Letters to the Editor

Non-scientist omits basis for refuting Milne study

Abigail Blue’s recent letter calling for Capitol Lake Dam removal is fraught with error and omission. She dismisses the conclusions of Dr. David Milne made after his 34 years of study and testing of Deschutes and Budd Inlet waters, but gives no basis for refuting them. She denies the involvement of Drs. Oscar Soule and K.V. Ladd in concert with Milne, two more scientists highly respected by their peers.

Milne’s work has been subject to peer review throughout his lengthy career. Blue offers no credentials, but in the realm of science, I doubt she is a peer of Milne or any other reputable scientist. She dismisses, as do all dam removal advocates, the cost of dam removal and bridge reconfiguration necessary if the dam goes, offering ephemeral funding sources (other than our taxes) like “the Corps of Engineers could fund 65 percent” (there’s a rock to build on).

Then she omits the even larger and ongoing cost of dredging. Currently, the long-delayed but now non-emergent costs of dredging Capitol Lake will be borne by 6.5 million Washingtonians. Remove the dam, and dredging becomes essential to the recreational and commercial operation of the port as it silts up more rapidly from the river, and only the 250,000 Thurston County residents will be responsible for payment. That’s a 25 times greater cost per Thurston County taxpayer for dredging if the dam goes and the burden shifts from the state to the Port of Olympia.

Don’t be fooled byBlue’s omissions and spurious claims. Dam removal would be an ecological disaster and an onerous tax burden.

Les Eldridge