If you just listened to the rhetoric on the other side, you would probably come to the conclusion that the main obstacle to returning prosperity to the Basin is those darn dams along the Klamath river. If we could just get rid of them, we could all once again live in harmony with each other and with nature.
The gospel according to KBRA preaches that if we can get those dams to come a tumblin' down, then fish populations will magically return to numbers only seen before western europeans inhabited the land. There would be so many salmon running up and down the Klamath river we would no longer need bridges — one could just walk on fish from one side to the other.
However, this thinking all hinges on the the assertion that the Klamath River Dams are the single, significant cause for a decline in fish population during the past 60 years. What if this assertion is wrong? Could there be other explanations for fish population decline that we haven't explored or have dismissed because our world view of “dam removal or die” prevents us from seeing the truth?
Consider the following, very possible, reasons for fish decline on the Klamath river. These ideas aren't allowed in the discussion about fish populations because the conversation is dominated by “It’s ALL the Dams’ fault” group-think:
- Overfishing. For at least two decades, during the 1960s and 70s, Soviet and Japanese ships plundered salmon in U.S. waters like never seen in human history.
- El Niño. Does it effect where Klamath river fish feed, migrate and survival rates at sea? Do we know?
- ESA Protection of Seals. Salmon are a natural food source for seals. An increase in seal population then would naturally lead to a decrease in salmon population.
- Trinity River. Remember it? This river feeds into the Klamath river. Nothing has happened on the Trinity that has contributed to the decline?
Let's just stop and think. Are we sure we have a good understanding of what the real causes for fish decline are or did we rule out several reasons because they don't fit the “remove the dams” mantra? Instead, are we hoping we are right as we jump on the PC train, rolling down the tracks to our own destruction? What if removing the dams don't return fish populations to their numbers 60 years ago? Then what? Are we going to rebuilt the dams? Yeah, right. But that won't be the end... it never is. Get ready, because there will be further demands on removing “modern” inventions in order to live at harmony with nature. The dams are just the tip of the iceberg in this battle. It will continue until there is nothing left.