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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 30, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Columbia River salmon restoration plan works

No need to remove dams, the plan is working

The federal Columbia River salmon restoration plan criticized in “Water over dams saves salmon” [Opinion, Jan. 27] is neither “vague” nor “mushy” — unlike the ill-informed Seattle Times editorial that panned it.

In fact, the plan is the largest and most expensive wildlife restoration effort in the world. And it’s working. Survival of young fish through the dams is extremely high, and extensive habitat work is delivering results, including healthy salmon returns this decade and the historic return of more than 1 million fall Chinook last year.

Yet critics want more, even when the science shows that more isn’t better for fish. The latest proposal from litigious environmental groups to spill more water over the dams is both scientifically flawed and illegal. It violates federal and state water-quality protections for salmon and other aquatic species by adding gas to the rivers in lethal amounts. This is a case of the “ends justify the means,” with so-called fish conservation groups so focused on dam removal that they are seemingly willing to kill salmon in the process.

The Times should stop giving these perennial critics a free pass and consult the science before editorializing on such an important issue to the Northwest.

Terry Flores, executive director Northwest RiverPartners

0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Columbia River salmon restoration plan, Terry Flores

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