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Commentaries and editorials

Remove the Dams

by Reed Burkholder
Idaho Statesman, April 27, 2005

Fifty years ago, hydro dams were important for keeping our lights on. At that time this region had no other commercial generating options. Now, in addition to hydro, we use four more modern technologies as well coal, gas turbines, nuclear and wind.

Fifty years ago, this region was nearly 100 percent hydro. Now it is about 50 percent hydro.

As hydro dams become less and less important to our region, the idea of removing some to aid in the recovery of our salmon runs becomes more reasonable.

As we watch the very low adult salmon return numbers this year, we need to consider again the one recovery tool with the promise to truly improve the runs -- dam removal.

The dams that need removing first are in the Snake River downstream of Lewiston -- Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor.

We need congressional approval for the removal of these "federal" dams. We need to gently remind our congressmen that dam removal is in the best economic interests of our state.

Reed Burkholder
Remove the Dams
Idaho Statesman, April 27, 2005

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