Have you answered Newhouse's "Do You Support Our Dams?" Survey yet?

longputt

Active Member
#18
I did, and quickly discovered there's no arguing with idiots. The proverbial wrestling with a pig.
You are right...removing Hell's Canyon and Grand Coulee will restore 60% of the native spawning grounds. Why are we wasting our time with these trivial dams. Go for it.

By the way to restore the largest WA sockeye run we need to remove Northgate Mall and Ballard locks.

We need to prioritize and get on with it.

To replace Grand Coulee we need wind machines in West Seattle, Medina, Queen Anne and Bellevue.

Works for me!
 

TDB

Active Member
#20
You are right...removing Hell's Canyon and Grand Coulee will restore 60% of the native spawning grounds. Why are we wasting our time with these trivial dams. Go for it.

By the way to restore the largest WA sockeye run we need to remove Northgate Mall and Ballard locks.

We need to prioritize and get on with it.

To replace Grand Coulee we need wind machines in West Seattle, Medina, Queen Anne and Bellevue.

Works for me!
Super good points. Flawless logic.
Well thought out and articulate.
 

TDB

Active Member
#22
Wrong....leave the dams. Take out the powerlines heading over the Cascades.

Remember think globally, act locally.

Nothing like having to live with consequences of your decisions to introduce a dose of reality to discussions.
Dang you got me. I was unaware Eastern Washington residents paid to build and operate the dams or owned the Snake River.
 

BDD

Active Member
#23
I will support any dam removal that is not living up to its mitigation responsibilities, when the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, or when deemed socially or economically unfeasible. However, let me provide a few items for some to ponder. Hydro is about the only entity out there that actually even comes close to mitigating for their impacts. Don't believe me? Name another one?

Let's say we took away all the hydro projects. We are suddenly in need of a large quantity of energy. No problem you say, there are alternatives...fine. There are not a lot that can be developed that are as clean or efficient as hydro. Wind and solar. Not sure that will get us where we need to be.

Let's look at WDFW. The average person has no idea how much funding goes into WDFW as a result of hydro. You think their financial situation looks grim now...wait until all their hydro funding is gone. And say goodbye to hatcheries. Where do you think the funding for hatcheries comes from? So we don't need hatcheries you say...they are detrimental to wild fish anyway. Okay. But the tribes are guaranteed fish to catch by the governments. So now they are solely fishing over wild stocks. I'll wager some of you that fished the March 1 or the upcoming April openers caught/will catch fish that were funded by hydro...yes even in lakes. I'll bet most of you didn't know that?

Next is habitat. Where do you think funding for habitat conservation/restoration comes from? Where will the money for land acquisitions come from? Suddenly you have more land being developed in critical areas, with more wells being drilled and water taken from the ground. Where will funding come from for restoration to pay for all the development that occurred over the last 10 decades? All those who came in, took what they wanted for short-term financial gain and left are gone. Who will pay for irrigators and orchardists to revamp their water-delivery systems when needed because they don't do it themselves? Anybody eat fruit from the Wenatchee, Entiat or Methow areas? One reason why fruit is so inexpensive is because the orchardists are being subsidized by hydro.

What about the data that are collected now? Much of what we know about salmon and steelhead come from hydro-funded research and monitoring programs. If we only relied on state and federal government funding from non-hydro sources, we would know a lot less about fish. I was in a meeting yesterday in Penticton, BC. Much of the BC provincial government information on kokanee was obtained through tribal research, that was paid for as a result of reintroducing sockeye through hydro dollars.

Salmon and steelhead are struggling in areas with great habitat and no dams. No dams on the Fraser. But yet Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead just got assigned to the COSEWIC process in BC so they are not doing very well. Does anyone really think that salmon and steelhead will simply recover miraculously on their own when needing to travel hundred of miles up the Columbia or Snake, even without the dams, when Hoh steelhead are barely hanging on with headwaters in a national park and only swimming tens of miles upstream to spawn?

There are not many fish biologists who will claim that dams are beneficial to fish and those that do are wrong. However, there are probably about the same number of fish biologists who work for traditional non-hydro entities who wouldn't admit to themselves in the mirror (they may not do it in public) that hydro is a huge boost to our fisheries and one of the few entities who actually pay for their impacts on fish. I'm not trying to convince you hydro is great for fish. I'm just trying to let the average WA resident and fly angler know that there is a lot more to hydro than most people think and to be careful what you wish for. Next thing you know, we'll all be buying generators and solar panels and we can install them ourselves with all the extra time we have because we won't be fishing...in rivers or lakes, unless its for warmwater species. Sadly, it won't be much different than now...except our diesel, electric, and apple bills will be a lot higher.
 
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longputt

Active Member
#24
[QUOTE="BDD
There are not many fish biologists who will claim that dams are beneficial to fish and those that do are wrong. However, there are probably about the same number of fish biologists who work for traditional non-hydro entities who wouldn't admit to themselves in the mirror (they may not do it in public) that hydro is a huge boost to our fisheries and one of the few entities who actually pay for their impacts on fish. [/QUOTE]

Great posting...my posting is kind of smart a$$ed on purpose but I get frustrated by the lack of "big picture" reality.

About 10 years ago I saw the results of a Department of Energy study that took the cost of all of the Col and Snake River projects funded by hydro rate payers and divided it by the number of adult returning salmon.

The cost per returning salmon? $750!
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#26
As a pluralistic society we don't all use the same metric to measure the value of dams. It's archaic thinking that every dam is a good dam that needs to stay. And it's delusional thinking that every dam must be removed. It's near certain that every dam will degrade over time and become non-functional if not maintained.

This survey is about the 4 lower Snake River dams. Whether they are worth keeping and operating depends what yardstick is used to measure their worth. The legislators who are contemplating federal legislation to keep the dams in place and bypassing the God Squad (CEQ) are examples of the kind of thinking that all dams are good, regardless of the costs and regardless of who is paying the costs. There is no objective measure of these dams value. The original costs are sunk costs, although it's possible that BPA is still paying off amortized original costs for them, at least in part. Whether the ongoing costs of maintenance and operation is worth the cost to taxpayers and ratepayers is at least debatable.

The impacts of the dams to fish is not. The dams have destroyed and adversely modified critical habitat by ordinary ESA criteria. And unlike the first 5 mid-C dams, the 4 lower Snake dams are owned by the federal government, operated by the Corps of Engineers, and the energy is marketed by BPA, and they are not required by law to fully mitigate their adverse impacts to fish and wildlife.

More likely than not, salmon and steelhead will not recover upstream of the 4 lower Snake dams with the dams in place. What is uncertain is whether they would recover with the dams removed or breached.
 
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BDD

Active Member
#27
As a pluralistic society we don't all use the same metric to measure the value of dams. It's archaic thinking that every dam is a good dam that needs to stay. And it's delusional thinking that every dam must be removed. It's near certain that every dam will degrade over time and become non-functional if not maintained.

This survey is about the 4 lower Snake River dams. Whether they are worth keeping and operating depends what yardstick is used to measure their worth. The legislators who are contemplating federal legislation to keep the dams in place and bypassing the God Squad (CEQ) are examples of the kind of thinking that all dams are good, regardless of the costs and regardless of who is paying the costs. There is no objective measure of these dams value. The original costs are sunk costs, although it's possible that BPA is still paying off amortized original costs for them, at least in part. Whether the ongoing costs of maintenance and operation is worth the cost to taxpayers and ratepayers is at least debatable.

The impacts of the dams to fish is not. The dams have destroyed and adversely modified critical habitat by ordinary ESA criteria. And unlike the first 5 mid-C dams, the 4 lower Snake dams are owned by the federal government, operated by the Corps of Engineers, and the energy is marketed by BPA, and they are not required by law to fully mitigate their adverse impacts to fish and wildlife.

More likely than not, salmon and steelhead will not recovery upstream of the 4 lower Snake dams with the dams in place. What is uncertain is whether they would recover with the dams removed or breached.
Although I have liked a lot of posts on WFF over the years, this is the first one that I have actually "liked". It is worthy of breaking my own personal "don't like anything on WFF" rule. It's like when Pharaoh broke his own rule by using the name "Moses" on his deathbed which he previously forbade in The Ten Commandments.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
#28
Dang you got me. I was unaware Eastern Washington residents paid to build and operate the dams or owned the Snake River.
Well, we paid for six dams on the Columbia on our own.

Nope, don't own the Snake River, but you do know that most of the Federal electricity generated by Federal dams goes west of the Cascades.

I am fine with pulling the Snake River dams.....but, to replace the dams you need FOUR nuclear power plants in western Oregon and Washington or several million acres of Industrial Wind Areas. Over 75% of locally generated power in western Washington comes from thermal sources. It is time for you folks to deal with it. Generate your own power, and the dams on the Snake can come out.

We have destroyed over 200,000 acres of endangered shrub-steppe habitat in eastern Washington with Industrial Wind Areas. I am ok with Industrial Wind Areas and Nuclear Power Plants in western Washington.

My problem is that western Washington residents want to pull the Snake River dams and then destroy several million acres of shrub-steppe ecosystems in eastern Washington to replace the lost electricity.

I would rather have the dams.

BUT if you want nuclear power plants and Industrial Wind Areas in western Washington....put them in...and the Snake River dams can come out.
 
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#29
I will support any dam removal that is not living up to its mitigation responsibilities, when the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, or when deemed socially or economically unfeasible. However, let me provide a few items for some to ponder. Hydro is about the only entity out there that actually even comes close to mitigating for their impacts. Don't believe me? Name another one?

Let's say we took away all the hydro projects. We are suddenly in need of a large quantity of energy. No problem you say, there are alternatives...fine. There are not a lot that can be developed that are as clean or efficient as hydro. Wind and solar. Not sure that will get us where we need to be.

Let's look at WDFW. The average person has no idea how much funding goes into WDFW as a result of hydro. You think their financial situation looks grim now...wait until all their hydro funding is gone. And say goodbye to hatcheries. Where do you think the funding for hatcheries comes from? So we don't need hatcheries you say...they are detrimental to wild fish anyway. Okay. But the tribes are guaranteed fish to catch by the governments. So now they are solely fishing over wild stocks. I'll wager some of you that fished the March 1 or the upcoming April openers caught/will catch fish that were funded by hydro...yes even in lakes. I'll bet most of you didn't know that?

Next is habitat. Where do you think funding for habitat conservation/restoration comes from? Where will the money for land acquisitions come from? Suddenly you have more land being developed in critical areas, with more wells being drilled and water taken from the ground. Where will funding come from for restoration to pay for all the development that occurred over the last 10 decades? All those who came in, took what they wanted for short-term financial gain and left are gone. Who will pay for irrigators and orchardists to revamp their water-delivery systems when needed because they don't do it themselves? Anybody eat fruit from the Wenatchee, Entiat or Methow areas? One reason why fruit is so inexpensive is because the orchardists are being subsidized by hydro.

What about the data that are collected now? Much of what we know about salmon and steelhead come from hydro-funded research and monitoring programs. If we only relied on state and federal government funding from non-hydro sources, we would know a lot less about fish. I was in a meeting yesterday in Penticton, BC. Much of the BC provincial government information on kokanee was obtained through tribal research, that was paid for as a result of reintroducing sockeye through hydro dollars.

Salmon and steelhead are struggling in areas with great habitat and no dams. No dams on the Fraser. But yet Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead just got assigned to the COSEWIC process in BC so they are not doing very well. Does anyone really think that salmon and steelhead will simply recover miraculously on their own when needing to travel hundred of miles up the Columbia or Snake, even without the dams, when Hoh steelhead are barely hanging on with headwaters in a national park and only swimming tens of miles upstream to spawn?

There are not many fish biologists who will claim that dams are beneficial to fish and those that do are wrong. However, there are probably about the same number of fish biologists who work for traditional non-hydro entities who wouldn't admit to themselves in the mirror (they may not do it in public) that hydro is a huge boost to our fisheries and one of the few entities who actually pay for their impacts on fish. I'm not trying to convince you hydro is great for fish. I'm just trying to let the average WA resident and fly angler know that there is a lot more to hydro than most people think and to be careful what you wish for. Next thing you know, we'll all be buying generators and solar panels and we can install them ourselves with all the extra time we have because we won't be fishing...in rivers or lakes, unless its for warmwater species. Sadly, it won't be much different than now...except our diesel, electric, and apple bills will be a lot higher.
I wanted to say this but couldn’t have done nearly as well!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#30
The impacts of the dams to fish is not. The dams have destroyed and adversely modified critical habitat by ordinary ESA criteria. And unlike the first 5 mid-C dams, the 4 lower Snake dams are owned by the federal government, operated by the Corps of Engineers, and the energy is marketed by BPA, and they are not required by law to fully mitigate their adverse impacts to fish and wildlife.

More likely than not, salmon and steelhead will not recovery upstream of the 4 lower Snake dams with the dams in place. What is uncertain is whether they would recover with the dams removed or breached.
You and BDD obviously know more about this than I do. But what about the "Snake River Mitigation Act?" The Feds are buying up land to "mitigate" the impact of the Snake River. (The tough part is the WDFW doesn't have adequate budget to manage them.) Is this not mitigation of those dams?

I know NOAA and other agencies are working on survival of smolts and kelts on this area? Millions have been spent at Lo-Mo in the previous 2 years, drawdowns have been tested, by-pass systems and barges are used, and kelt survival studies are going on in earnest.

Doesn't it take a law for the Feds to spend this kind of money? There must be some legislation requiring mitigation?