Leaders must act quickly to save salmon, orcas, tribal rights

Regarding the recent editorial on salmon and dams’ fate, we need to clarify the impact of the “dams’ fate” (“Act now to save salmon, regardless of dams’ fate,” The Herald, May 23).

The most significant factor to restoring salmon abundance, prevent orca extinction and honor the treaties with Columbia Basin tribes whose rights include harvestable salmon is the removal of the four Snake River dams.

At this juncture, there isn’t any way to avoid removal of the dams if these objectives — salmon recovery, ensuring orca survival and ensuring Columbia Basin ecological health for future generations — is to be saved.

Nor is there any way around the lack and loss of available time to enact the removal and Columbia Basin recovery but to act decisively now. There are no more years left to speak of and now, not many months.

We need to hold our public leaders in our state, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Gov. Jay Inslee and others to attend immediately, diligently and consistently on their counterproposal: acceleration of the Columbia Basin Collaborative to bring the right, effective decisions to Washington, D.C., in order to ensure the health and future of the priceless Columbia Basin.

Clara Hsu


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