Returning Salmonby Joe Paliani
The Daily News, May 25, 2019
I've read several editorials in The Daily News over the past month that plead the case for retaining the Pacific Northwest dams. I'm not in favor of keeping the dams. The trend nationwide is to remove dams to restore rivers to their original conditions. I recommend the book "Same River Twice," by Peter Brewitt (Oregon State University Press, Corvallis) -- "The Politics of Dam Removal and River Restoration), 2019.
I know there are thousands of reasons why the dams should not be removed, as there are as many reasons why they should be removed. Many people depend on the dams for a variety of reasons: jobs, recreation, commerce, et al. But the reason why there's any question as to future of dams is because of their destructive nature, killing hundreds of millions of all salmon.
No hatcheries, fish ladders or other artificial mechanisms have worked to restore the rare, wonderful salmon species that grew to be 70 to over 100 pounds each before the dams were built. These salmon were totally wiped out. The Snake and Columbia rivers are barely alive at this time, with salmon runs quite small compared to run before the dams stopped their native spawning. The Snake and Columbia River salmon are imperiled at this time. It will cost about a billion dollars to remove all the dams, but that means thousands of new jobs. We need to do a feasibility study to determine exact costs; then, the consortium of stakeholders needs to lead the way to restoration. Refer to the success of the removal of the Elwha River removal as your guide to removal of the dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers, and the salmon will return.
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