Skewed Salmon Statisticsby Harvey Morrison
Spokesman Review, May 27, 2007
Facts are desperately needed to anchor the debate and consequential decisions related to the recovery of salmon and the fate of the lower Snake River dams. The manipulative rhetoric presented by Rep. McMorris Rodgers in The Spokesman-Review on May 19 served no useful purpose toward the beneficial resolution of this crisis. When she alleges that we have "paid as much as $3 million per fish," who wouldn't be shocked and incensed? This startling statistic is the result of dividing a phantom cost called "foregone revenue" by an arbitrarily small number of fish, and there you have it.
This type of baseless misrepresentation of data only serves to further polarize the issue and helps to assure that the problem will be solved outside our region and control.
The Salmon Economic Analysis and Planning Act currently before Congress is our best hope to establish the truth and to move the debate beyond the unsubstantiated interpretations of data that both sides claim are taking place.
If McMorris Rodgers is honestly intent to recover the fish and protect the economic well-being of the district that she represents, she should first and foremost want the decisions and actions to be based on sound, factual scientific and economic data.
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