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Commentaries and editorials

Remove the Dams

by Bruce Rankin
Lewiston Tribune, December 17, 2019

Graphic: Returns of Adult salmon and Steelhead to Idaho as counted at the last dam they must cross on their upstream journey. We occasionally revisit the possibility of maybe thinking about occasionally revisiting the possibility of maybe thinking about what it might take to consider doing something with dams on our rivers that might be making it harder for wild salmon to spawn in their native waters.

"I'm an outfitter and, oh my, I don't know what I'm going to do if we have many more years like this one."

"I'm an elected leader and I think we should have more discussion with all affected parties about bringing possible options to the table."

Here it is: Migrating salmon need unimpeded cold flowing water to successfully reach their natural spawning beds. Smolts need the same for their return.

Dams restrict the flow of water. Slow water becomes warmer. Without wild salmon, entire ecosystems fail. Personal gain at the expense of healthy supportive ecosystems is a road to ruin.

The four lower Snake River dams -- Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor -- must be removed to allow migrating salmon reasonable access to traditional cold water, high elevation spawning grounds. People who are in denial, accompanied by those engaged in political foot-dragging, must get out of the way.

Reflect on that using your own research, thought and intuition. Lives depend on it.

Bruce Rankin, McCall
Remove the Dams
Lewiston Tribune, December 17, 2019

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