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Return to Previous PageDam Removal Isn’t Your Concern, Eastern Washington Tells Seattle

By Phuong Le

Eastern Washington to Seattle: Mind your own dam business.

After the Seattle City Council last month unanimously passed a resolution supporting the partial removal of four lower Snake River dams, authorities east of the mountains responded with resolutions of their own.

The Seattle motion was an effort to aid salmon populations along the river.

The Moses Lake City Council passed a resolution last week, mocking Seattle for sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong and calling for the removal of the Ballard Locks and eight small dams used by Seattle City light.

The Seattle City Council has no direct say regarding dam removal, and Moses Lake’s response was aimed to remind them to keep it that way.

The resolution states: The Ballard Locks in the City of Seattle allegedly kill a higher percentage of salmon migrating past them than the four lower Snake River dams combined.

“Removal of the locks will result in a significant lowering of Lake Union and LakenWashington that will create substantial quantities of pristine riparian habitat for salmon.”

On Monday, the Whitman County commissioners voted to ask the Seattle City Council to abandon its previous resolution.

Tongue in cheek?

Maybe so, but Moses lake City Manager Joe Gavinski said it wasn’t entirely a laughing matter.

“There were a lot of people who were unhappy ahout that (Seattle) resolution,” Gaviaski said.

“Suggestions were made that the (Seattle) council should look in its own back yard before looking elsewhere.”

Indeed it has, said Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlln, who co-sponsored the legislation with Councilwoman Heidi Wills. Conlin defended the resolution, and said Seattle has clearly taken responsibility for its share of mitigating problems at its dams.

“I’m sorry that people take offense,” Conlin said. “We’re one Washington, and we have to take care of our problem together.”

Seattle, WA
September 20, 2000

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