After reading the Oct. 28 editorial, “Trust the Scientists,” on the breaching of Condit Dam, I am concerned about the breaching of dikes in the National Wildlife Refuges. There are many questions to be answered but only time and scientific study will give us these answers. Unfortunately the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not wait. They are bent on breaching more dikes now before they get answers.
The dikes at Nisqually refuge have recently been removed with devastating initial results to waterfowl numbers, and too soon to determine the actual benefits to salmon. But rather than wait to get the answers they are now intent on breaching the dikes at Willapa refuge regardless of public opposition. Willapa’s recent Comprehensive Conservation Plan listed three alternatives, one being breaching of dikes. Yet before public comment had even started, management had already applied for permits with the Core of Engineers, obtained funding and awarded a contract to breach the dikes.
Removing dikes will be expensive and detrimental to waterfowl, with little or no benefit to salmon. The local public, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and many conservation groups are against this dike removal.
Please write to your representatives and ask them to stop any future funding that comes before them.