Thursday, December 6, 2012
Idaho Statesman Editorial on Snake Sockeye
The Idaho Statesman, long a voice of reason in the debate around the future of the Snake River's four lower dams published an editorial this week highlighting the cost of the status quo for ratepayers and for Snake River sockeye. While sockeye returns have crept up from their critically low abundance in the mid-1990s when the species appeared destined for extinction, the average sockeye returning to the Snake costs $9000 to produce, and populations remain critically depressed. As the statesman points out, the only way to truly recover salmon and steelhead in the Snake is to remove the four lower Snake River dams, something which the federal government has yet to seriously consider. Until then, sockeye and other species will continue limping along on astronomically expensive hatchery life support, something which delays, but does not stop the extinction of wild salmon in the Snake River over the long term. It's time for a new set of solutions in the Columbia, and among those solutions MUST be the removal of the four lower Snake dams.