Letter: Dams provide multiple benefits

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The Columbian's July 30 editorial, "Restoring Two Rivers," painted a heartwarming picture of the removal of three outdated dams, the Elwha/Glines Canyon dams and Condit dam and the restoration of rivers where they stood.

But let's not forget: Most dams provide unparalleled benefits to Northwest citizens.

Dams produce hydropower, a clean and renewable source of energy — to the tune of about 60 percent of the energy powering the Northwest.

Our hydro keeps our carbon footprint half that of the rest of the country and fills in when the wind isn't blowing. It's also domestic and doesn't involve nuclear waste nor fossil fuels.

Moreover, our federal system of dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers allows farmers in eastern Washington and Oregon to grow crops that feed our families and are exported to the world.

Dams hold back floodwaters that would otherwise cause families and businesses billions in damage. And, they provide a myriad of recreation opportunities.

As executive director of the nonprofit organization Northwest RiverPartners, I find these are values that make the Northwest unique, and are also a great source of pride.

Terry Flores

Portland