River too hot
Lower Snake River water temperature during the summer is too hot for salmon migration.
For the last 20 years, more than 64 percent of the time during the summer, water temperature was too hot and exceeded 68 degrees.
Higher water temperatures during migration increases prespawning mortality and deplete energy reserves before fish reach spawning grounds, reducing the size and number of viable eggs. The Snake River does not have enough adult salmon returning to prevent extinction and hot water kills adult salmon migrating up the Snake River.
The Snake River has the hottest temperature during the upstream migration of adult chinook and sockeye salmon.
The Snake River is hotter than the Columbia River upstream of the Snake River confluence.
For the last 10 years, the Columbia River exceeded 68 degrees about 20 percent of the time each summer while the Snake River exceeded that temperature more than 72 percent of the time.
While U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee pursue a joint federal-state process to establish a comprehensive solution for salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin, please include reducing water temperature in the Snake River during salmon migration.
The solution could modify the lower Snake River dams to reduce water temperature during adult migration. Another option is to implement Congressman Mike Simpson’s Columbia Basin Initiative to restore Idaho’s salmon and steelhead to abundance while ensuring Idaho and Northwest communities a prosperous future.
I urge everyone to work to reduce lower Snake River water temperature during salmon migration.
God, the Lord, is our strength. Word of God, speak:
Habakkuk 1:1-5 “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.”
The Lord’s answer: “Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habakkuk 2:2-4 “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay ... but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”
Who would have thought that school board members would be accosted by parents? Who would have imagined flight attendants taking self-defense classes? Who would have considered people would vote for a presidential candidate who mocked someone who was disabled?
Who could believe that patriotic volunteer election officials and secretaries of state would receive death threats? Who would have thought that law enforcement officials would say the quiet part out loud — that they would not enforce the laws? And who would have considered that our competent doctors would be threatened for testifying at school board meetings?
In some of my psychology classes, a discussion about how to teach children respect was held each quarter. Most American students supported a strategy of teaching children respect by their parents respecting them. But then an international student mentioned that children in her culture learn respect by example — that if the parents respect their elderly relatives, teachers, police officers, doctors and others, their children would learn respect for others.
That suggestion challenged many American students to consider her perspective.
So, how will our children learn respect? What are the examples of adult behavior that they see or hear in the news, on the internet or even closer to home such as in their houses?
What are these out-of-control moms and dads teaching their children. And what do they model for civility in the future? Our children, including teenagers, and the world are watching.
This summer, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared a code red for humanity. Whatever the cause, it isn’t hard to see why. Here in the West, we have seen devastating fires this summer and, in the past couple of years, continued droughts (think Oregon, Nevada, and California).
Green energy can help, but a major hurdle in harnessing green energy is a lack of storage options. We need more and better batteries.
Hi-tech batteries made by Ambri can store energy from solar panels and wind turbines for use in power grids, but require antimony. Currently the U.S. must rely on China for almost all of its antimony. This is far from ideal and a key reason I have long supported Idaho’s Perpetua Resources’ proposal to extract antimony from large reserves in Idaho.
Recently, Perpetua Resources announced a partnership that could be a game changer for the clean energy future. They have agreed to supply antimony mined in Idaho to help commercialize Ambri’s large-scale liquid metal batteries, reducing reliance on China for antimony.
The batteries produced from Idaho minerals would help power 13 gigawatt hours of clean energy storage. That is, 1 million homes could be powered with solar energy during a battery’s 20 year-plus lifespan.
Responsible mining by Perpetua Resources, a community minded company, could speed our transition to green energy by providing a reliable domestic source of a critical element needed to make large-scale reduction in carbon emissions feasible.
Dam breaching overdue
The professed goals of the four lower Snake River dams are:
l Economic growth, particularly for Lewiston.
l Low cost energy.
l Low cost (subsidized) navigation.
l Irrigation benefits for 10-12 Washington farmers.
All of this is to be done without harming fish.
After a half-century, the results are:
l Lewiston has had the slowest growth rate of any Northwest city for the last 30 years.
l Northwest wholesale electricity is now the highest priced energy west of the Sierra/Cascades, from San Diego to Vancouver, B.C.
l The Bonneville Power Administration is doubling down on power sources costing $36 per megawatt hour and increasing, while power producers further south are transitioning to green energy sources costing $20 per megawatt hour and decreasing.
l BPA is bleeding red ink and is conferring with at least two congressmen in search of $10 billion-plus federal bailouts, a process that will further increase power rates.
l Freight shipped on the river has declined by 50 percent in the last 20 years. The barging subsidy for the remaining freight can be easily converted to a lower cost rail subsidy.
l Washington state irrigators admit they don’t need the lower Snake River dams.
l Anadromous fish in the Columbia-Snake river drainages are on the brink of extinction.
l Southern resident killer whales in Puget Sound are facing extinction resulting from starving to death due to lack of salmon.
The time to breach the four lower Snake River dams is long overdue.