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Commentaries and editorials

Otter Missed Point

by Jim DiPeso
Idaho Statesman, November 28, 2006

Gov.-elect Butch Otter's reaction to the report on lower Snake River dam removal was a throwaway slogan that missed the report's point.

The report does not discuss replacing logging, mining and mill jobs with tourism jobs. In fact, the report says nothing at all about timber and mining. But as long as Otter brought the subject up, we believe that forest products and mineral production are and will remain important parts of Idaho's economy.

The report's point was that Idaho's economy could be diversified and strengthened by restoring a free-flowing lower Snake River.

By restoring a world-class fishery, Idaho's high quality of life could be made even better, attracting to Idaho more of the entrepreneurs and professionals who can locate their businesses anywhere.

In addition, taxpayers would be spared the costs of ongoing dam maintenance, repair and sediment control, and of throwing good money after a failing salmon recovery strategy that a federal court has found wanting.

We ask Gov.-elect Otter to check the slogans at the door and join us in fashioning a salmon recovery strategy that will work.

Jim DiPeso, policy director, Republicans for Environmental Protection, Seattle
Otter Missed Point
Idaho Statesman, November 28, 2006

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