In Honor of Jim Waddell

Activists in Seattle and Portland took the overpasses to honor Jim Waddell who recently lost his battle with cancer. 

Written by Karen Davis: For those who didn't know Jim, our community owes so much to his depth and breadth of knowledge, his eloquence, and his determination to breach the 4 lower Snake River dams. Jim was a 35 year veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers who worked on the Lower Snake River Dam feasibility study in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. He joined the study in progress and called out and corrected many discrepancies in the data.

His final conclusion, based on the science, was that the dams should be breached. Having come from the SE corner of the US with no prior knowledge of PNW salmon, he had no preconceptions and just followed the science. Needless to say, his findings were not popular with the Corps, and were simply ignored.

Years later, when we was living in Port Angeles as a retiree, he attended a symposium on the Elwha dam breaching project. The speakers brought up the Snake River dam situation, but said it was different from the Elwha because the Snake River dams provided so many economic benefits. Knowing that was false, Jim felt compelled to speak. He took the microphone and proceeded to share his knowledge of the Snake River dams and how his study concluded they should be breached.

His statements happened to get filmed by a crew from Patagonia who were making a documentary on dam breaching. That documentary is DamNation. Jim’s candid comments that day are featured in the film. Patagonia then asked Jim to join a panel of speakers touring the country as the film debuted, and so began his career as an outspoken proponent of Snake River dam breaching and the founder of DamSense.

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  • Bill Moyer
    followed this page 2024-02-20 22:37:58 -0800
  • Backbone Campaign
    published this page in Recent Actions 2024-02-20 21:20:58 -0800