the film
Commentaries and editorials

Wheat Growers Respond
to Snake River Report

by Dave Murray
Waterways Journal, September 7, 2022

The Washington State Grain Train recently acquired 29 more grain cars to help farmers get grain to export terminals The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) released a statement August 26 in response to the Final Lower Snake River Dams Benefit Replacement Report and recommendations recently released by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.). Environmental advocates of Pacific salmon have long argued that the locks and dams are decimating Pacific salmon. The final report lays out a range of options and the costs associated with each but notes that it "does not constitute a recommendation on whether the Lower Snake River dams should be either breached or retained."

"The dams play a vital role in providing a safe, efficient and affordable way for wheat farmers to get their product to market," said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. "We are glad the recommendations released by Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee recognize the role these dams play in agriculture and acknowledge dam breaching is not feasible at present. However, we remain concerned and opposed to breaching, as it would be detrimental to wheat growers across the region. Last month, NAWG filed a public comment outlining our concerns, whereby other modes of transportation cannot simply replace barging. Wheat farmers move grain most efficiently by using the waterway instead of rail or truck while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NAWG remains committed to working with our federal partners and stakeholders to meet the challenge of helping facilitate a healthy river ecosystem while supporting wheat growers."

NAWG is a federation of 20 state wheat grower associations and other industry partners that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, D.C., NAWG works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, transportation and sustainability.

In July, as part of the public comments filed by NAWG in response to the Draft Lower Snake River Dams Benefit Replacement Report published on June 9, the group said, "NAWG questions many of the baseline assumptions argued in the draft report, which is incomplete because of the many key variables that cannot be quantified. The Lower Snake River dams are a critical infrastructure system required to move U.S.-grown wheat to high-value markets around the world. Breaching the dams would have serious economic consequences for producers and grain handlers while contradicting carbon reduction goals."

Dave Murray
Wheat Growers Respond to Snake River Report
Waterways Journal, September 7, 2022

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