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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.
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor

Letter: Dam rhetoric is not helpful

By Mark Leed, Vancouver
Published: February 27, 2024, 6:00am

The Columbian’s Feb. 9 editorial (“Discuss dams transparently, without hyperbole,” In Our View) correctly states that the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative won’t end disagreements over what to do with the four Lower Snake River dams. The agreement between the Biden administration, Northwest tribes, and state governments puts a five- to 10-year pause on litigation so that constructive solutions can be developed. This will allow time to work out a comprehensive solution that benefits salmon, respects tribal treaty rights, and identifies ways to replace the dams’ services.

Ultimately, it will be the legislative branch’s decision whether to restore a free-flowing lower Snake River. The extreme rhetoric coming from some members of Congress, including Reps. Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is unhelpful. They should both realize that supporting the culture and economies of Northwest tribes, and bolstering commercial and recreational fishing, is of great benefit to their constituents.

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