Dam Removal is Only Way
Benton Williams, Port Orchard
Editor, The Times:
I must respond to the shortsighted article of Nov. 16, "Beyond breaching dams" (Times, Page one). To be concise, there are no options to protecting salmon save those that coddle vested interests.
We need Draconian decisions to partially remove four Snake River dams. The billions spent on barging fish over the last 20 years has failed. The other alternatives to dam removal mentioned would also cost billions of dollars. Action, not rhetoric, is imperative.
The science experts of the National Marine Fisheries Service support dam removal as the only way to restore the salmon resource.
Dam removal will increase power bills minimally, whereas alternative methods, and certain disinterested members of Congress, would double our power rates. The extra water to increase flows, for example, would put Idaho's irrigated farmland at risk, instead of revitalizing the region's economy.
Moreover, the Clinton administration is dragging its feet on this issue, whereas tough choices are needed now to save salmon, farms and the Northwest economy.
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