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Commentaries and editorials

Plan Not Supported by Science

by Matt Herron
The Seattle Times, October 23, 2009

I strongly disagreed with Will Stelle's assertion that for endangered Columbia and Snake river salmon and steelhead, the heart of the really tough stuff is land and water use.

That might very well be true in the Puget Sound area, where so many people now live with their homes, cars and roads, but in the Columbia Basin, especially on the Snake River, the main issue for salmon is the dams. The four lower Snake River dams, in combination with the lower Columbia River dams, virtually block off access to the more than 5,500 stream and river miles of the largest, wildest and best-protected salmon habitat remaining in the continental United States.

The 2009 Obama administration plan tries to ignore the impacts of these dams and their reservoirs, and instead suggests a number of habitat improvement projects will carry the day.

The science, however, cannot support this. And I hope the judge won't either.

Matt Herron, Seattle
Plan Not Supported by Science
The Seattle Times, October 23, 2009

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