Prepare to BreachLetter by Reed Burkholder
Boise Weekly, December 16, 1999
Breaching the dams in the lower Snake River downstream from Lewiston may happen. The federal government may decide that this action makes good long-term sense for both wild salmon and for the Northwest's economy.
If breaching happens, Idaho's elected leaders will have served us well if they have prepared for it and gotten for Idaho the best deal when the mitigation package is written.
Wheat farmers in the greater Lewiston area need a safety net in case transportation rates set by the Camas Prairie Railnet get too high. Farmers in southern Idaho need guarantees that their irrigation water will no longer be called on for salmon recovery purposes. Plans also need to be made for the handful of Idaho farmers and dairymen who use large amounts of federal-dam power, because their electricity rates are expected to go up a little. And even the Potlatch Corportation should be offered aid to deal with harmful effluent from their paper mill that will not mix safely when they dump it into the Snake River.
Breaching may happen. It might be wise to prepare for it.
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