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Returning River to Salmon,
and Man to the Drawing Board

- Discussion Forum -

New York Times 9/26/99


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sandradianne1: Amazing that those salmon in the state of Washington are in such jeapordy just as people are coming into the state wrecking habitats for wildlife by building. Also isn't this just a ploy to unmothball Hanford Nuclear Reservation's reactors that have been around un- used for years? Senator Gorton,you sly boy you!

palousereader: Thanks for today's article "Returning River to Salmon, and Man to the Drawing Board" which deals with the Pacific Northwest's continuing debate on breaching dams to help save the salmon runs. It is an issue that many here have been reading about and discussing seriously for the past year. If Congress ultimately decides to take out the dams, I would hope that it might spur renewed interest in wind power and railroads. The state of our freight rail lines and track seem sadly out of sync with an age of high speed Internet communications. Don't people realize that pushing the 'buy' icon means that somehow, somewhere those goods have to be transported? In this instance, if you take away barges, shipping northwest wheat to market means the only alternative left is trucking- in an area already heavy with double and triple semi trucks, on highways (often two lanes) outdated 30 years ago. Similarly, the lost electrical generating capacity, though a small percentage, should turn this region towards wind power; yesterday's dust storms, reminiscent of the dust bowl era, might really have served to opened our eyes. In a tough tradeoff, I come down on the side of the salmon- but understand the farming and shipping concerns that will have to find new ways of surviving their own endangered species list.

annabopp: I live in Issaquah Washington, next weekend October 2nd and 3rd, we are celebrating the return of the salmon to spawn with a huge arts, crafts and food festival. Last Friday while eatting my egg mcmuffin before work I stood over a bridge and spotted salmon making their way up creek to the Issaquah Fish Hatchery to spawn. It is the most majestic wonderful thing to watch. The survival of the salmon is only part of this debate of whether to destroy damms or risk the loss of a species. The salmon, are onlu one species that are at risk of endangerment. If we continue on this route of destroying our rivers and creeks of their natural habitat, we as humans will be next on the endangered species list. The loss of salmon also affects are starving beautiful whales. Yes Seaports and a profitable economy are important. But if we continue to destroy this earth little by little, we will have left nothing for our children to inherit. The earth and it's beauty is the most valuable gift we can pass on to our children. Sacrifices must be met in order to undo the damage we have already done.

dliedlich: As humanity continues to occupy and degrade more of the Earth, we must ask ourselves which species we want to save. We have been responding belatedly and doing the "triage" technique like Army medics. This type of "seat of the pants" efforts at species recovery is not sound though. Biologists and scientists need to be more proactive in identifying species before they become "on the edge" of extinction.

There is no question about the root cause for the demise of wildlife species worldwide. There are far too many humans, and the collective impact of humanity on the environment and wildlife is staggering. The first question that we need to ask ourselves is: "How do we bring less humans into this world." Until we can reduce our human populations, the trend of wildlife species decline and disappearance will only get worse.

bettywoerner1: I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, Hydroelectric design for 25 years. The Federal Government is only stringing the public out to keep their dying organization alive and busy.

The technological fixes they have tried are all for naught and it is high time to get on with the removal of the dams.

For your information: http://www.removedams.org - http://www.hanfordwatch.org - Peace

yaguei: Dams have fulfilled their destiny, they provided cheap energy for by gone times when it made full sense, now it is time to switch it to more mature issues as it is the high quality protein needs; in addition it is a good business too. So, in monetary terms it makes sense to open the snake river to a free ride for salmon, changing the economy from a cheap energy environment to a broad spectrum of activities that means business for every one ready for it and that, could surpass the old cheap energy scheme in just cash terms.

Down the road, fifty years from now, shut down the dams, right now, makes full sense. We have alternative sources of cheap energy. Alternative sources of high quality proteins and Natural environement areas are endangered spicies. So it is a choice between Nature and man made environment. Which one should be our choice?

markk46b: While congress dickers around deciding on the dams and survival of the salmon, the few remaining salmon seem likely to go extinct. According to numbers published of remaining salmon, they may be below critical survival levels.

I'm not sure what timetable nature runs on. Certainly it depends on circumstances, etc. I doubt Congresses timetable has much to do with whatever runs up and down the Columbia and Snake Rivers. I suspect there will be a vote, though.

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Returning River to Salmon, and Man to the Drawing Board
New York Times, Front Page, September 26, 1999

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