even if the dams are removed, salmon runs will continue to decline because of the biggest problem comes from overfishing off the north American and British Columbia coasts. Our dams would have to be rebuilt to recreate the clean energy, reduce flooding and provide the huge benefits they provided in the first place.

We are reminded: Lewiston/Clarkston is the furthermost inland seaport served by oceangoing barges on the west coast. This is made possible by the locks on each of the dams on the lower Snake River.

(bluefish notes: The lower Snaker River dams are not flood control projects.)

Larry Largent, Worley
Dams: A Misunderstood Issue
Coeur d'Alene Press, May 16, 2021

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