The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said this week that it would recommend against breaching four hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River in Washington state to help restore salmon populations. The agency’s stance on salmon restoration, which is shared by the White House, is that it would be less disruptive to communities in eastern Washington and more cost-effective to modify the dams in smaller ways, such as improving fish ladders. Farmers, barge operators, and some recreational users of dam reservoirs also oppose the idea of breaching the dams. But environmentalists say breaching the dams would be the cheapest and most effective way to help endangered salmon populations.