Tell the Corps to end wasteful spending, protect wild salmon!

The Clearwater & Snake River Confluence, Save Our Wild Salmon photo credit

Tell the Army Corps of Engineers not to dredge the lower Snake River. No honest economic analysis can show that the dams’ benefits outweigh the tremendous costs to the public and to salmon. Tell them to save taxpayer dollars for much-needed maintenance elsewhere. View the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Comments are due Sept. 22.

E-mail psmp@usace.army.mil or mail them to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, PSMP/EIS, Attn: Sandy Shelin, CENWW-PM-PD-EC, 201 North Third Avenue, Walla Walla, Washington, 99362-1876.

The Corps of Engineers once again is proposing expensive dredging in the lower Snake River without justifying those costs  — or the impacts to endangered wild salmon and steelhead –to the public.

One of many problems created by the four lower Snake dams is the massive accumulation of silt piling up behind them. In just a few decades, millions of cubic yards of sediment have settled in the reservoir behind Lower Granite Dam. It’s created an ever-worsening flood risk for Clarkston (WA) and Lewiston (ID) and an expensive problem for the Corps of Engineers—and American taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the value of the barge corridor created by these four navigation dams continues its steep decline as shippers move to rail and truck. Container shipping alone on lower Snake has declined more than 60 percent in the past decade. Shipping on the lower Snake accounts for just 4 percent of all shipping on the Columbia-Snake “system.” We can’t afford to waste millions on the lower Snake – especially when salmon and taxpayer-friendly alternatives are available and scarce infrastructure dollars are needed elsewhere.

Recently, the Corps released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for its taxpayer-financed plan to manage the millions of tons of sediment piling up behind the dams.

Rather than address the never-ending sediment problem and the worsening flood risk it creates for riverside towns, the Corps plans for expensive, perpetual dredging and dodges the real issues: the dams’ harm to endangered salmon and their high costs and low benefits. The Corps’ Plan offers no sound economic justification for spending more taxpayer money on a waterway-in-decline — and refuses to consider the most effective solution to the sediment and salmon problems — removal of the four lower Snake River dams.

The Corps has spent $50 million over the past 15 years just to “study” fish passage and sediment management. It’s time to tell the Corps to quit sending our dollars down the river for the benefit of a small group of narrow interests.  Tell the Corps: “No more wasted taxpayer money on the lower Snake waterway.”

Scientists agree that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the single best action we can take to restore wild salmon populations. Economists and former Army Corps staff are now telling us that removal of these dams makes sense for our pocketbooks. too.

Tell the Corps to stop wasting our money on this project. An independent, honest evaluation shows that removing these dams would benefit the region, taxpayers and salmon; blindly spending more of our limited resources to keep these dams operating at a deficit hurts salmon and the region’s economy.

Comments are due Sept. 22.

E-mail psmp@usace.army.mil or mail them to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, PSMP/EIS, Attn: Sandy Shelin, CENWW-PM-PD-EC, 201 North Third Avenue, Walla Walla, Washington, 99362-1876.

 

To read a sample letter click here.

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