Please join me in recognizing the effort, leadership and vision of Congressman Mike Simpson with his creation of the concept presented in the Columbia Basin Fund. Over many years of serious research and countless conversations, and across a spectrum of issues and stakeholders, he and his team have put forth a bold and worthwhile proposal.

With this package, Simpson is offering us all an opportunity to participate in bringing back salmon to abundance, improve our water quality, restore our rivers, advance our clean energy goals, manage our agricultural waste, create efficient transportation links, honor commitments to tribes and much more. For an in-depth look at this $33.5 billion proposal, please visit his website, where you will find compelling reasons for us to work together, no matter what sector we come from or perspective we hold. This proposal includes things of real value for just about anyone who lives, works or recreates in Idaho and the Northwest, and I encourage everyone to take time to understand this new plan before making a judgement.

The Columbia Basin Fund provides a way to move forward and away from the divisive question: salmon or dams? By looking at the needs of many, and finding ways to improve or make lives whole, Simpson touches on our interconnectedness with salmon and our environment. While we may not all agree with every recommendation set out in the proposal, there is a lot there to work with, and it is going to take all of us to make it a reality.

I urge everyone to contact Sens. Crapo and Risch, other local leaders, friends and family in order to begin conversations, and perhaps offer support or ideas on how to develop this historic and wide-reaching effort that will benefit us all.

Kathleen Krekow, Ketchum

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