As a teenager of 16 in the summer of 1963, I and a friend worked stacking hay in New Meadows. We stayed at a foreman’s home 8 miles up Rapid River south of Riggins. In July, during that summer run of chinook, Rapid River was literally black with spawning salmon. We stood waist-deep in freezing water and caught 40-inch salmon by the gills! The foreman’s wife cooked salmon every way possible for weeks. A mere 10 years later, after the construction of the lower Snake River dams, those salmon were gone forever. Why am I writing? Because in the Statesman, out trots the anti-salmon, pro-shipping flack, Terry Flores of Northwest River Partners, a group representing less than half of one percent of the population, blowing her horn about a study, commissioned by her employers no less, to tell us that most Idahoans want these wasteful monstrosities kept in place. Do not be fooled by Flores’ rhetoric; the folks she represents couldn’t care less about salmon. They just asked the “God squad” at Interior to do an analysis of the benefits of letting the salmon go extinct, all to benefit a handful of wealthy wheat farmers. If the dams disappear and the salmon thrive, Terry Flores is unemployed.
Keith Hull, Garden Valley