Well, we knew this year was going to be terrible and unprecedented due to the lack of snow this winter in the Pacific Northwest and California. We had August river temperatures in June and now we have lethal temperatures virtually wiping out the entire run of sockeye in the Columbia River. We've got Idaho Fish and Game personnel trapping sockeye at Lower Granite Dam (37 of them) and trucking them back to the hatchery because there is good reason to believe, if some make it to Lower Granite Dam, they will likely die in the 400 miles between the final dam and Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho.
I've been sending comments asking for the lower Snake River dams to be removed for several years and I have done so twice in the past week. Today, I called the White House comments line and left my comments about removing the dams on the lower Snake River since we are losing 80-90 percent of the sockeye this year in the lethal hot water created by these dams holding back water to sit idle in the sun of a long, hot summer. I was happy to hear that the White House is getting a lot of calls on removing the four lower Snake River dams, but they will need to hear from everyone of you.
If you want to win this fight, you must leave no stone unturned. If you haven't gotten on the phone to contact the White House about removing the lower Snake River dams or if you haven't sent in written comments about removing these dams, you are the stone left unturned and that has to change. If we are to be the generation that can say you're welcome and not we're sorry to future generations when the topic of Columbia/Snake wild salmonids comes up, then we must act today, right now. We must be the groundswell that gives these fish and our environment a fighting chance in the face of a sweltering and dismal future. We must free the Snake, so these fish have a legitimate shot at reaching the prime spawning and rearing habitat in Idaho.
What we are witnessing before our eyes on the Columbia/Snake rivers is a serious trauma. When a person goes into cardiac arrest due to a traumatic injury (car accident, etc.), their only real hope for survival is that it happened close (five minutes away) from a trauma center and that everyone involved in the saving of their life is perfect that day. We are losing 80-90 percent of the sockeye this year, a half million fish, this is a year of reckoning. We should have already stood up before now, but now we must stand and be accountable and we must act. We must do what we can to save these fish by returning their river to them.
We can generate electricity in a myriad of ways and we can do so cleanly and sustainably. The river transport argument is a nonstarter. Taxpayers subsidize the Port of Lewiston and it has something like 80 percent less of the shipping container business that it had 15 years ago. It's not even worth mentioning, it isn't even a consideration. The Port of Lewiston is another failed experiment better demonstrating the hubris of mankind than his ingenuity. More sections of pipe erase the irrigation argument completely.
"Mr. President, tear down these walls!" "Congress, tear down these walls!"
We have choices in our lives and this has always been a choice. We can choose to save the wild salmon and steelhead of the Snake River Basin or we can continue to choose to dam them and by choosing the latter we damn them to the dust bin of history and we diminish our world to unfathomable depths of despair.
Please, I implore you to stop staring at whatever social network that is diminishing your life experience and sucking the very life out of you and look at the world around you and realize you can help restore it.
You can call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111. You can also send comments in written form, use this handy site provided by Save Our Wild Salmon. Just click their take action now button on the right side of the screen.