LETTER- The dam must go

Inan April 27 letter, Sky Hiatt states "I'm all for removing dams," and then goes on to say, "I strongly feel the Woolen Mills dam should stay."

Ms. Hiatt apparently has an appreciation for wild life and assumes that Woolen Mills dam benefits birds and mammals. Sheabhors the thought of a dead river, and yet the Woolen Mills dam is a river systemkiller!

The dam acts like giant choke collar on the entireRivanna Watershed System.

The shad, river herring, striped bass(rockfish) Atlantic salmon, short nose sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, blue back herring, alewife,white perch, hickory shad, and American eel are all blocked from many miles of former spawning habitat by the dam.Remember the many miles of streams that feed the North Branch of the Rivanna from Advance Mills and westward.

Were these fish allowed to pass aboveWoolen Mills, they would provide a healthy food source for eagles as well as osprey, green herons, great white egrets,merganser ducks, belted king fishers, and river otters, bared owls, skunks, raccoonsas well asother speciesof fish.

I sincerely believe that if Sky Hiatt understood the true ill effects a dam has on a river's health she would stand with me, the Rivanna Conservation Society, Jason Halbert, and the US Fish and Wildlife Department in saying: I'm all for removing dams, and I strongly feel the Woolen Mills dam should go!

Hank Helmen
Advance Mills