the film
Commentaries and editorials

Dams Would Be Breached, Not Removed

by Bart Madison
The News Tribune, August 2, 2009

In the recent discussion about the Snake River Dam proposals, folks commonly speak of dam "removal."

The operative word is "breaching," and there is a big difference.

"Removal" has never been proposed by anyone. The powerhouses and the locks will remain. The plan is to "breach" the earthworks, allowing free flow around the works for fish passage.

The power and lock facilities will not be torn down. If the fish passage does not pan out, or if we have an overriding public need, the earthworks can be replaced and the power and barging facilities can be restarted.

A letter writer suggested the same option, obviously not knowing that breaching was already the plan.

Too often, media and elected officials make the same mistake, speaking of "removal" when referring to the "breaching" plan.

The discussion is good, but let's not confuse the uninformed by mischaracterizing the proposal. (Madison is a member of the Tacoma chapter of Trout Unlimited.)

Related Pages:
Dam Removal may Not be Necessary by Donald Proctor, The News Tribune, 7/10/9

Bart Madison
Dams Would Be Breached, Not Removed
The News Tribune, August 2, 2009

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation