The inclusion of the money in the budget was a victory for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who found resistance to the dam destruction minimal. Even a local pulp mill which buys electricity from the dams favored the move.
Washington's Republican Sen. Slade Gorton, however, disagreed, arguing for fish passages around the dams. Though that option would be cheaper, an environmental impact statement drafted last year by Olympic National Park says it wouldn't fully restore the salmon.
Gorton will have ample opportunity to voice his opposition to tearing down the dams. The 1997 proposal will not be debated until the 1996 budget is resolved.
* Bill Taylor,