The Same Old Tired Rhetoricby Michael Eakin
The Columbian, June 4, 2006
Salmon and fishing advocates win another important court victory, and Don Brunell trots out the same old tired rhetoric from the 1990s. It wasn't true then, and it's not true now.
The federal government's multi-million dollar taxpayer-financed program, for example, that barges juvenile fish around the lethal dams on their way to the ocean has not worked once in more than thirty years. Nor is salmon recovery merely another "environmental" issue -- real, family wage jobs and our Northwest way of life are at stake. The recovery of wild salmon and steelhead to healthy, harvestable levels -- or their extinction -- affects dozens of small communities and thousands of jobs and families on the coast and along the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Tribal treaties, jobs, and cultures also hang in the balance. The four lower Snake River dams should be removed and their modest services replaced with alternatives. Notwithstanding Brunell's alarmist language, multiple independent studies show that we can remove these 4 costly dams on the Snake River while ensuring continued energy, transportation, and irrigation services in order to restore salmon, revitalize our fishing communities, and save taxpayer dollars.
All we lack right now are solutions-oriented politicians who can lead the way.
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