Remove the Damsby Joe Paliani
Chinook Observer, January 11, 2019
It is said that many an Indian tear was shed when the dams prevented the salmon runs.
Thousands of river fisheries were destroyed above the dams, never to return.
In 1938 they build the Grand Coulee Dam without fish ladders, without any way for the salmon to pass the dam or to continue up river along their native habitat to spawn. It was a conscious decision to not allow the salmon to pass the dam. Before that mistake, the salmon used to pass where the dam was built in the millions every year.
So the dam builders killed the salmon runs for 80 years. Where the runs were once in the millions up the Snake River, each of those 80 years times one million fish equals about 80 million fish that were destroyed by the Snake River dams. Nice planning, huh?
Now, we're to be pushed by industry advocates to spare the dams on the Snake and Columbia, after 80 million fish have perished? You want to preserve your precious dams, you want society to forget the 80 million salmon the dams killed? It's too late to save the dams; they've caused enough harm to our fishery. Now that blowing up the dams is becoming a realistic scenario, you want society to stand down, leave the poor dams alone. Well, the time for crying over the dams has expired, and it's time to remove the dams on both the Columbia and Snake rivers.
The Indians tribes that used to depend on those salmon for their livelihood weren't asked whether they wanted the salmon runs cut-off. They were given no choice. All the Indians could do is watch the salmon hurl themselves against the dams in futile attempts to pass the dams. It is said that many an Indian tear was shed when the dams prevented the salmon runs. Thousands of river fisheries were destroyed above the dams, never to return. Now we have an "Industry Advocate," pitching the value of the dams to us. It's too late. You weren't even born when the Grand Coulee Dam and the others we're built. Take your pitch and sing it to your choir, the rest of this congregation is moving on to remove the dams. You've had 80 years to fix the problem, and you've failed to do so. Your time is up. Now it's time to remove the dams. Imagine 80 million salmon destroyed? It's staggering in its waste. Imagine how many orcas that many salmon could have fed and how healthy the orca pods would be today? Now were about to lose our orcas.
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