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Commentaries and editorials

Remove Dams, Save Fish

by Scott Friedman
Idaho Mountain Express, May 22, 2020

(Darin Oswald) Lower Granite Dam is the first of four hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River that migrating Idaho salmon encounter - and that some salmon advocates want removed or breached. I have been an angler from the Wood River Valley who has also fished on the Salmon River for over 20 years. I have seen directly the way salmon and steelhead are very important to the river communities of Idaho. Anglers, outfitters, guides, Native Americans and local businesses are all greatly affected by their disappearance.

The status quo for management of these iconic species is a failure as the fish are not coming back. On the present course they will likely go extinct here. I am hoping that Governor Little's workgroup will urge him to embrace a bold plan to save the salmon and steelhead.

The four lower Snake River dams should be considered for removal as only this will guarantee abundance of these fish which have lived in our state for thousands of years. This is based on the counsel of fish biologists. There are ways to mitigate the loss of these dams to the satisfaction of all parties if the workgroup is willing to tackle these issues. There are other efficient forms of electricity and transportation that can be made available to the area and farmers affected at reasonable cost. The state and river-based communities can then benefit into perpetuity with a well thought out plan.

"Esto Perpetua" is Idaho's state motto. Let us take the motto seriously and recover these iconic species. I am looking to the workgroup and Governor Little to lead these ideas forward.

Scott Friedman, Sun Valley
Remove Dams, Save Fish
Idaho Mountain Express, May 22, 2020

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