Comment from Pauley, Stephen M

Sirs, Power production from the four lower Snake Dams is out of synch with power needs. You have maximum reservoir storage in spring when little power is needed, and minimum storage in summer and fall when power is needed. So the purpose of those dams is, by default, to enable grain barges to operate on the Columbia-Snake. Power needs are far better met through conservation, wind turbines, and solar energy plants. The grain barges pass without fees. The taxpayer and BPA rate payers subsidize agriculture at the expense of the salmon runs which are on the verge of extinction. Grain shippers do not pay for dam maintenance and repairs and therefore receive a hugh subsidy. The slow water reservoirs behind the 4 LSR dams harm smolt migrations downstream each spring and summer. The Army COE's smolt barging program has not solved salmon extinction. Smolts allowed to pass over the dams do better than rapidly transported smolts in barges (see Fish Passage Center data). The barged smolts are ejected into the estuary "alive" but without the time needed to undergo "smoltification" - the transition of their physiology from fresh to salt water. They remain too long in the upper fresh water lens and become prey for birds above and squawfish below. But the ARmy COE considers their barge program a success. It is NOT. Truck and rail cars could transport grain to the tri cities or Portland. Roughly $800 m per year is spent on so called salmon recovery measures. The cost to remove the 4LSR dams would be about $1 billion. This should be a no brainer. Remove the 4 LSR dams. Lewiston is under the threat of inundation. Nearby Snake River dikes may soon allow overflow and subsequent flooding of Lewiston because of silt build up from Lower Granite Dam. The cost of silt dredging would not be affordable, nor a wise expenditure of tax payer money. The only farm irrigation is from Ice Harbor reservoir, and to only 13 farms. For a small cost, the govt. could buy out those farmers or cover the electricity costs to the farmers to lower intakes and raise the water higher after dam removal. There is NO flood control provided by the 4 LSR dams. At one time up to 45% of all native salmon entering the Columbia were spawned in the pristine waters of central Idaho. Today's returns are predominately hatchery fish which dilute native genes and produce a weak version of what once was a mighty and courageous native fish population. Once the truly native fish are gone, the runs will end. Hatchery fish need native DNA for the runs to continue. Transplanted sockeye from the Fraser River were a complete failure. The runs into Idaho represent a unique genetic population. It makes no sense to continue this dead-end approach to fish management on the Columbia-Snake Rivers. Sure, you can continue hatchery programs like the one that keeps the Redfish Lake sockeye genetics alive at the Eagle Hatchery. That is NOT normal reproduction in a native habitat as called for under the ESA. Rather it represents just one more "technofix" to buy some time before all the native fish are gone. Who among you will be the one to stand up and call for a halt to this madness? It's long overdue. Stephen M Pauley MD