Why does Mike Simpson expect others to present alternatives to his $33 billion plan to gut the economy of the Pacific Northwest? He claims, “We need to have honest conversations.” So, let’s be honest.

The science has already been proven and recorded as fact; fish and dams can successfully co-exist. As a matter of fact, the highest numbers of both salmon and steelhead ever recorded returning to our rivers came during a 10-year period that began 25 years after the last dam was completed.

From 1938-1947, approximately 1.9 million anadromous fish returned over Bonneville Dam, the only dam in the river system at that time. From 2000–09, approximately 6.8 million salmon and steelhead returned to our river system, an increase of 358%. The last dam was completed on the Snake River in 1975. Proof positive that fish and dams can, and do, co-exist.

Simpson and his minions need to prove their scheme to breach our dams and destroy our economy, at such a great cost, will result in the return of even one more fish to our rivers. The burden of proof is on them alone, nobody else. If they cannot prove their case, they need to shut up and go home.

Dick Sherwin

Lewiston, Idaho

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