The Lower Snake River’s four federal dams span the Snake as it flows through the state of Washington. Early April, in a memorial opposing the breaching of those dams, Idaho legislators wrote “The State of Idaho recognizes the Port of Lewiston, Idaho’s only seaport ... is an asset of the State.” Then in mid-April the Port of Lewiston “shut down” its barge operation. Zip “Seaport Gone.”
One beneficiary of the millions upon millions spent by the federal government (taxpayers) and hydro power ratepayers to operate and maintain the four LSR dams had been the Port of Lewison, which on its website touts itself as “Idaho’s Seaport.” In truth, it is a river port whose container-on-barge shipments always went to the Port of Portland on the Columbia River. Further, as a river port, by the end of FY2014, POL’s freight volume had declined since 2000 by 82 percent, hardly justifying the enormous cost of operating the lower Snake transportation waterway to Lewiston. Today, the POL’s recently extended $2.8 million dock sits unused.
That’s right, Idaho’s legislators passed a memorial supporting outrageously costly federal dams located in another state and a dying river port that became no port at all.
Rick Rupp, Lewiston