Legislature opposes Snake dam removal

Idaho Mountain Express
15 April 2015

Before it adjourned last weekend, the state Legislature passed a memorial expressing opposition to the removal of dams on the Columbia-Snake River system and to contributing water from Idaho’s reservoirs for flow augmentation to benefit fish passage except when expressly authorized by state law.

Conservation organizations have long maintained that the four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington are the main obstacle to recovery of Idaho’s salmon runs.

Though the memorial has no legal effect, it indicates the state’s view of how to best address anadromous fish conservation.

The memorial was passed through voice vote by the Senate on April 7 following passage by the House by a vote of 60-8 on March 31.

District 26 Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, and Rep. Steve Miller, R-Fairfield, voted in favor. Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said she voted no.

“I think that socially and economically, it doesn’t make any sense to talk about breaching these dams,” said Miller, a co-sponsor of the memorial.

He said the dams’ power production and aid to barges that dock at the port of Lewiston, Idaho, provide economic benefits to the entire Northwest.

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