Once again, Northwest farmers find themselves in a fight to keep the Snake and Columbia River dams. This after a Portland judge determined efforts to help salmon were not doing enough. In response, additional water was spilled over the dams this spring, but environmental groups say more needs to be done.
Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse have worked in D.C. to pass legislation ensuring the dams remain. During his recent trip to the Palouse, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said it’s important that all sides work together.
“Obviously water policy and environmental policy is many times guided with state policy, but we try to be good partners with that, we try to make sure that all the stakeholders know important water resources are.”
Perdue was quick to point out the Northwest dams are important not only from a crop generating standpoint, but also from a logistics standpoint. He said its important producers can get their products out to the open market.
“It’s one thing to be able to grow it here, but if you can’t get it to market, if you can’t get it on those ships going to the Pacific Rim, it decreases farm income, and logistics and waterways are critically, vitally important to farmers in that arena.”
Representative Dan Newhouse says the additional spill over the dams this spring cost electricity customers $40 million.
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