I grew up in Lewiston and understand the complex relationship north-central Idahoans have with the lower Snake River. In the early 1970s my dad, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, supported building the Lower Granite Dam. It was an honest endeavor with the information they had at the time.
It’s a matter of perspective as to whether the experiment worked or not, but I believe the lower Snake dams have endured a steady decline. I remember how disrupting it was for the truckers being replaced by the barges. Shipping peaked in the 1990s; current electricity produced is minimal compared to the bounty of salmon and steelhead the dams have stripped away.
I want to thank the Idaho Statesman editorial board for its recent educational editorial calling for removal of these aging and expensive dams. My dad worked hard to help make the system what it is, but I think he would have recognized that times have changed and would be saving the steelhead and salmon today.
There are new ways to generate electricity, and smarter methods to ship wheat. Idaho’s wild salmon, our legacy, are more valuable than whatever meager benefits are derived from that failed system of dams.
Cherie Barton, Kuna