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Tuesday, September 19, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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`Leave our dams alone,' county warns Seattle

Seattle Times staff reporter

Whitman County commissioners yesterday ate dessert with a message: "Seattle leave our dams alone."

A cake frosted with that riposte was the snack of choice after the commission voted 3-0 to ask the Seattle City Council to rescind its recent resolution in support of removing four Snake River dams.

The Seattle City Council's stand, taken a month ago, has since been seized on as an example of big-city arrogance by some in Eastern Washington. Many there fear removing the dams to save endangered salmon could devastate the local economy.

Whitman County Commissioner Les Wigen said he'd support taking out the Snake River dams if Seattle first removed the Ballard Locks.

The resolution, passed by Whitman County officials at a meeting in Colfax, said "decisions concerning our area, our livelihood and our constituency should be our decision."

It also extended an invitation to Seattle council members to visit Whitman County "to see the benefits of our Snake River system personally."

Seattle City Council members Richard Conlin and Heidi Wills, who sponsored the Snake River resolution, could not be reached for comment last night.

Jim Brunner's phone: 206-515-5628. E-mail: jbrunner@seattletimes.com.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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