Environmentalists and Washington Governor Jay Inslee say removing the four lower Snake River dams would benefit salmon and other wildlife that call that waterway home. And while the state recently conducted a study looking at the economic impact to Central and Eastern Washington if those dams are removed, some in Olympia say western Washington take some of its own advice.
State Senator Doug Ericksen has proposed legislation that would conduct a study looking at removing the dams on the Skagit River, which are owned by Power Seattle and Seattle City Light. The Whatcom County Republican said the greater Puget Sound area is a much better place to start if Washington is truly concerned about salmon.
“We should look at taking out Ballard Locks, and returning Lake Washington and Lake Union to their original pristine state. And we should look at uncovering and daylighting Ravana Creek, to free the wild Ravana from the sewer pipes that it’s been channeled into and make that a wild salmon bearing stream again. I’m trying to highlight for the people of Seattle they have massively altered their environment on a scale much greater then what they’re trying to stop us from doing in the rest of the state.”
Ericksen noted the legislation has been well received by most of the state, with the exception being the I-5 corridor. He added it’s not appropriate for the greater Seattle area to try to mitigate their financial success by denying rural Washington the opportunity to create manufacturing jobs.
Ericksen’s Ballard Locks proposal will receive a hearing in Olympia Tuesday at 10 a.m.
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