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Babbitt Thinks Snake River Dams Should Go

by Associated Press
KING5 News, March 6, 2005

(USACE) The Lower Granite Dam is one of four proposed for demolition by environmental groups who believe removing the dams will restore Northwest salmon. SPOKANE -- In Spokane on Saturday, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said he spent much of his eight years in the Clinton administration thinking about whether salmon could co-exist with Snake River dams.

Now, four years after he left government, Babbitt said the four dams on the lower Snake River should go.

"It's clear now that there is no way of saving the salmon without taking down the dams," he said.

Supporters of the dams say tearing them down would eliminate flood controls, water supplies for farmers and a major transportation route. They also say it wouldn't help salmon elsewhere in the Columbia Basin.

Last year, the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that the dams and salmon could coexist if the government invested $ 6 billion to help salmon over the next 10 years.

Babbit says that money could be used to breach the Snake River dams, built new power sources, and add railroads to replace barge transportation, plus pay compensation to farmers, power consumers and others.

Babbitt is scheduled to deliver a speech about salmon Monday at Whitman College in Walla Walla.

Related Pages:
Babbitt: Fix Economies not Dams by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 3/7/5

Associated Press
Babbitt Thinks Snake River Dams Should Go
KING5 News, March 6, 2005

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