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Simpson's dam breaching plan opposed by many

| March 18, 2021 1:00 AM

Despite what some news stories have claimed, there is significant opposition to Rep. Mike Simpson’s dam breaching plan.

Most are supportive of salmon in Idaho, but not through drastic measures such as this that would forever alter our way of life in Idaho.

Consider the facts:

• About 14 million metric tons of wheat destined for export move through the Columbia-Snake River system annually, including about 50 percent of Idaho’s wheat.

• Barging wheat down the river system is the most environmentally friendly and economic way to transport wheat to the world.

• Wheat farmers would be devastated by dam removal. Wheat is grown in 42 of Idaho’s 44 counties and wheat farmers brought in $525 million in farm-gate revenue in 2020.

• Wheat and barley are important parts of many Idaho farmers’ crop rotations and the impact of dam removal would be widely felt throughout Idaho agriculture.

• People and businesses in Idaho and the PNW enjoy some of the lowest power rates in the nation and that would change if those hydroelectric dams are removed.

• A study commissioned by the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association found that shifting transportation of commodities from river barges to truck and rail, which would happen with dam removal, would increase carbon and other harmful emissions by more than 1.3 million tons per year and it would take about 35,000 rail cars or 135,000 semi-trucks to move all the cargo that is barged on the Snake River.

JOHN KELLOGG

Bonners Ferry

Boundary County Farm Bureau