Dams are essential to wheat farmers

Washington Association of Wheat Growers

Wheat Growers Challenge Scientific Accuracy, Economic Impacts of LSRD Report

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) filed public comments in response to the Draft Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) Benefit Replacement Report published on June 9. On behalf of over 4,000 members, WAWG urged Senator Patty Murray and Governor Jay Inslee to reconsider the direction of the Joint Federal-State Process regarding dam breaching, citing the lack of feasibility of recommendations outlined in the report, along with the overall inaccuracy of scientific data used to formulate recommendations.

The consequences of implementing the report’s recommendations could wreak havoc on Washington’s state economy. As the nation’s largest wheat export gateway, the Columbia-Snake River System is critical for the transportation of over 60 percent of Washington wheat. This river system is not only key to supporting overseas export markets, but also for supporting nearly 4,000 jobs.

In addition to the inevitable adverse economic impacts, the convoluted and rushed process in which this report was written leads to recommendations with notable lack of scientific integrity.

“As farmers whose top priority is the stewardship and health of land, water, and natural resources, Washington wheat growers fully support salmon recovery efforts. However, those efforts must be backed with sound science, not political motivation,” said WAWG Executive Director Michelle Hennings. “Dam breaching is a decision that will have significant adverse impact on the economic conditions of wheat farmers who are already struggling with complicated supply chain issues and rising input costs. Decisions such as this one, must be made carefully, through consideration of environmental and economic impact and the review of sound evidence—factors that seem to have been omitted from this process.”

WAWG stands ready to implement science-based, feasible solutions to ensure the health of salmon populations.

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About the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. Since 1954, WAWG has been dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry. WAWG is a nonprofit trade association that depends on volunteers for support – both activities and funding. WAWG activities are guided by members through grass-roots committees. Membership dues and donations make it possible for volunteers to carry out activities as representatives on the state and national levels – to help favorably influence farm legislation and trade. WAWG’s first major effort was to form the Washington Wheat Commission, which later became the Washington Grain Commission as it merged with the Washington Barley Commission. WAWG and the Washington Grain Commission are two separate organizations working cooperatively to protect and enhance the industry, and the WAWG provides services to the Washington Grain Commission, such as publishing Wheat Life magazine. Direct wheat producer support is necessary to carry out all WAWG activities that relate to general lobbying. WAWG monitors state, transportation, research, natural resources policy and partners with the National Association of Wheat Growers to monitor national farm policy. For more information, visit https://wheatworld.org.

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