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Dam Removal may Not be Necessary

by Donald Proctor
The News Tribune, July 10, 2009

I am greatly disturbed by the article that seems to conclude that four dams on the Snake River must go in order to "save" the salmon (TNT, 7-9).

What disturbs me most is the implication that nothing short of total removal of those dams will save the salmon and that such removal would assure such saving of the native salmon runs.

If it is decided that breaching the dams offers sufficient promise of salmon run restoration, then carefully designed breaching – without total destruction of those very costly structures – should be considered. Removal of one or two spillway widths from each dam should allow the salmon unrestricted movement in both their upstream and downstream migrations. Then in 10 to 15 years, if the salmon have not shown significant recovery, the dams can be restored and again contribute to the energy needs of a nation now seriously concerned with global warming.

Let us not rashly end up with neither the energy nor the salmon.

Donald Proctor, Sumner
Dam Removal may Not be Necessary
The News Tribune, July 10, 2009

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