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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone catch the segment on 60 Minutes last night?

Air date: November 19, 2000

60 Minutes' synopsis: "Fish Fuss: The government's multibillion dollar effort to save the salmon of the Pacific Northwest is failing, so residents there may soon have to choose between the fish or the hydroelectric dams that are killing scores of them. Lesley Stahl reports. Karen Sughrue is the producer."

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I saw the show, I thought they did a good job highlighting the absurdity of the restoration efforts. I wonder if George Dubya was watching, his stump speech in the Northwest included lines like "we can engineer solutions that will restore salmon while keeping the dams." Must've been written with help from the Army corps. I guess GW wasn't a history major.

Last I heard, the various agencies are now spending $500 million per year on Columbia River salmon restoration projects- although a significant part of that is in "lost hydropower revenues". Columbia River hatcheries release about 200 million smolts (salmon + steelies) per year, and they've been getting 1-2 million returning adults per year in the recent past.

By weight, the hatchery biomass output is more than the biomass returning!

Anyway, that kind of spending makes removing the Elwha Dams sound pretty cheap at two hundred mil to complete the entire project. It's a shame because I think the prospects for success are quite a bit higher on the Elwha than they are on the Columbia.
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