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Remove the Dams

by Lauren McCullough
Lewiston Tribune, March 27, 2022

The fish don't have another option

Graphic: Survival of juvenile salmon from the Washington/Idaho border to beyond Bonneville Dam has averaged around 50% survival.  In other words, half of them die while migrating through the federal hydropower system. Outfitting and guiding is an industry that has long been negatively impacted economically from the decline in sportfishing opportunities for salmon and steelhead.

There are roughly 2,500 outfitter and guide families across Idaho that rely on salmon and steelhead. Approximately 80% of these resident Idaho outfitters live in and contribute to the economies of communities with an average population of 500. The importance of the fish and the outfitting and guiding industry to these rural Idaho communities cannot be overstated. Yet, we helplessly watch the downward arc of Idaho's fish.

The overwhelming scientific evidence (including data from federal agencies, in the draft environmental impact statement) demonstrates that the lower Snake River dams have a large impact on the decline of wild fish populations. There are a number of concerns that come up when we consider removing the lower Snake River dams.

But on a positive note, we have ways to address these issues. The fish don't have another option.

As a resident of Lewiston, I would like the city of Lewiston to support the removal of the lower Snake River dams.

I would like to see fishing, natural sandy river beaches, boating and free-flowing rivers become the focus of Lewiston instead of reservoirs and cruise boats.

If we remove the dams, we have the opportunity to revitalize Lewiston's downtown riverfront. And jet boats are made for free-flowing rivers. Removing the lower Snake River dams is a net positive for our community.

Lauren McCullough, Lewiston
Remove the Dams
Lewiston Tribune, March 27, 2022

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