the film
Commentaries and editorials

A Real Working River

by Amy Souers Kober
The Idaho Statesman, June 12, 2005

The either-or debate on values won't get us anywhere ("We need to decide what's a working river," June 7). The Columbia and Snake rivers can and should work for all of us. Removing the four outdated lower Snake dams is the only way sure to recover salmon and steelhead. We need an honest exploration of how we could protect and enhance local economies and communities if/when the four lower Snake dams are removed.

For less than the $6 billion the Bush administration was going to spend on its now-illegal salmon plan, we could remove the dams, and make a whole suite of investments to keep communities whole. Farmers could keep farming and irrigating, and could ship their goods to market. We could invest in clean energy technologies. We could restore salmon and boost salmon businesses.

Why not use the same ingenuity that built these dams 30 years ago, to unbuild them now? Could we remove the dams for the same reason we built them -- economic development? When you get past all of the myth and misinformation surrounding the four lower Snake dams, dam removal combined with targeted community investment looks like the most rational, reasonable, feasible idea around.

Amy Souers Kober, American Rivers, Seattle
A Real Working River
The Idaho Statesman, June 12, 2005

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