The merits of dam removal discussed.
There has been an ongoing discussion about the removal of the Lower Snake River dams for many years, in fact, there was opposition to building them in the first place due to concerns about salmon runs. This article examines the pros and cons of dam removal and I think that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Many people see that runs of salmon have been fairly strong during the last 10 years but they fail to realize that these runs are primarily hatchery fish that compete in many ways with the wild fish that are truly in danger of extinction.
The main concerns of those who want to keep the dams revolve around irrigation, transportation and power generation. Those concerns were addressed by a Rand Corporation study in 2002 which found that dam removal would not have a huge negative impact on the regional economy, in fact, it may be beneficial if all consequences are considered.
I don’t think that decisions like this should be based on solely economic reasoning, rather, I think they should be made based on long-term sustainability of natural systems. The decision to breach the four Lower Snake River Dams, though, seems to make economic sense as well as ecological sense.
Let’s really talk about taking down those Snake River dams.
By Daniel Jack Chasan – Crosscut.com