Speedier Migrationby Liz Hamilton
Idaho Statesman, April 27, 2005
The Associated Press' story (Statesman, April 15) on the cost of actions that salmon businesses are seeking this summer to protect our livelihoods was very misleading. With the drought, salmon and steelhead heading to the ocean will face terrible conditions and will die in high numbers. This will mean less fishing, jobs and incomes in salmon towns two years from now. We joined others to ask a federal court to provide salmon slightly faster migration and more spill through federal dams this summer.
Our request will double survival of salmon going to the ocean this summer, which will pay off in jobs and dollars when the fish return. According to the Columbia River Tribes and Northwest Energy Coalition, our request will cost electric ratepayers from 11 to 54 cents per month for one year. As ratepayers ourselves, we think this is worth it to double salmon survival. Your story's higher estimate is based on extreme assumptions about how our request would be implemented, and the economic benefits we are protecting were not even mentioned. Killing salmon by not operating dams responsibly is draining our region's economy. We seek a more balanced approach.
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