Out, Damn Dam!
The Bush administration last week proposed the breaching of a hydroelectric dam near Missoula, Mont. — yep, you read that right. It’s not one of the four dams on the Snake River that enviros want to tear down in order to restore salmon runs, but it’s in the same region. The Milltown Dam blocks migration of threatened bull trout and traps dangerous toxics from mining operations upstream, storing them in a reservoir. “The Bush administration is doing the right thing here,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, a local environmental group. Even Republicans hate the Milltown dam; Montana Gov. Judy Martz (R), who once described herself as the “lapdog of industry,” has said the dam needs to go. The Bush administration has stressed, however, that removal of the Milltown Dam won’t set a precedent for taking down larger dams on the lower Snake River.