Politics




Significantly, the plan doesn't call for removing any dams. But it does restore a Clinton-era provision that was deleted by the Bush administration to open that possibility should the fish slip closer to extinction. Electricity ratepayers in the Northwest have paid most of the roughly $1 billion spent annually in helping the signature species.






Aug 22 2003, Ice Harbor Dam, Burbank WA, photo by Tom Flint



ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:



Quoting former President Lyndon Johnson, President George W. Bush called Ice Harbor Dam "an asset of astounding importance to America" during his Tri-City visit this morning.


Quoting former President Lyndon Johnson, President George W. Bush called Ice Harbor Dam "an asset of astounding importance to America" during his Tri-City visit this morning.

"We don't need to be breaching any dams that are producing electricity. We've got to make sure we increase the supply and maintain the supply. Part of our national energy policy is that we maintain supply."


"We don't need to be breaching any dams that are producing electricity. We've got to make sure we increase the supply and maintain the supply. Part of our national energy policy is that we maintain supply."

"Every day is Earth Day if you're a farmer."  Bush said he appreciated the "can-do" attitude of Western farmers. "We don't have to worry about food," he said. "And that's good for national security."


"Every day is Earth Day if you're a farmer."  Bush said he appreciated the "can-do" attitude of Western farmers. "We don't have to worry about food," he said. "And that's good for national security."

The nation can't say the same about the nation's energy supply, he said, and America is too dependent on foreign energy sources. "That's bad for national security.


The nation can't say the same about the nation's energy supply, he said, and America is too dependent on foreign energy sources. "That's bad for national security.



BUSH CALLS ICE HARBOR DAM ‘ AN ASSET OF ASTOUNDING IMPORTANCE’  --  Aug 22 2003, Tri Cities Herald.



Quoting former President Lyndon Johnson, President George W. Bush called Ice Harbor Dam "an asset of astounding importance to America" during his Tri-City visit this morning. LBJ used the same words during his 1962 dedication of the dam.  The president was introduced by Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who referred to Bush's 2000 campaign promise here to prevent the Lower Snake River dams from being breached and introduced him as a "compassionate conservationist."  To loud cheers, the president said, "We don't need to be breaching any dams that are producing electricity. We've got to make sure we increase the supply and maintain the supply. Part of our national energy policy is that we maintain supply."  A theme throughout his speech was that people closest to the land care most about it.  "Every day is Earth Day if you're a farmer."  Bush said he appreciated the "can-do" attitude of Western farmers. "We don't have to worry about food," he said. "And that's good for national security."  The nation can't say the same about the nation's energy supply, he said, and America is too dependent on foreign energy sources. "That's bad for national security.  "We understand in this administration that we want local folks to revitalize the salmon runs. The good news is that salmon runs are up," the president said, drawing applause.  Bush also noted that the nation has a power shortage and that hydroelectric dams, which environmentalists contend are killing the fish, should not be removed.  Environmentalists want to remove Ice Harbor and three other dams on the Snake to help migrating salmon.  Bush arrived safely at the Tri-Cities Airport this morning.  The shining lights of Air Force Oneappeared on the horizon at 9 a.m. Bush, the first acting president to visit the Tri-Cities in 32 years, emerged about 15 minutes later.  He was greeted by a line of Tri-City dignitaries, including Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., the mayors of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick.  He then shook hands with 12 Girl Scouts from Richland Troop No. 272 before climbing into his black limousine about 9:20 a.m. to head to Ice Harbor Dam.  It was a 20-minute-long ride to the dam. Hundreds of onlookers lined highways 12 and 124 in the Burbank area.  Bush had a 10-minute tour of the dam. He stopped to lean over the rail looking at the fish ladder and asked some questions. He then was escorted inside the dam.  Some local Democrats who were protesting the president's visit were initially stationed on the Lewis Street overpass on Highway 12. As the president spoke at Ice Harbor Dam, the protesters moved to join other Democrats to Hood Park at Highway 12 and Highway 124, waiting for the motorcade to return to the airport.  Twin brothers from Portland, Bobby and D.J. Vandeusen, drove up to the Tri-Cities to see the president. On Thursday, they attended street demonstrations in Portland, though they were protesting the protesters. They held up a pro-Bush sign Friday as the motorcade drove by and got a thumbs-up from the president.  Also in the crowd was Lance Corp. Samuel Venegas of Twentynine Palms, Calif. The Pasco native returned from Iraq three weeks ago and was in town visiting family and friends.  "I wanted to see the commander-in-chief."  The visit was the president's first trip to Washington since losing the state in the 2000 election.  Later today, Bush is headed for a $2,000-a-plate fund raiser in the affluent Seattle suburb of Hunts Point.  Conservation groups mounted a furious campaign this week to paint Bush as disastrous to the environment. But supporters of the president say his policies have helped increase the number of salmon returning to spawning grounds.



 



ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:


President Bush defended the federal government's plan to save Pacific salmon on Friday, firmly rejecting the idea of dam breaching.  "We've got an energy problem in America," Bush said, speaking at the Ice Harbor Dam along the Snake River east of Pasco. "We don't need to be breaching any dams that produce electricity. And we won't."  Bush celebrated a rise in the Pacific salmon population, which has resulted in the largest spawning migrations in the Columbia Basin in 20 years.  That's evidence, he said, that salmon can recover without removing the dams, which provide irrigation, inland shipping corridors and power.  "We can have good, clean hydroelectric power and salmon restoration going on at the same time," Bush told a crowd of 500 invited guests.



"We finally feel like we're being listened to," said Rick Mercer, a 59-year-old cattle rancher from the Columbia Basin. "I think he's trying to maintain a balance between the environment and the people who live here."



He lashed out at national environmental leaders, who have panned his policies on fisheries, forests and a host of other issues. A coalition of Northwest environmental groups gave the president an "F" for his efforts to protect salmon. They say he has implemented just one-third of the federal salmon restoration plan released in 2000, and funded only half of the projects. .  Bush dismissed the most extreme environmentalists, who he said flock to urban areas like Washington, D.C., to promote Western land policies.  "There's a lot of experts on the environment back there," Bush said. "Or at least they think they are. They're constantly trying to tell people what to do -- people such as yourselves.  "They ought to come out and visit with the folks who actually protect the environment."



The lower Snake River's four dams produce 1,100 megawatts per hour -- enough energy to continuously power the city of Seattle. They account for 4 percent of the Northwest's power generation.



Built in the 1960s and '70s, the dams provided a shipping route for wheat farmers and established Lewiston as the hub of inland shipping. The power production and irrigation pools were ancillary benefits.



BUSH VOWS TO KEEP DAMS INTACT  --  Aug 23 2003, Spokesman Review, by Holly Pickett.



President Bush defended the federal government's plan to save Pacific salmon on Friday, firmly rejecting the idea of dam breaching.  "We've got an energy problem in America," Bush said, speaking at the Ice Harbor Dam along the Snake River east of Pasco. "We don't need to be breaching any dams that produce electricity. And we won't."  Bush celebrated a rise in the Pacific salmon population, which has resulted in the largest spawning migrations in the Columbia Basin in 20 years.  That's evidence, he said, that salmon can recover without removing the dams, which provide irrigation, inland shipping corridors and power.  "We can have good, clean hydroelectric power and salmon restoration going on at the same time," Bush told a crowd of 500 invited guests But federal officials acknowledge the recovery has been buoyed by hundreds of thousands of hatchery-raised fish and that wild salmon still make up a small minority of the population.  Scientists also credit colder temperatures in the Pacific Ocean for bolstering the salmon's food supply. When ocean currents warm the water, they warn, the fish will need a strong, diverse population to survive.  "A few years of improved runs won't erase decades of decline," said JohnKober of the National Wildlife Federation, an environmental group in Portland. "We're playing Russian roulette with our salmon population."  Bush's appearance Friday was far less contentious than his other stops in the Northwest. White House security kept several dozen protesters from the dam, but the protesters held signs along a road and chanted as Bush drove past.  The Northwest tour, designed to shore up Bush's environmental reputation, has been met by large-scale protests in Portland and Seattle.  His appearance was jolting in this remote, arid farmland in Central Washington. Snipers watched from water towers and Secret Service agents stood guard in the sagebrush.  In a 


folksy, 30-minute talk, he leaned an elbow against the podium and praised the crowd as "fine, down-to-earth, hard-working people." Hay bales hemmed in the podium and Bush wore a casual, gray shirt.  "We finally feel like we're being listened to," said Rick Mercer, a 59-year-old cattle rancher from the Columbia Basin. "I think he's trying to maintain a balance between the environment and the people who live here."  Bush's visit was the first to Oregon and Washington since the 2000 elections, when he lost both states by narrow margins. He appealed to moderate voters Friday, saying that successful compromises could be reached on controversial issues.  He lashed out at national environmental leaders, who have panned his policies on fisheries, forests and a host of other issues. A coalition ofNorthwest environmental groups gave the president an "F" for his efforts to protect salmon. They say he has implemented just one-third of the federal salmon restoration plan released in 2000, and funded only half of the projects.  Bush dismissed the most extreme environmentalists, who he said flock to urban areas like Washington, D.C., to promote Western land policies.  "There's a lot of experts on the environment back there," Bush said. "Or at least they think they are. They're constantly trying to tell people what to do -- people such as yourselves.  "They ought to come out and visit with the folks who actually protect the environment."  Virgil Lewis, a member of the Yakama Tribe, was cautious in his praise of the Bush administration's efforts to help salmon.  "It's the first step in the right direction," said Lewis, a tribal councilman and former hatchery manager. "It'd be great if someday we could rely on the wild stock. We have a long ways to go."  Some of the 11 species still hang on the verge of extinction. Last year, just 55 sockeye salmon made it past the last dam on the lower Snake River -- an improvement, scientists say, but still a dangerously low number.  Other populations, like the Oregon Coast Coho, have grown dramatically, tripling and quadrupling their numbers. Yet up to 90 percent of those fish are hatchery stock, born in buckets and raised in concrete pens.  Hundreds of scientists and environmental leaders have urged the federal government to consider breaching the dams to save the wild salmon.  Bush firmly opposed dam-breaching in the 2000 elections, and in the aftermath of the Northwest's energy crisis, the issue disappeared from the public view. But it returned this spring when a federal judge ordered the Bush administration to rethink its plan to save salmon, saying it was inadequate and violated the Endangered Species Act.  On Friday, Bush toured the dam, viewing fish ladders that help juvenile salmon move downstream and marveling at the facility's generation capability.  "It's an important part of the past, and I'm here to tell you it's going to be a crucial part of the future as well," Bush said.  The lower Snake River's four dams produce 1,100 megawatts per hour -- enough energy to continuously power the city of Seattle. They account for 4 percent of the Northwest's power generation. Built in the 1960s and '70s, the dams provided a shipping route for wheat farmers and established Lewiston as the hub of inland shipping. The power production and irrigation pools were ancillary benefits.  But the dams created a biological barrier to migrating salmon that return to the Columbia and Snake rivers to spawn. They transformed the Snake and Columbia from swift, free-flowing rivers into wide, slow bodies of water.  When Lewis and Clark passed through the Columbia Basin in 1805, they found the water teeming with salmon.  "It must have been an unbelievable sight," Bush said.  The loss of salmon would be devastating to the Northwest, Bush said. He cast the federal government as a partner with local citizens in the effort to save salmon.  "There's no doubt in my mind you will accomplish that objective," Bush told the crowd. "There's no doubt in my mind we will help. We want to be helpers, not hinderers."  He urged citizens to volunteer their time or to make private donations.  More than $600 million will be spent this year to help the salmon population recover. Much of the money comes from ratepayers of the Bonneville Power Administration, which distributes electricity produced by the dams.  "It's a positive story," Bush said. "We have shown the world we can have a good quality of life and we can save the salmon." Bush also took time to throw his support behind Washington's Republican politicians, including U.S. Reps. Doc Hasting of Pasco and George Nethercutt of Spokane. Nethercutt plans to challenge Democratic incumbent Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate.  "Doc and George are always telling me about how important Eastern Washington is," Bush said. "Every time I talk to them.  "Quoting former President Lyndon Johnson, President George W. Bush called Ice Harbor Dam "an asset of astounding importance to America" during his Tri-City visit this morning.  "Every day is Earth Day if you're a farmer."  Bush said he appreciated the "can-do" attitude of Western farmers. "We don't have to worry about food," he said. "And that's good for national security."  The nation can't say the same about the nation's energy supply, he said, and America is too dependent on foreign energy sources. "That's bad for national security.  "We understand in this administration that we want local folks to revitalize the salmon runs. The good news is that salmon runs are up," the president said, drawing applause.  Bush also noted that the nation has a power shortage and that hydroelectric dams, which environmentalists contend are killing the fish, should not be removed.  Quoting former President Lyndon Johnson, President George W. Bush called Ice Harbor Dam "an asset of astounding importance to America" during his Tri-City visit this morning. LBJ used the same words during his 1962 dedication of the dam.



ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:

Governors of Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon rejected dam breaching as an option Thursday as they agreed to push for new efforts to promote salmon recovery while holding down the region's power costs. "All four governors agree that we must maintain our proactive, aggressive efforts on the restoration of salmon, so that it is not necessary for the breaching of dams," Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said. "We do not support breaching the dams."

" Fish advocates were disappointed. "The governors' action today appears to be little more than political maneuvering to avoid the issue of dam removal at this time," said Bert Bowler, native fisheries director for Idaho Rivers United and a retired state fish and game official. "Dam removal will not go away until such time as wild salmon are fully restored to abundant and harvestable levels."

In their new agreement, the four governors wrote, "Discussion of breaching the four lower Snake River dams is polarizing and divisive. The Pacific Northwest made a commitment to pursue a proactive fish and wildlife recovery strategy that avoids the breaching of dams, and it remains a strategy we continue to strongly endorse." Six months after the four governors made their proposal in 2000, the Clinton administration adopted a salmon recovery plan that largely paralleled the governors' approach. But last month, U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland rejected the plan and gave the Bush administration one year to rewrite it. That move suddenly put the controversial idea of breaching the four lower Snake River dams back on the public agenda. Kempthorne characterized the judge's concerns as "technicalities," and all four governors said they want the Clinton plan kept in effect during the year that the Bush administration will work on revisions.

GOVERNORS REJECT DAM-BREACHING -- June 6 2003, Spokesman-Review, by Betsy Z.Russell.

Governors of Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon rejected dam breaching as an option Thursday as they agreed to push for new efforts to promote salmon recovery while holding down the region's power costs. "All four governors agree that we must maintain our proactive, aggressive efforts on the restoration of salmon, so that it is not necessary for the breaching of dams," Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said. "We do not support breaching the dams." However, at Kempthorne's suggestion, the four governors altered a strident anti-breaching statement that was in their draft agreement to soften it. "It said `aggressive anti-breaching strategy,"' Kempthorne said. "That can be misconstrued. It's aggressive efforts at the recovery. That was a clarification of language that I had asked for." Govs. Gary Locke of Washington, a Democrat; Judy Martz of Montana, a Republican; and Ted Kulongoski of Oregon, a Democrat, joined Kempthorne, a Republican, in Boise to fashion an addendum to the historic 2000 agreement. At that time, the group included an advocate of dam breaching, then-Gov. JohnKitzhaber of Oregon, but the 2000 agreement set aside the breaching issue and focused on other steps federal and state agencies could take to help endangered fish recover. On Thursday, the four governors said they were united. "We just finished the legislative session where you don't come to consensus on hardly anything between the parties," Martz said, "so to come together as four governors and come with a consensus, I think that's really remarkable." Said Locke: "It's important that we have all four governors from the Northwest states working together for the benefit of fish, wildlife, affordable power and ultimately, the economy of our region." Fish advocates were disappointed. "The governors' action today appears to be little more than political maneuvering to avoid the issue of dam removal at this time," said Bert Bowler, native fisheries director for Idaho Rivers United and a retired state fish and game official. "Dam removal will not go away until such time as wild salmon are fully restored to abundant and harvestable levels." In their new agreement, the four governors wrote, "Discussion of breaching the four lower Snake River dams is polarizing and divisive. The Pacific Northwest made a commitment to pursue a proactive fish and wildlife recovery strategy that avoids the breaching of dams, and it remains a strategy we continue to strongly endorse." Six months after the four governors made their proposal in 2000, the Clinton administration adopted a salmon recovery plan that largely paralleled the governors' approach. But last month, U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland rejected the plan and gave the Bush administration one year to rewrite it. That move suddenly put the controversial idea of breaching the four lower Snake River dams back on the public agenda. Kempthornecharacterized the judge's concerns as "technicalities," and all four governors said they want the Clinton plan kept in effect during the year that the Bush administration will work on revisions.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:
Meeting in Boise last week, the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana affirmed the need to support both salmon recovery and low-cost power. Dam breaching has been a distraction. In public statements, and a letter to President Bush, the governors asked all parties to stick with efforts to improve salmon habitat, overhaul hatcheries, aggressivelymanage harvest and work harder to make the hydroelectric system less of a barrier. They do not want to see the biological opinions that govern salmon recovery tossed and the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River seriously in play.

With dam breaching off the political table, key players can focus on supporting federal fisheries efforts to satisfy a skeptical judge.

FOUR GOVERNORS AND FOUR DAMS -- June 12 2003, Seattle Times, Editorial.

Having the Northwest's four governors agree salmon recovery can be accomplished without dam breaching is a good start. The unanimous declaration, something that came only with a new governor in Oregon, is a productive reaction to a federal judge's dismissal of Clinton-era policy for restoring runs of 12 endangered species of Northwest salmon. Meeting in Boise last week, the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana affirmed the need to support both salmon recovery and low-cost power. Dam breaching has been a distraction. In public statements, and a letter to President Bush, the governors asked all parties to stick with efforts to improve salmon habitat, overhaul hatcheries, aggressively manage harvest and work harder to make the hydroelectric system less of a barrier. They do not want to see the biological opinions that govern salmon recovery tossed and the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River seriously in play. The show of unity was important, but symbolism has its limits. The message from U.S. District Judge James Redden to NOAA Fisheries is it failed to hold other federal agencies and key outside parties — such as the states — accountable for their pieces of salmon recovery. The judge has yet to decide whether the existing biological opinions will be scrapped or remedial efforts will be adequate. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is gearing up to meet the workload, however it is directed. To that end, NOAA recently created a specific Recovery Division based in Portland. Certainly the governors meeting in Idaho did not ante up new pots of money from their meager budgets, so other demonstrations of effort will be required to show their good faith. Lip service will not impress the judge. They listened and nodded as the Bonneville Power Administration said it would put up less money than many others wanted them to spend on restoration. BPA offers a tricky calculation for the governors. They want more federal dollars for fish, but they do not want BPA's new rates to make regional economic recovery any harder. In their unanimity and silence the governors were striking the best balance they could muster. BPA proposes to spend the average of annual past expenditures to save salmon, around $139 million a year. Strong revenues from power sales outside the region, in areas where natural gas is scarce and expensive, may keep BPA's next wholesale rate increase to less than 10 percent, lower than the 15 percent forecast. For the governors, the combination balances fish restoration and affordable power. With dam breaching off the political table, key players can focus on supporting federal fisheries efforts to satisfy a skeptical judge.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:
In a four-state summit on salmon recovery today in Boise, Northwest governors are expected to send a unified message to the Bush administration: We can help threatened and endangered species without removing dams or curtailing the output of the hydroelectric power system. "Everybody is still wanting to stay the course and try to figure out a way to resolve all of the critical issues for fish while at the same time stimulating the Northwest economy," said Jim Myron, a natural resources adviser to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The governors of Idaho, Montana and Washington flatly opposed dam breaching. The dams generate relatively cheap electricity, give Washington farmers access to irrigation water and allow barges to carry grain and other goods to the ocean from ports as far inland as Lewiston, Idaho.

The debate roared back to life May 8, when the federal agency in charge of restoring wild salmon runs lost a pivotal legal battle with environmentalists. U.S. District Judge James Redden ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to show that its salmon recovery efforts were "reasonably certain" to occur and make up for the harmful effects of dams in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Since Redden's ruling, conservationists and four Northwest tribes with treaty rights to salmon have insisted that dam-breaching must again be considered. Short of that, the tribes and environmental groups are calling for changes in dam operations to restore stronger and more natural river flows for salmon.

"Put into the river at the right time, added flow can have a significant beneficial impact," said Pat Ford, executive director of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. "We really hope that the governors send a clear message to the Bush administration that to restore salmon, the fish need water."

But added flow for fish reduces water available for power generation and irrigation for dry farmland in places such as southern Idaho.

The consensus emerging among the four governors calls for no additional curtailment of irrigation or power capacity. Advisers say there is no need to boost river flows for salmon recovery or to fix the legal shortcomings of the 2000 federal salmon recovery blueprint, called the biological opinion.

"We don't see any reason to recommend changes to spill and flow provisions in the biological opinion," said Oregon fisheries adviser Myron.

DAMS, POWER CONSENSUS EXPECTED FROM GOVERNORS AT SALMON RECOVERY MEET -- June 5 2003, Oregonian, by Joe Rojas-Burke.

In a four-state summit on salmon recovery today in Boise, Northwest governors are expected to send a unified message to the Bush administration: We can help threatened and endangered species without removing dams or curtailing the output of the hydroelectric power system. "Everybody is still wanting to stay the course and try to figure out a way to resolve all of the critical issues for fish while at the same time stimulating the Northwest economy," said Jim Myron, a natural resources adviser to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Ed Bartlett, who represents Montana on the Northwest Power Planning Council, summed up the recommendations of advisers to all four governors: "The programs that are in place will work, and we need to continue with that." Kulongoski's stance, in particular, marks a significant departure from his predecessor, John Kitzhaber.Three years ago, Kitzhaber was the region's only governor to insist that the breaching of four dams on the lower Snake River be considered. The governors of Idaho, Montana and Washington flatly opposed dam breaching. The dams generate relatively cheap electricity, give Washington farmers access to irrigation water and allow barges to carry grain and other goods to the ocean from ports as far inland as Lewiston, Idaho. The debate roared back to life May 8, when the federal agency in charge of restoring wild salmon runs lost a pivotal legal battle with environmentalists. U.S. District Judge James Redden ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to show that its salmon recovery efforts were "reasonably certain" to occur and make up for the harmful effects of dams in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. A dozen groups of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Dam-building wiped out large numbers, as did decades of intense fishing and habitat destruction from logging, mining and cattle grazing. Many stocks have been driven to extinction. The federal government issued its most recent blueprint for salmon aid in December 2000. To avoid breaching dams, it proposed an "aggressive non-breach" strategy that called for restoring non-dammed tributary rivers and streams, reforming hatcheries that produce millions of salmon each year and improving fish passage through dams. Since Redden's ruling, conservationists and four Northwest tribes with treaty rights to salmon have insisted that dam-breaching must again be considered. Short of that, the tribes and environmental groups are calling for changes in dam operations to restore stronger and more natural river flows for salmon. "Put into the river at the right time, added flow can have a significant beneficial impact," said Pat Ford, executive director of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. "We really hope that the governors send a clear message to the Bush administration that to restore salmon, the fish need water." But added flow for fish reduces water available for power generation and irrigation for dry farmland in places such as southern Idaho. The consensus emerging among the four governors calls for no additional curtailment of irrigation or power capacity. Advisers say there is no need to boost river flows for salmon recovery or to fix the legal shortcomings of the 2000 federal salmon recovery blueprint, called the biological opinion. "We don't see any reason to recommend changes to spill and flow provisions in the biological opinion," said Oregon fisheries adviser Myron. Bob Nichols, adviser to Washington Gov. Gary Locke, said Redden gave state and federal agencies two legal tasks: Complete formal consultations of the adequacy of habitat restoration and other plans, and provide greater assurance that the job will get done. "We think that these issues are fixable," Nichols said. The governors' advisers also signaled it was unlikely that states would seek any boost in financing for salmon restoration from the Bonneville Power Administration. "Bonneville must continue to remain healthy and have a vigorous financial condition," said Michael Bogert, counsel to Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.


Highlight from BBC article below. 
It says rotting vegetation trapped underwater releases carbon dioxide and methane, both potent greenhouse gases, and that this can cause more pollution than generating electricity by burning fossil fuels.

For your information the Tri Cities Herald called me on my cell phone as I was returning from the FISH EXPO in Seattle.

Tom Flint, Ephrata-area farmer and dam defender, hadn't seen the final report but he questioned the commission's conclusions. "They haven't given very much credit to the benefits of dams in the Pacific Northwest," he said.  And he suspected the commission is trying to give presidential hopeful Al Gore a boost. "I also look at that (report) as part of the Gore campaign against dams in the Pacific Northwest." 

World Commissioner report slams dams    --  Nov 17 2000, Tri Cities Herald.   Tens of millions of people displaced.   Livelihoods wrecked. Fragile ecosystems destroyed.  Animal species snuffed out.  Large dams have brought much-needed power and water to the world, but their toll on the environment has been unacceptable, according to a report released Thursday by the World Commission on Dams.  The report proposed strict new guidelines for future projects -- and it specifically noted Columbia River salmon problems.   The commission said the best documented examples of disrupted fish migrations are in the Columbia, where it estimated 5 percent to 14 percent of adult salmon are killed at each of the eight large dams they pass while swimming upriver.  After two years of research focused mainly on nine major dams -- including Grand Coulee -- the commission said previous evaluations of the possible damaging side effects of dams were "few in number, narrow in scope ... and inadequately linked to decisions on operations."  Among its findings: 40 million to 80 million people displaced by dams worldwide and rarely compensated by governments, an irreversible loss of fish and aquatic species, and huge losses of forests and wetlands.  Tom Flint, Ephrata-area farmer and dam defender, hadn't seen the final report but he questioned the commission's conclusions. "They haven't given very much credit to the benefits of dams in the Pacific Northwest," he said.  And he suspected the commission is trying to give presidential hopeful Al Gore a boost. "I also look at that (report) as part of the Gore campaign against dams in the Pacific Northwest."  In a speech to environmentalists in London to mark the report's release, former South African President Nelson Mandela said Thursday that he wished the findings had been available when he sanctioned the construction of some of his country's 539 dams.  "There is a part of me that resented having to choose the lesser of two evils -- relocate some so that all may have water, or forgo a dam, thus slowing human development," he said.  The 12-member commission was set up in 1998 by the World Bank and World Conservation Union.  The body, which includes representatives from industry, dam owners, governments and environmentalists, called for dam projects to sustain rivers and livelihoods and for greater efficiency and accountability.  It also said alternative methods should be studied, that more effort is needed to gain public approval, and that in-depth environmental impact studies should be mandatory.  It proposed reviews of all existing large dams.The ... guidelines embody an international consensus," said Bruce Rich of Environmental Defense's International Program. "The World Bank and export credit agencies should adopt and implement them immediately."  James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, which in recent years has markedly scaled back its financing of dams, said he would present the findings to the bank's 180 member nations.  A decision on whether to implement the guidelines when financing future projects is expected in February.  "This report gives us a basis upon which we can move toward trying to deal with the healing of the wounds," Wolfensohn said.  Half the world's dams were built for irrigation purposes and account for 12 to 16 percent of the world's food production, while others act as flood defenses and to produce hydropower and water supply.  Dams account for 19 percent of electricity generated worldwide, and 24 countries generate more than 90 percent of their power from dams.  More than 100 nongovernmental organizations called Thursday for a suspension of all dam projects until they are reviewed in accordance with the committee's report.  "If the builders and funders of dams follow the recommendations ... the era of destructive dams should come to an end," said Patrick McCully of the California-based International Rivers Network.  There are 45,000 large dams in the world, most built in the 1970s, when an average of two to three new large projects were commissioned each day to help meet escalating demands for water.   China and India have half the world's dams.  In China, 10,000 villagers were recently moved away from the massive Three Gorges Dam -- a figure expected to climb to more than 1 million.  In addition to Grand Coulee, the other dams studied by the committee were Pak Mun in Thailand, Aslantas in Turkey, Glomma-Laagen Basin in Norway, Kariba in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Tarbela in Pakistan, Tucurui in Brazil, and Gariep and Vanderkloof in South Africa. 










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