Let’s Get The Snake River Moving Again


| 12/21/2017 9:37:00 AM


Tags: Darlene May Lee, Earth Law Center, Grant Wilson,

I remember learning in school that the earliest peoples preferred to live near rivers if possible – which took care of food and fresh water, transport, and useful materials like reeds. What I didn’t know was how much river health suffers because of dams. I always thought of them as engineering marvels – proof of human engineering ingenuity.

Well it turns out we have gotten a bit carried away building them. Did you know there are over 800,000 dams in the world? [1] For rivers that need to flow and species that need to migrate – that’s a bit of a disaster. Cold, flowing water becomes warm and stagnant when trapped behind a barrier.

The world has lost about 80% of freshwater fish populations since 1970, which is when dams started going up everywhere. Coincidence? Not according to the science. [2

The good news is, dams are starting to come down. In the US alone, 1000 dams have been removed to date. [3]This is good news, the costs of dams seem to outweigh the benefits in many cases. Dams can erode riverbanks, cause water logging on nearby land and increase the proportion of salt in river water. The warm, stagnant water also encourages the spread of parasitic diseases, notably malaria and schistosomiasis, and robs river creatures of their natural habitats.  



The Nez Perce certainly think it is time for a change

Over thousands of years, nature taught the Nez Perce how to live with her. According to tribal leaders, “This intimate and sacred relationship unifies us, stabilizes us, humbles us. It is what makes us a distinct people and what gives us our identity. We cannot be separated from the land or our rights without losing what makes us Nez Perce. We defend our rights to preserve who we are and what we hold sacred.” [4

farmlifer
1/11/2018 12:55:17 PM

I totally support and hope for the removal ALL dams on the Snake and possibly all of them on the Columbia River as well. Not to mention the Deschutes and Metolius River Dams as well !. In my heart I know that greed ridden dim witted leaders of our region will fight this to save their billions so that they may live better than and, protected from our feelings and daily lives. I also feel this hope is a fools folly but I know I am not alone and that gives me renewed hope! John McGee


farmlifer
1/11/2018 12:34:50 PM

I totally support and hope for the removal ALL dams on the Snake and possibly all of them on the Columbia River as well. Not to mention the Deschutes and Metolius River Dams as well !. In my heart I know that greed ridden dim witted leaders of our region will fight this to save their billions so that they may live better than and, protected from our feelings and daily lives. I also feel this hope is a fools folly but I know I am not alone and that gives me renewed hope! John McGee







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