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The Chelan County PUD officially opposes removal of lower Snake River Dams.

On Monday the PUD Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution proposed by Commissioner Randy Smith that says the PUD supports preserving hydropower generation at the four dams and joins other public utilities in opposing their removal.

Smith told KOHO he’s not sure removing the dams would ultimately help migrating salmon as dam managers have installed fish ladders and other bypasses. Smith said it’s also about electricity.

And, he added, as populations and demands continue to increase in the Pacific Northwest. Smith said utilities need to balance the needs of humans and wildlife in deciding the future of the Snake River Dams.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, local tribes and the states of Washington, Idaho and Oregon have spent billions of dollars on habitat restoration, fish passage at dams and other efforts over the last several decades to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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