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Back in the real world, saving one dam salmon at a time

King salmon

While Washington, D.C. was solving another self-created crisis, real American solutions were emerging in the other Washington.   As William Yardley writes in the New York Times, massive dams that have prevented salmon from migrating upstream on the Elwha River are to be physically removed, allowing salmon to move naturally to their spawning grounds.  Experts predict that “392,000 fish will fill 70 miles of habitat now blocked by the dams, matching the predam peak. Chinook here once grew as big as 100 pounds, and experts say they should reach that size again.” 

At the heart of this story are people (government employees and otherwise) who wanted to see wild salmon come back in their part of the world and were willing to spend years to make it happen.  In contrast to what happens in the nation’s capital, out in Washington State people are solving serious problems instead of capitalizing on them.  Native American fishery specialists, concerned citizens, National Park Service officials, and even members of Congress (who passed legislation making this possible way back in 1992) all have made this bold step at rebuilding rivers possible.

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