Judge Mulls Breaching Snake River Dams

"SEATTLE -- For years, the federal government has struggled to find a way to operate the massive hydropower system on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest and still recover the endangered salmon that all too frequently are slaughtered at the massive dams as they make their way up and down the river.

One option for saving the fish has never really been on the table: breaching the four dams on the lower Snake River that stand between the salmon and millions of acres of pristine habitat in central Idaho and northeastern Oregon. ...

But it's a new watch. And a federal judge in Oregon has signaled that breaching the Snake River dams needs to be considered, at least as a contingency plan, if other options for bringing back salmon fail to do the job."

Kim Murphy reports for the Los Angeles Times May 20, 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009