Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Free the Snake Flotilla, October 3rd
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NacMacFeegle
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Yeah, probably in the short term rooftop solar is more practical.

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Snowbrushy
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Ice Harbor Dam Fish Ladder
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Jake Neiffer
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 1:54 pm 
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http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Critics-of-Snake-River-dams-say-its-time-to-remove-them-333879001.html
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Ski
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 3:51 pm 
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Nicholas K. Geranios, reporting for the AP wrote:
A tugboat pushing four barges is moving 400,000 to 480,000 bushels of wheat, dam supporters say. It would take some 538 semi-trucks or 140 rail cars to move the same amount.

and how many gallons of diesel fuel does that require?

Geranios, reporting for the AP wrote:
Dam supporters also contend that salmon runs are recovering. The Snake River dams are equipped with sophisticated fish ladders that allow returning salmon to reach spawning grounds.

"We're seeing more salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers than before Bonneville Dam was put in place," Meira said.

o rly?
o rly?

got numbers?

what's Meira's email addy?

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Jake Neiffer
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 4:54 pm 
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lol.gif

I'm not particularly knowledgeable on salmon numbers, but I will agree it does seem like he is blowing smoke.
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treeswarper
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 5:07 pm 
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Fuel consumption?  You'd have to compute the voyage of an empty barge going upstream and a loaded one going downstream.  The river current would help a bit, but the tug still has to work it.

I just cannot see the railroads rebuilding any track unless there was a massive profit to be had.  That sounds unlikely.

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drm
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Well, I'll be. There is such a thing as the Fish Passage Center and they have a website at http://www.fpc.org where you can pull up all manner of statistics for fish passage counts at many different sites on the Columbia and Snake for many different fish species. It's one of those places where you can put in parameters and get a realtime report from their database. I just pulled one up for Ice Harbor Dam and the numbers are higher in recent years, but the data does not predate the dam. In the case I pulled up clearly they are doing a better job, but without being able to compare to pre-dam counts, it probably doesn't provide what we are looking for here.
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PostMon Oct 19, 2015 7:54 pm 
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re: tw's comment above:
there should be some numbers available somewhere, I would think... surely by now they must know how many gallons of diesel they're burning driving tugs up and down the river... and how many gallons of diesel a full-laden semi or freight train locomotive burns going the same distance... let's see the numbers.
is there a big advantage of one over the other?

I remain skeptical on the rail idea if the rail lines are not presently in place. Building new rail lines cannot possibly be cheap - who's going to pony up the bucks for that? And I believe I asked up thread about rail line easements and right-of-ways - this isn't the 19th century - somebody owns all that dirt over there.

these are great ideas, but I have to wonder if anybody's really done the homework on this and crunched the numbers and examined details.

and Jake - that statement about the fish was from Kristin Meira, director, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Portland, Oregon. I don't think it's too hard to figure out what her agenda might be. wink.gif

drm: without pre-dam numbers, how can an accurate comparison be made? surely they must have some idea.... no?

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drm
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 10:11 am 
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Ski wrote:
without pre-dam numbers, how can an accurate comparison be made? surely they must have some idea.... no?

I'm sure, but somebody just needs to take the time to find it.

And I'm with you on using the RR as an alternative to the barges. It is possible that the RR company may have a wide enough property or easement to add a parallel line, but that is pure conjecture. I assure everybody that there is no more room for adding a line down here in the Columbia Gorge, so a new line would have to go over the Cascades somewhere.
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NacMacFeegle
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 10:48 am 
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drm wrote:
I assure everybody that there is no more room for adding a line down here in the Columbia Gorge, so a new line would have to go over the Cascades somewhere.

Wouldn't you only need to take it as far as the Columbia and load it on barges there?

If you wanted to put in a new route through the Cascades you'd probably need to drill a tunnel through them.

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drm
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 11:03 am 
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NacMacFeegle wrote:
Wouldn't you only need to take it as far as the Columbia and load it on barges there?

You mean like near Tri-Cities? I suppose you could. But I'm not sure how it affects costs to have to move a bulky cargo from trains to barge. That's got to add to the cost.
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 11:08 am 
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i haven't read the whole thread, but i recall reading not too long ago that with increased global temperatures, many salmon and fish experts believe the waters of WA will become too warm for salmon in the next 50 years anyway. has anyone else read this?
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drm
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 11:41 am 
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iron wrote:
i haven't read the whole thread, but i recall reading not too long ago that with increased global temperatures, many salmon and fish experts believe the waters of WA will become too warm for salmon in the next 50 years anyway. has anyone else read this?

I tried looking this up yesterday and found a study that suggested that 25% of PNW salmon habitat would be too warm for them by late this century. I'm also guessing that the size of the Columbia and Snake might make them one of the last oases of cool water. Of course this all depends on how fast climate change progresses, which depends on whether we slow down greenhouse emissions or not.
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monorail
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 11:49 am 
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Nobody's talking about building new RR lines--  just upgrading existing lines, and improving facilities.  Keep in mind there was no barge traffic on the Snake prior to 1973, when the dams were completed.  Before that, everything went by rail.  The infrastructure is there.
There have been numerous detailed studies about every aspect of this matter: the Corps of Engineers, the NW Power and Conservation Council, the Rand Corporation, etc.  They all agree that RR is a very feasible option.  Here's one from around 2002 that goes into some detail (and since then, significant RR improvements have taken place even without dam removal): http://wildsalmon.org/images/stories/PDFs/%20revenuestream8.pdf
Concerning freight traffic in the gorge, I would think there's some excess capacity recently, due to declining oil traffic from ND, and the total abandonment of the Port of Portland by container ships within the past year (hard to believe for anyone who has lived there, but Hanjin ships under the St. John's bridge are now a thing of the past).  And if the dams were breached, there would still be barge traffic through the gorge to/from the tri-cities ports.
Also, let me repeat: Snake River barge shipments (by tonnage) are down 69% from their peak, as farmers have taken it upon themselves to cooperatively upgrade RR transfer facilities.  69% of the transition has already happened, even with the dams in place.

Finally, I think a lot of people are so focused on problems of removing the dams, you're ignoring the monumental problems with keeping them:
--Lewiston is facing a sediment crisis, as the city is now lower than the river (like New Orleans or the Carbon River Road), and it's unclear if dredging  will solve their problems or make things worse (I saw a news article where a pro-dam city councilman said that if  the latest dredging plan doesn't work, he expects local sentiment to  turn against the dams.  In Lewiston).
--The impending cost of upgrading turbines will approach a billion dollars, in addition to dredging and other maintenance.  That alone dwarfs even the highest cost estimates for RR upgrades.
--We're spending close a billion a year on salmon recovery...  and while there have been some very good years recently (partly due to cold-water upwelling in the ocean in recent years prior to the "blob"), this year was a catastrophe: less than 50 sockeye successfully made it back to their spawning grounds on their own (about 50 more were captured and transported by truck past the lethally warm waters behind the dams).

A lot of the same points keep coming up, so I just want to refer people again to this: http://www.wildsalmon.org/facts-and-information/myths-and-facts-about-lower-snake-river-dam-removal.html
Yes, it obviously represents one side of the story, but I think there's a lot of good information in it.
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 12:10 pm 
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Quote:
"...impending cost of upgrading turbines..."

and if I understood correctly something cited upthread, this is not a one-time expenditure, correct? you have to spend that money again and again to keep the turbines working, correct?

not ignoring at all.
asking for specifics.
maybe that *.pdf will answer some questions. I'll have to look at it later - I need to take advantage of the daylight right now.
thanks!

wasn't aware of any issues in Lewiston. they have already been dredging the river? how far back has that been going on?

so far you're putting up a pretty convincing argument here, so I have to wonder who wants to keep the dams in place? Army Corps of Engineers? Shipping companies? (barge/tug operators?) Who's got the biggest stake in the dams? (i.e.: follow the money.)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Free the Snake Flotilla, October 3rd
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