By Brett Swift
For the Capital Press - March 29, 2011
Woody Guthrie sang the virtues of a working Columbia River nearly 70 years ago. Back then, a working river meant an industrialized river harnessed for power and irrigation. Today, we need to make the Columbia a working river that "rolls on" in a way that balances hydropower, barge navigation and irrigation with the amazing array of services a healthy river provides. These services include clean drinking water, healthy fisheries and recreational activities like fishing, birding, boating, hiking and camping that improve our quality of life and attract new businesses and jobs.
The next several years will be pivotal for ensuring that the Columbia River and its tributaries work for farmers, fishermen, communities and the environment. This effort will be won or lost based on how we manage the following benefits that the Columbia and its tributaries provide