Letters: Spend wisely

May 6, 2014 

The Bonneville Power Administration provides electric power, transmission and energy efficiency to the Northwest. A major budgetary line item of the BPA is Fish and Wildlife. BPA maintains a "comprehensive approach" aimed at integrating the Endangered Species Act requirements of the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinions and resource protection, mitigation and enhancement objectives adopted by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council pursuant to the Northwest Power Act.

The BPA was financially responsible to the tune of $682.4 million for fiscal year 2013 and almost $7 billion since 2004. Fall Chinook salmon returns were at an all-time high in 2013 (almost 1 million) since being listed in 1992, when just 116,200 fish returned.

Although the mitigation of the dam's effect on fish and wildlife has proved successful, the environmentalists are relentless. They will never be satisfied and will require "more" in the form of lawsuits. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association has formally requested that the Northwest governors call for the intervention of a "God Squad" review to "halt excessive and unbridled litigation directed toward the Region's electric power ratepayers." Instead of spending tons of money on unnecessary litigation, let's spend it on real salmon restoration practices.

BEN SWITA, Kennewick

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