The Value of Salmonby Reed Burkholder
Lewiston Tribune, January 19, 2004
Many times in The Statesman we have read about the studies done by Ben Johnson Associates regarding the annual economic value of salmon and steelhead runs to Idaho. The numbers I remember are $90 million for salmon and another $90 million for steelhead.
In contrast, the annual value of the electricity from the four lower Snake River dams that flows to Idaho is about $10 million, give or take a little. And the yearly savings at the Port of Lewiston enjoyed by agricultural shippers who use barges instead of rail is about $10 million, give or take a little.
It appears to me that anadromous fish are worth more to Idaho than the four lower Snake River dams are worth to Idaho.
It seems reasonable that Idaho´s congressmen acknowledge what is best for Idaho´s economy.
They may not get warm and fuzzy feelings about healthy salmon runs in their home state, but they ought to like the money.
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