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Commentaries and editorials

It's Time to Breach Snake Dams

by Andy Munter
Idaho Mountain Express, April 10, 2019

Lower Granite Dam in SE Washington state impounds the Lower Snake forty miles up beyond the Idaho border. Thanks, Idaho Conservation League, for putting on such an informative program on the extinction path of Idaho’s salmon and steelhead and making a powerful fiscal argument to breach four lower Snake River dams.

As a longtime board member of Idaho Rivers United, I’m proud of all the leading-edge energy we have put into keeping this issue (and the fish) alive through court action, funded studies and public opinion for more than 20 years. All of us in the fight to recover wild salmon and steelhead in Idaho realize that the next few years are a critical decision-making time for politicians and federal agencies. We need everyone who cares about our salmon and steelhead to get involved.

Many regional and national conservation groups have done important fish habitat and education work in Idaho. Now it is time for them to step out and get comfortable with the word "breach" -- even if the first step is, "We need to objectively study how best to do it." If you are a member or a donor of another Idaho conservation organization, urge them to take the next steps for salmon now. They all know what has to be done. Let these organizations know they have your support for strong action to restore the lower Snake migration corridor.

Our community is sprinkled with salmon warriors. Reach out if you are confused. Sort the science from the special interests and I think you’ll find what IRU and its members have known for a long time -- it is time to breach four fiscally unsound and ecologically disastrous dams on the lower Snake. The alternative is an extinction path for our salmon and steelhead.

Andy Munter, Idaho Rivers United board member, Ketchum
It's Time to Breach Snake Dams
Idaho Mountain Express, April 10, 2019

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