Author Archive

What it will take to put Snake River dam breaching back on the table?

Idaho Statesman: The science and economics supporting breaching the four lower Snake River dams has only gotten stronger. But anyone who says the politics has changed are wishing and hoping, not accurately reading the tea leaves. A recent story by Nicholas Geranios of The Associated Press said that “the idea has gained new momentum,” after 200 boats did a floating protest on the Snake River October 3. “The groundswell that is occurring right now to remove the four dams is like nothing I’ve seen since 1998,”...

Warm water in Pacific could cook Idaho’s salmon and steelhead

Idaho Statesman: History says the situation could be disastrous for Idaho's salmon and steelhead. A mass of warm water thousands of square miles in size that reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface last summer is being called "the blob." But scientists say it's too early to tell if it's short-term phenomena or a sign of a longer trend. Surface temperatures are 3 degrees higher than normal. "Since it's outside of anybody's experience, we don't know what to expect," said Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with...

Climate change expected to increase Snake River sediment tenfold

Idaho Statesman: The Army Corps of Engineer under law is supposed to maintain the lower Snake River navigation channel at 14 feet deep and 250 feet wide. In the draft EIS, the Corps is proposing a long-term plan to manage, and prevent if possible, river sediment deposition behind all four dams, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite Locks and Dams. As I reported earlier, groups who seek removal of the four lower Snake Dams are using this process to push their point that not only is their...

Catching up on climate change in Idaho

Idaho Statesman: Hurricane Sandy and other recent natural disasters have put climate change back into the national discussion even though it was ignored throughout most of the presidential campaign. Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine went beyond the scientific consensus linking the storm to the trend with this month's cover story headline "It's Global Warming, Stupid." But hydrologists, biologists and foresters in Idaho have been documenting the reality of climate change for the past two decades. They are seeing...