<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Friday,  June 21 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Remove Snake River dams

By Chris Hager, Portland
Published: June 20, 2021, 6:00am

Justin Hayes’ recent op-ed “Will leaders fail salmon once again?” is spot-on (The Columbian, June 13).

For decades, we have known that the four lower Snake River dams are devastating salmon. Collectively, they directly kill 30 percent or more of Idaho’s juvenile salmon before they reach the Columbia River. They block access to the coldest, most pristine salmon habitat in the Lower 48, and they are the primary source of heat pollution in the main stem Columbia River, killing cold-water salmon.

All of this is compounded by serious drought, low flows, and hot temperatures, which are setting this summer up to be a defining moment for Northwest salmon runs.

As an avid angler, I am already preparing for emergency rule changes, bag limit restrictions, and season closures — and Buoy 10 hasn’t even opened yet.

Without drastic changes, many of these runs will be functionally extinct in a few short years. This is unacceptable. Our elected leaders cannot let the salmon runs that sustain entire cultures, communities, and economies go extinct.

It’s past time to remove the lower Snake River dams. Rep. Simpson introduced a bold proposal to do so. Now we need Washington delegates to engage and work out specific details. The clock is ticking.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter