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Know the West

Reassessing the dams


Sadly, removal of Washington’s Gorge Dam will not slow, let alone reverse, the declining native salmon populations that once thrived in the magnificent 160-plus-mile Skagit-Cascade-Sauk-Suiattle Wild and Scenic River System (“Reassessing the dams,” August 2021).

It’s true that “the licensing process has triggered different conversations on the Skagit’s future.” Unfortunately, the author focused on a tiny, almost insignificant piece of a very large picture. We would be better off spending money improving the environmental practices of people and municipalities in the river system’s riparian zone, actions such as diverting septic waste, sewer and stormwater overflows, stopping fertilizer and petroleum-laced road runoff, enforcing land- and shore-management regulations, reforestation and more. These are the types of actions that might help increase salmon and steelhead runs for tribes in Washington to catch. 

Anna Rudd
Seattle, Washington