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What a strange news story ("Northwest senators say 'no people' is no option for endangered salmon," June 10).

Sen. Slade Gorton spent valuable time at a hearing on the issue of salmon recovery to elicit assurances from a National Marine Fisheries Service official that the Clinton administration will not try to remove all human beings from the Pacific Northwest. Thanks, senator.

There are a variety of causes for the decline of salmon and all of them need to be addressed. Erosion from logging too close to streams needs to be limited, runoff from development must be curtailed and creative solutions must be found to protect watersheds. And as for the issue of dams, rivers and waterways do not belong to the utilities or to the government. They belong to all of us and decisions about the rivers' health need all of our input.

I cannot believe that Gorton will feel good if the salmon are lost on his watch.

Elisabeth Banse, Seattle

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