the film
Commentaries and editorials

Dam Removal is Not a Radical Idea; It is the Only Logical Solution for Idaho

by Bill Sedivy
The Idaho Statesman, June 5, 2005

Judge James Redden's ruling on the government's latest, inadequate salmon plan was very clear on two points:

  1. The Endangered Species Act requires recovery of wild salmon and steelhead, not just preventing extinction.
  2. The impacts of Columbia and Snake River dams cannot be ignored. These dams kill more than 80 percent of Idaho's migrating salmon and steelhead.
To address these issues, President Bush and Northwest policy makers have only one path to follow -- removing four low-value, high-cost federal dams on the lower Snake River.

Dam removal is not a radical idea.

A 1998 panel of independent, peer-reviewed scientists concluded that removing the dams (Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite) offers an 80 to 100 percent chance of restoring wild Snake River salmon and steelhead. Those are good odds.

Dam removal has worked before:

Removing the lower Snake dams would benefit many Idahoans, by: Removing the dams need not be draconian.

The perfect dam removal bill (an act of Congress is required for removal) should include:

We can have healthy salmon and healthy economies. But to get there, Idaho's political leaders must stop backing failed policies and turn their attentions toward finding solutions that restore salmon and steelhead, revitalize Central Idaho economies and communities, protect farmers and begin healing places like the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness -- places that need salmon to stay healthy for generations to come.

Only removing the lower Snake dams can do all these things. Let's get on with it.

Bill Sedivy is executive director of Idaho Rivers United, a statewide river conservation organization based in Boise.
Dam Removal is Not a Radical Idea; It is the Only Logical Solution for Idaho
The Idaho Statesman, June 5, 2005

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