The Dec. 15 Spokesman-Review ran an opinion piece: “Columbia River plan fails to protect salmon.”
The author fails to provide an accurate picture of the collaborative efforts underway to protect Northwest salmon. By his own acknowledgement, this year saw the largest return of fall chinook in years.
The federal salmon plan the author pans is by far the largest species restoration program anywhere in the world. This credible, science-based plan adds another $1 billion to the price tag for salmon recovery. Utility customers throughout the Northwest, including those of Inland Power & Light Co., pay these costs through their electric bills. A majority of Northwest states, tribes and political leaders supports the plan.
The “spill test” being promoted violates water quality laws that protect young fish from too much spill over dams, which can kill them. More amazing, he suggests that elected leaders must end the “wasteful and destructive litigation loop,” yet it is his own organization doing the suing! Why? Because the plan does not include removal of the Snake River dams, an action Northwesters consider extreme and hurtful.
Citizens believe in balance, helping salmon and sustaining our economy. That is exactly what the salmon plan is doing.