Letter to the Editor: A Decade Might Be Too Long to Wait to Breach Dams and Save Salmon and Orcas


In response to "Inslee Praises Bold Thinking" published Feb. 10, I praise Rep. Simpson's strategic plan to save salmon. The plan is comprehensive and covers concerns in all the areas that would be affected as well as budgeting ample money to do so.

My concern is the timetable for the dam removal. Waiting a decade to breach the dams may be too late for our salmon and orca, who feed on Chinook exclusively. 

Dams cause major mortality of salmon, both blocking upstream migration even with state of the art salmon ladders, and kills up to 50% of smolts who have to survive turbines on their way to the sea.

For those who question if dam removal will actually save salmon, the Elwha dam removal is a perfect example of how quickly salmon can rebound. Their numbers returned beyond expectations, and without removing dams other problems will compound their problems for survival.

Our Pacific Northwest ecosystem counts on salmon from fertilizing Idaho forests to feeding animals and people. Tribes’ very spirituality is linked to salmon. Salmon can't wait for a decade.

Please contact your senators, representatives and governors and ask them to support Mike Simpson's proposal. We can overcome the small points and save our salmon. 

We need to act as quickly as possible to save an icon of the PNW.


Leslie Kreher 



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