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Commentaries and editorials

Outraged, Too

by Dennis Baird
Lewiston Tribune, March 19, 2021

Congressman Mike Simpson has been talking to people throughout the northwest and in Washington, D.C. about the salmon crisis, and he says he's determined to do what he can to solve it. I read in this newspaper that some local politicians are "outraged" by Congressman Mike Simpson's proposal to breach the four lower Snake River dams.

Well, I am outraged, too.

I am outraged by the millions of my tax dollars that were spent on river navigation, by the millions spent every year to maintain the locks and dams and by the millions that will soon be needed to pay for dredging and needed maintenance. The whole Snake River navigation system is a gigantic welfare scam that will always require vast subsidies. Even miles from the river, you can hear the flushing sound as our tax dollars go down the toilet.

I'm outraged that dam boosters are willing and even eager to kill off the hundreds of jobs related to river outfitting -- jobs that don't need even a penny in taxpayer welfare subsidies.

And I'm outraged that politicians and navigation interests are happily getting ready to drive anadromous fish to a quick extinction. For at least 12,000 years, these fish have been at the very heart of the culture and diet of our neighbors, the Nez Perce people. We robbed them in 1855, in 1863 and in 1893. Now we are gearing up to rob them again, but this time we are adding our own children to the steal list.

Outrage sure is justified, but it needs to be focused right around here and not on the 2nd Congressional District.

Related Sites:
Simpson's announcement may be viewed here
Other documents associated his concept are available at

Dennis Baird, Moscow
Outraged, Too
Lewiston Tribune, March 19, 2021

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