With Larry Craig’s loss of power, the other three of Idaho’s congressional delegation have taken up has efforts to make sure nothing is done to help the salmon and steelhead that still manage to migrate (just barely) from the ocean back to where they were hatched to lay eggs and spawn.
The delegations’ position has always been hard to fathom because the things that have done the most to destroy the runs in recent years are the 4 dams in the Lower Snake River. These are in Washington State, not Idaho. They are navigation dams, not water storage dams, and they produce very little net electricity, because the navigation aspect of the dams conflicts with electrical generation.
Their stance, as far as I can tell is cultural. That’s was makes so many of these “Western” issues hard to deal with. They are not really about economics. So rational discourse is not possible.
Except for the far inland seaport of Lewiston, Idaho which was made possible by these pork barrel dams, these lower Snake River dams harm Idaho economically, especially the towns on the spawning streams like Riggins, Salmon, Challis, and Stanley. They also harm Idaho agricultural water users because the alternative to tearing down the 4 dams is to run a lot of water down the Snake and Clearwater rivers to create a current in the reservoirs so the salmon smolts don’t get lost on their way to the ocean.
Fortunately, it looks like Democrats may block the Idaho delegation’s plans. Advice to these Republicans . . . maybe you should vote for things children’s health insurance and to redeploy the American troops in the Iraq civil war. . . you get favors by doing them.
Story: Delegation backs Craig’s salmon water rider. Lawmakers want to ensure Idaho’s voice in the salmon debate won’t be muted. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.