Of course this would mean they would totally suspend operations for 10 years. The Legislature provided funding to the governor’s office in the 2019-21 operating budget to conduct a stakeholder process to understand the views of Washingtonians on breaching and removing, or retaining, the lower Snake River dams. Fishers and tribal members in Eastern Washington and Idaho would thrill to see increased salmon runs on the Snake River while Seattleites concerned with climate change fear giving up a gigawatt of carbon-free electricity. Worse, Dam removal:Critics vow to continue efforts to remove Snake River dams. Restoring the lower Snake River by removing the four dams that block its flow would precipitate changes in the region’s physical infrastructure, electric grid operations, carbon emissions, grain transport, irrigation, recreation, fish habitat, and riverine and marine ecosystems. On their way, some are eaten by marine mammals, including the endangered orcas. They also submerged 63 rapids big enough to have earned themselves names and increased the mortality of salmon smolts heading downstream and adults returning upstream to spawn. US Reps. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Spokane) and Dan Newhouse (R-Yakima) stoked east-west divisions, the report “another example of Seattle-based interests seeking to disrupt our way of life in Central and Eastern Washington.” The, on the highly researched, lengthy technical report was that it “belongs in the trash.”, For five decades, the four dams on the lower Snake River have provided water for irrigation, emissions-free hydroelectricity, and 140 miles of flat water for barge passage from Pasco, Washington, to Lewiston, Idaho. For five decades, the four dams on the lower Snake River have provided water for irrigation, emissions-free hydroelectricity, and 140 miles of flat water for barge passage from Pasco, Washington, to Lewiston, Idaho. Inslee’s office releases draft report on breaching Lower Snake River dams Dec. 20, 2019 at 10:57 am Updated Dec. 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River May 29, 2019. In July, the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest (ECONW) issued a new independent analysis funded by the philanthropic arm of the late Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. on the benefits and costs of restoring the river. But the dams are also … However, it must be noted that by the time any adult Chinook reaches the first of the four (Ice Harbor), their numbers have already diminished from about 316,000 at Bonneville Dam to 36,000 at Ice Harbor. © 2019 Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business – All Rights Reserved. But how could ECONW reflect this widely held but intangible value in dollars and cents? You may add a link with HTML: text to display. By leaving out the largest category of benefits of breaching, the Corps’s study will almost certainly conclude that the dams should remain. Focusing on the four Lower Snake River dams is a deadly distraction from In this May 15, 2019 photo, the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River is seen from the air near Colfax, Washington Gov. orca, not destroying the dams. Dam removal foes aren't buying the "non-use" benefits cited. Removal of all dams on Columbia and Snake is the unspoken goal. Although 22,000+ citizens place a full page ad in Seattle Times informing Gov. Reality: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams would actually decrease total air emissions … A natural river system would improve fish passage, decrease the migration time for juvenile salmon, and substantially increase the spawning habitat for Chinook in the main stem of the Snake River. Researchers who are not willing to reveal their sources, their data, and their methodology don’t deserve to have any credibility attached to their reports. refrain. fact, NOAA fisheries and other scientists argue salmon may not be helped by Those who hold this goal are true champions of not speaking. Again, scientists disagree. One critic of the ECONorthwest study found fault with the wording of one question in the survey sponsored by the Save Our Wild Salmon advocacy group and the application of willingness to pay research to households in California, arguing that people in San Diego don’t care about wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest. The debate over removing the four dams on the lower Snake River has simmered for decades.. The Case for Removing the Snake River Dams, It’s Not Even Close: Economics Says the Snake River Dams Should Go, The debate over removing the four dams on the lower Snake River has, . In other words, the benefits of dam removal are large enough to fully compensate individuals or industries that could experience costs if the dams are removed. to longstanding calls to breach the dams and restore the river to a more natural condition. ECONW evaluated three prior studies on people’s willingness to pay to improve the odds for salmon survival and found that survey research indicates people were willing to pay, on average, between $34 and $46 per household per year to “reduce extinction risk,” “recover,” or “protect” wild salmon. I agree that the costs associated with dams are more nuanced than previously shown, and that these four dams are not doing the salmon any favors. The best available biological and social science indicate that the Corps should breach the dams and restore the river so salmon have the chance to thrive. It could also make unnecessary the Corps’ current program of killing sea lions, seals, and birds to protect stressed fish from these predators. Reality: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams would actually decrease total air emissions … Despite their poor record, advocates of dam destruction insist this time they are right. https://www.critfc.org/full-dam-counts/?fish=chin_adult&dam=LGR, Kellen, the rationale for removing the dams on the Lower Snake River is not only to improve the return rates of adult salmon but also to increase the amount of spawning habitat for adult salmon and to reduce the mortality of juveniles headed downstream. Dam removal would help salmon travel up the river to spawn and down the river to the ocean, where the orcas can eat them. News > WA Government Snake River dam differences run deep, study finds. first off read where salmon come from .there a ocean fish that moves up to fresh water and adaps. who is pushing to destroy the dams, where that money would come from. No, that does not come across as an overly “scientific” basis for my conclusion. You can power us forward on sustainable solutions. A July 2019 report by a Portland-based economics firm indicates that removing dams on the Snake River in Eastern Washington would have huge financial benefits as well. Below we present facts from fisheries scientists There are many impacts from the dams that don’t show up in “the numbers”, loss of spawning habitat, predators in the reservoirs, loss of flow to facilitate down stream travel for smolts to name a few. Many people (including some Sightline readers) who care about fish and climate don’t know what to think about the dams. Next time: Snake River dams no longer produce the least expensive electricity. During this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers approved $750,000 in the 2019-21 budget for a stakeholder process to continue ongoing discussions over whether the four lower Snake River dams should be breached to aid salmon and killer whale recovery. 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