the film
Commentaries and editorials

Saving the Fish

by David Cannamela
Lewiston Tribune, August 16, 2020

Southeastern Washington's Lower Granite Dam. Saving the Fish: The federal agencies responsible for restoring Snake River salmon, steelhead and lamprey have no intention of doing so.

In fact, based on their actions, one can only conclude that they fully intend to send the centerpiece of cultures, economies and ecosystems to extinction. All six recovery plans they've submitted have been illegal because they don't include the one action necessary to restore the fish, namely, the removal of the four lower Snake River Dams.

After losing in court five times, they had the audacity to submit plan No. 6 with the same deficiency. And even though they identified dam removal as the only viable recovery solution, they recommend something different. They cite disruption of electricity production and shipping as their justification, despite ample evidence that dam removal would be cost-effective.

Three things are clear:

Fortunately, many of us in the Pacific Northwest, including Congressman Mike Simpson and Govs. Kate Brown and Jay Inslee, recognize these realities and are engaging in the collaborative process that will facilitate salmon restoration. The key to “having it both ways” is to draw the distinction between the services the dams provide, and the dams themselves. We can't have the fish and the structures, but we can have the fish and the services the structures provide.

David Cannamela
Saving the Fish
Lewiston Tribune, August 16, 2020

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