Is breaching the dams in the Pacific Northwest a good idea?

July 07, 2009 | By JOSHUA THOMPSON

Author: Damien M. Schiff

So argues author Paul VanDevelder this week in the Los Angeles Times.  Van Develder refers to Judge James Redden's recent letter to the federal defendants in National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service (noted on this blog) that, if renewed federal efforts to restore depleted salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest fail, the judge may order the breaching of dams along the Snake River.  (See here for earlier Times coverage). Suffice it to say, Mr. VanDevelder's description of those dams as "economic sinkholes, which produce less than 3% of the region's power, do nothing for flood control, irrigate only a handful of big farms and subsidize transportation costs (at the expense of taxpayers and salmon) for wheat farmers in Idaho and eastern Washington" is rather tendentious.