Water Suit Could Really Sting

Published online: Sep 10, 2003
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>Congressman Butch Otter of Idaho said today that if the environmental groups who have threatened to sue the Bureau of Reclamation and the Dept. of Interior over Snake River water go through with their plans, it could have mighty reverberations.

Otter, who has asked for help in stopping the lawsuit which the groups threatened to file in about 55 days if water policy is not changed, said it could impact growers as early as this fall if bankers won't give operational loans based on the threat of water loss.

Referring to the same situation that occurred in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California, Otter said environmental groups are asking for all the flow through the 10 government-run projects on Snake River system to augment salmon smolt movement down river.

Speaking on KID radio in Idaho Falls, ID, Otter said the impact-if this is carried to its full extent-would be 10 times worse than the disaster that put growers and ranchers out of business on over 200,000 acres in the Klamath Basin two years ago.

He said Idaho's agriculture represents millions of dollars and over 15 percent of the annual gross state product. Otter believes the threat of suit is to accomplish their first goal of removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River.