I am greatly disappointed in the court-ordered open houses currently being held by federal agencies around the Pacific Northwest regarding the future of the four lower Snake River dams. While attendance was strong in Spokane, WA. and Lewiston, ID, public turnout hasn’t been great in other communities so far. All meetings should have been scheduled well after the Presidential election and holiday season.
A number of communities, in both Idaho and Oregon, are surprisingly not scheduled to have meetings, despite being greatly affected by the continued operation of the lower Snake dams. Kamiah or Kooskia are logical choices, as well as Grangeville or Riggins. With abundant wild salmon habitat in north-central Idaho, one meeting in Lewiston does not suffice.
Besides the scheduled meeting in Boise, one should also occur in Salmon or Stanley. There isn’t a single meeting scheduled for eastern Oregon. Many communities are being left out of the process, despite the importance of anadromous fisheries to their economy.
Agencies are operating under a court order to engage the public, and take a serious look at breaching the lower Snake dams due to another illegal recovery plan for wild salmon, and yet, the information being presented at these meetings is not offering citizens enough facts and details about the costs-benefits of the dams and their reservoirs. The government is, instead, burying the issue in a larger public scoping process that looks at the vast Columbia River System Operations and its 14 dams in total. The feds are being disingenuous.