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Idaho Has Not Forgotten About Threats To Our Water


It's time once again to put Federal bureaucrats and activist environmentalists on notice: Idaho hasn't forgotten about you. We've just been incredibly busy solving some pretty pressing Idaho water problems. You haven't dropped off our radar screen. We've just been watching a different screen for a while.

Here's just a few points we still remember vividly. That the Federal Government is bound and determined to:

* Drain Dworkshak Reservoir every year sending Idaho water down the Clearwater and into Washington and Oregon for salmon regardless of the damage it does to local recreation, fisheries and the economies of Orofino and Clearwater County;

* Ignore the pleas of residents in Valley County who are trying to work out a water shaping agreement that would let water from Cascade Lake be taken out later in the season, and which would replace water sent downriver earlier in the year from Brownlee Reservoir. The Valley County folks want an agreement because they are trying their level best to preserve local recreation, the economy and water quality in the area;

* Dump water out of Lake Pend Oreille and other rivers and streams in North Idaho so they can send it downstream in the name of the Endangered Species Act, despite the fact that doing so directly impacts the economy of Sandpoint and surrounding communities and does serious harm to recreation qualities in the area.

And who could forget the strident radicals in the environmental movement. They have kept up their unceasing legal attack on the sovereignty of Idaho water and the continued existence of all the Federal dams and reservoirs in the Northwest.

We have not forgotten that these are the extremists who want you to believe they alone know what is best for Idaho water. With one voice they tell you they have Idaho's best interest at heart while out the other side of their mouth they argue in court in Portland that state control should be strippep away. They want you to believe they can tear out the Snake River dams and not destroy the economic fabric of Lewiston and its port; that tens of thousands of hatchery-born Chinook salmon returning to Idaho every year should not be considered in evaluating whether or not Idaho's salmon are recovering.

It's now time to renew our efforts to protect Idaho from those who seek to impose partisan and scientifically flawed policies on its citizens. And we will succeed.