Reclaim Salmon by Reclaiming
by Tom Crisp
I cheered when I read The Herald's Aug. 9 editorial that the debate about the lower Snake River dams is far from over. This is particularly important for sport, commercial and tribal anglers, and the many residents across Washington who value salmon. The federal process has failed us. Some interest groups are digging in, holding on to the past, rather than finding solutions for the future.
We must scrutinize decisions made seven decades ago. What might have seemed like a bargain --cheap energy -- now has a steep price. If we sink major funding into the scheduled replacement of turbines and other planned expenditures to extend the life of the dams, river water temperatures will continue to rise and kill the salmon that bring jobs, revenue and recreation to Washington state.
Some say that the removal of Snake River dams is an expensive and insurmountable task. It's not. It has succeeded elsewhere and is worth doing.
In lieu of dams, modern technology such as solar and wind power deliver clean energy, and are getting less expensive. And there are feasible alternatives for transportation and irrigation concerns.
Here in Snohomish County, the Snake River dams are out of sight. However we, and citizens across Washington can't escape their impact. We need to recover the Snake River and recover our iconic salmon, not condemn them to extinction.
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