State action on dams is good news, but more action needed

In response to the recent editorial (“State gains keener watch of dams to protect salmon,” The Herald, May 19,) the Herald editorial board is correct: This is an important new opportunity and a historic step to address the negative impacts of dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Scientists agree that hot water is killing cold-water fish. However, much more needs to be done.

Northwest residents and business owners understand we are at a pivotal moment in charting a new course for Lower Snake River dams to save endangered salmon. So do Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. This was abundantly clear in their response to the wholly inadequate dam management options in the Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Inslee notes the plan falls short of Washington’s expectations to restore salmon and calls for an “active, collaborative and visionary regional conversation.” Brown is equally clear. The proposed plan “will not meet the expectations and needs of the citizens of Oregon and the region, nor provide adequate protection for salmon and steelhead.” She adds: “This vision of the future can only be realized with leadership from and strong collaboration with the four states (Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho).

Inslee and Brown are both right. If we want real solutions, we must go beyond the recommendations put forth in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental statement. We are heartened by Inslee’s and Brown’s leadership and support them in forging a collaborative path forward.

Tom France

National Wildlife Federation

Seattle

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