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Saving the salmon

July 18, 2009

Re "Fish story: The battle over the Columbia and Snake river salmon is a cautionary tale," Opinion, July 6

The author ignores rapidly improving fish runs in the Columbia and Snake rivers and fails to acknowledge that removal of the Snake River dams would affect just a few of the 13 listed species.

Ironically, the article expresses concern about the fate of climate change without mentioning that the steps advocated -- dam removal and increased spill -- could significantly increase carbon emissions if fossil-fuel generation in California and elsewhere is cranked up to replace the lost hydro power.

Terry Flores

Portland, Ore.

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The article describes what science and economics have told us for decades -- the lower Snake River dams cost us far more than the limited benefits they provide.

Let's replace the lower Snake River dams' limited benefits with alternatives -- clean, affordable energy and modernized, efficient transportation.

Think of it as a New Deal for wild salmon -- a recovery effort that would create thousands of jobs, revitalize rural communities and build a clean energy future that serves both salmon and people.

The fate of this latest federal plan may be in a judge's hands, but the Obama administration has the opportunity to step up today and bring much-needed change to the West Coast.

It's time for a real restoration plan that will keep salmon in our rivers and boats on the water.

Drew Irby

Santa Rosa

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There are other factors that are potentially more important to the recovery of the salmon. The science on this issue is a great deal more complicated than the article implies. Perhaps the real bad guys causing salmon declines along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada aren't politically correct targets. Perhaps the increases in seals and in fish-eating bird populations along the entire West Coast caused by the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, etc., are the controlling factors.

Removal of the dams would be a very expensive proposition that could have no effect on these factors in salmon decline.

Dallas Weaver

Huntington Beach

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