Comment from Veirs, Scott

It saddens me that the complete power plan PDF itself does not even include the words “orca” or “killer whale.” Yet again, our regional iconss -- the endangered southern resident killer whales --are not even at the table when humans devise policies that affect their primary prey source: Chinook salmon. Clearly, the established connections between west coast salmon abundance and SRKW survival are not on the Council’s radar! Instead of alluding to your obligation to preserve wildlife in your considerations, your plans should explicitly discuss the connections between hydropower, salmon, and orcas. As a Council you should LEAD the recovery of salmon and orcas by including conservation actions like dam removal in cost/benefit analyses for the region. As a power consumer in Seattle, I am ready to pay more if necessary to retire the lower Snake dams and reap the subsequent benefit of having healthy salmon and orca populations for my children and grandchildren to enjoy. Such values should be part of your calculus as well. A search of the Council’s web site — — for “orca” and “killer whale” turns up a grand total of 17 hits. Only ~10 of them are relevant and none clearly articulate the science linking killer whales and Chinook salmon populations from big river systems like the Columbia and the Fraser. It's time for you all to understand those connections and start heeding them in the development of our power plans. Dr. Scott Veirs PhD Oceanography, UW 2003