« PreviousContinue »
Senator DWORSHAK. As I have said, Mr. Chairman, I am not qualified to say in what manner these funds should be allocated or earmarked by the Army Engineer Corps. I simply want to point out that I think ultimately it would result in economy because we would get two or three times as much value for these dollars expended of taxpayers' money in flood-preventive measures than we would afterward in merely repairing the damages done. We have, I think, Mr. Chairman, $2,700,000 in the regular appropriation bill and $1,000,000. That is what you were referring to, and I think the House probably approved $4,000,000.
Mr. KERR. Yes, $4,000,000; $4,000,000 for flood control on this river.
Senator DWORSHAK. As I say, I am not qualified to know just how the Army Engineers plan to earmark these funds, because the authorization bill specifically says that the funds may be expended in the discretion of the Chief of Engineers for the adequate continuation of the work for flood control. It is my understanding that, as on the Kootenai River in northern Idaho, there are other comparable situations where the expenditure of funds in advance of floods will accomplish a good deal more than merely repairing the damages afterward; but I regret that I cannot answer your question specifically as to how much is needed. I am taking the over-all approach to this problem.
Mr. KERR. Of course, how much is needed will be determined largely by the type of flood. We have in there $4,000,000 now, and the Engineers come along and state that they would like to have $11,000,000 more. They have not spent any of the $4,000,000 yet.
Senator DWORSHAK. I suppose, Judge, that is the result of the authorization in Public Law 516 which authorized the creation of an emergency fund in the amount of $15,000,000.Mr. KERR. Yes, sir.
Senator DWORSHAK. I presume that it is not necessary to have that entire amount, because Congress is always available to replenish the fund when it is depleted, but I question whether $3,700,000 will be adequate.
My views are predicated largely upon conversations I have had with Colonel Potter of the Army engineers recently in urging the allocation of funds for this preventive work on the Kootenai River. I have been told that they have so many similar requests that it is hard to find the funds with which to take care of them.
Mr. TABER. How much would this Kootenai River job cost!
Senator DWORSHAK. I understand that they spent almost $1,000,000 after the flood of 1948. It is my understanding that the Army engineers think that between $400,000 and $500,000 would do the job. This sum to be in addition to any amount now allocated, or to be allocated, for reconstruction of dikes which were destroyed in the spring of this
It seems rather inexpensive, but, on the other hand, Libby Dam on the upper Kootenai River has peen authorized, but probably will not be built for several years, and so, in the meantime, they are entirely at the mercy of the floodwaters without any storage reservoirs. I think it would take upward of half a million dollars to do the preventive work.
Mr. SCRIVNER. As I understand your position, you are here supporting the emergency flood-control appropriation of $11,000,000 additional that is now before us?
Senator DWORSHAK. I did not say that I would support the entire amount because I do not have the details. I said I have the over-all approach. Mr. SCRIVNER. But your request would be part of that $11,000,000.
Senator DWORSHAK. Yes; that is right; based entirely upon the justification presented by the Army engineers. I do not know what their breakdown would be or what their allocation of funds would be; but I do know in the case of the Kootenai River that they could use to good advantage $400,000 or $500,000 on an economical basis because if that work is done it probably will preclude the subsequent spending of another $1,000,000 if the floods come down next year or a year later. They seem to be recurring about every spring.
Mr. KERR. Senator, we are glad to have heard from you on this matter.
Senator DWORSHAK. Thank you, gentlemen. I know what a job you have, especially in the face of the Korean situation.
Mr. RABAUT. It seems like old times when you come over here, Senator.
Senator DWORSHAK. Thank you. We are all on the basis of doing first things first. We have only so much money to spend, and because of military activities we have to do the best job we can, and that is a real challenge to your committee.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Mr. KERR. Yes, sir; we are very glad to have had you with us, Senator.
MONDAY, JULY 17, 1950.
ICE HARBOR LOCK AND DAM
HON. WALTER NORBLAD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF OREGON
Mr. KERR. We are pleased to have with us our colleague from Oregon, Congressman Norblad. Congressman Norblad.
Mr. NORBLAD. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am appearing here today in opposition to the item on page 12 of the supplemental estimates, the Ice Harbor lock and dam on the Snake River.
Mr. RABAUT. You say in opposition to it?
Mr. NORBLAD. Now the request made in this document—and I presume it is the same as the one you have—House Document No. 640 asks for a $4,000,000 appropriation for the construction of the Ice Harbor lock and dam on the Snake River. That is only the beginning, and the fact of the matter is that the project will cost, when completed, $350,000,000.
This is the first step in the program for the so-called dams on the Snake River. That matter has been considered by this committee a number of times. It has been turned down every time by the committee, and it has been considered by the Senate also. I testified over there, and they have turned it down every time it was considered.
Mr. White of Idaho offered this as an amendment to the appropriation bill when we had it up a few weeks ago, and the House turned it down by a very heavy vote.
RUINATION OF THE SALMON-FISHING INDUSTRY
Briefly, I oppose it first because it is going to spell the almost complete ruination of the salmon-fishing industry of the Pacific Northwest and, second, because the power benefits will be of very little, if any, consequence.
First, with reference to the salmon-fishing industry, this is a high dam that will completely block the Snake River;
and I am sorry I do not have a map here to show you the situation. They have already built a number of dams on the Columbia River that have cut off the spawning grounds of this very wealthy and valuable salmon industry of ours. The Snake River is the last spawning grounds left for the salmon. A number of small tributaries of that river run into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming; and those are the only places left where the salmon can spawn because they have built dams down there in these other areas. They do not spawn in the lower areas where there are campers and picnickers, but in these wild areas they still have that area left in which to spawn. I read to you from a report issued by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Mr. William Gardner.
Mr. RABAUT. What is the date of it? Mr. NORBLAD. March 24, 1947. Mr. RABAUT. 1947 ? Mr. NORBLAD. Yes; in which he says: The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the construction of either the Dalles Dam or the lower Snake dams will eliminate 75 percent of the salmon runs and the construction of both will “eliminate the salmon."
In the review report of the Columbia River and its tributaries dated October 1, 1948, they say:
The lower Snake dams, collectively, present the greatest threat to the maintenance of the Colu ia Ri salmon population of any project heretofore constructed or authorized in the basin.
In testifying on these matters before, the question has been raised as to whether fish ladders, fish wheels, and other artificial aids will be of value in preserving the salmon runs. This report here shows that 75 percent of the runs will be eliminated, and that is taking into consideration to the full extent the fish-passage facilities and includes all of the ladders and all of the aids that can be given to them, but they will still ruin 75 percent of the salmon runs.
Mr. KERR. Is the Interior Department opposed to this?
Mr. RBLAD. I do not know. The Fish and Wildlife Service is opposed to it. Whether the Department has ever come out as a whole in opposition to it I do not know, but the Fish and Wildlife Service is opposed to it.
The Corps of Engineers on October 1, 1948, said that our salmon fisheries annually produce a revenue of over $17,000,000 per year with 15,000 people out there employed in that industry.
Now, the argument is made that this will be an aid to supplying power. This dam would produce 195,000 kilowatts, whereas the dams
which are already under construction in the Northwest will produce 3,700,000 kilowatts. That is over three and a half million kilowatts as against 195,000.
Mr. TABER. You mean those that are presently under construction?
Mr. NORBLAD. Yes; those that are under construction and those like Grand Coulee where they are adding extra generators.
Mr. TABER. It runs more than that.
Mr. NORBLAD. Our present power capacity is about 4,000,000 kilowatts. The capacity to be added will be 4,000,000 under the present program, and this dam would produce 195,000 kilowatts only. That is just a drop in the bucket, and it would almost ruin that valuable salmon industry out there in the Pacific Northwest.
OPPOSITION BY NEWSPAPERS
I would like to call the attention of the committee to the fact that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the biggest paper in the State of Washington, has come out in opposition to this. The Portland Oregonian, the biggest paper in the State of Oregon, with a circulation of a quarter of a million, which serves this entire territory, opposes it. The Salem Statesman, owned by Charles A. Sprague, one of the leading papers in Oregon, has come out in opposition to it. The Astorian Budget, of Astoria, Oreg., has come out against it; and the Yakima Daily Republic, the largest daily newspaper published in the congressional district where this dam is located, has come out against it. I have an editorial here on that. It says, and the article is dated May 18, 1950:
We think the bid of those urging start of the Ice Harbor Dam at this time must have more supporting evidence than it has had to receive the favorable consideration of Congress. That is, as I say, at Yakima, Wash., not far from Ice Harbor, the biggest daily newspaper in the district where the dam is contemplated to be built.
As far as defense in the war situation is concerned, this dam could not possibly get into production before 1955 at the very least; and, as I have indicated, it would only be a drop in the bucket as far as the supply of power is concerned, and would ruin the salmon runs. For those reasons I am opposed to this appropriation.
Mr. RABAUT. How much did you say it would ultimately cost, Mr. Norblad?
Mr. NORBLAD. This is what is known as the Ice Harbor Dam, but the Government engineers have proposed the building of four dams, one after the other.
Mr. RABAUT. How did you say this would cost? Mr. NORBLAD. Four of them will cost $350,000,000. Mr. RABAUT. How much do you have down for Ice Harbor—$89,000,000?
Mr. NORBLAD. That is right, but Ice Harbor Dam alone will be useless without the other three, and once Ice Harbor is started they will ask for the construction of the other three.
Mr. RABAUT. Do you have the height of this dam!
Mr. RABAUT. This dam is 10 feet higher than one of those now in existence, and they are certain fish will go over it.
Mr. NORBLAD. There has been no proof of that yet.
Mr. RABAUT. We had quite a discussion this morning about this. The Appropriations Committee always has a big advantage in some sort of controversy like this. If people are quarreling about something out in their own territories, it is a simple thing for us to say we will not spend the money out there, but I asked this morning if this thing was more or less settled about the fisheries industry and the power project and they said it was, yes. They said that they cannot say that everybody has agreed, but what they do ask us to do is to have the Bonneville Power Commission come before us on this matter. They are strongly in favor of it.
Now, the next thing I want to say is just because you quote an editorial from a newspaper does not mean that it is or is not a fact. A great newspaperman once said he had to get back home in a hurry that night to take care of his private reserve. Just because something appears in an editorial in a newspaper is no reason that it is a fact or is not a fact.
Mr. NORBLAD. That may be, but the newspapers out there in the Northwest have been universally in favor of these great power projects in the West in most instances.
Mr. RABAUT. Now, in order to save this fishing industry, every member of this committee has gone into great detail in asking questions about the fisheries industry, and everybody who knows anything about it knows that is why we have been holding it up. We made an inquiry this morning about how far these fish did jump, and the expression by the Army engineers was that we are making softies out of the fish compared to what they have actually had to get in elevation in certain places, making jumps of 10 to 15 feet. These are little jumps, and they jump into one pool and then into another, and they claim the fish are really using them. Is there anyone against this outside of the fisheries industry; is there somebody else opposed to this dam besides the fisheries industry?
Mr. NORBLAD. Yes; the newspapers out there which I have men. tioned.
Mr. RABAUT. The engineers are telling us we are making softies out of the fish.
Mr. NORBLAD. Well, I wish you would consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service about this, and the sportsmen's organizations. Those newspapers are our big dailies who have spoken in favor of the development of these dams. This is the first time they have come out against the development of any dam, and they have made a particular
Mr. RABAUT. They claim that there are 126,000 acres affected here. Mr. NORBLAD. I do not know the size of the area.
Mr. RABAUT. They claim that 126,000 acres will be benefited by this dam.
Mr. NORBLAD. I do not think there is any benefit in that respect. The benefit claimed is from the power and navigation; and we do issue of this. They are dailies and circulate almost over the Northwest not believe that there will be much, if any, benefit in that respect.