Today, the Snake River was named America’s #1 Most Endangered River of 2021.
Once the largest salmon producer in the Columbia River Basin, today Snake River salmon runs are at the brink of extinction. The loss of salmon is a crisis for the entire web of life, from black bears to Southern Resident killer whales. It is also an existential threat to Northwest tribes who depend on the fish for their cultures and identities.
The report from American Rivers points to the urgent need for lawmakers and communities to come together to develop a comprehensive economic revitalization plan that not only invests in salmon recovery and honors national obligations to Native American tribes while investing in clean energy, agriculture, technology and tourism.
Contact your members of Congress today! Urge them to support regional solutions for Snake River salmon and its people.
Scientists say that removing four federal dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington must be part of any plan to recover Snake River salmon. Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) has proposed a $33.5 billion potential framework and comprehensive solution that would not only benefit the Northwest, but the nation as a whole by restoring salmon runs, bolstering clean energy, strengthening the local and regional economy, and honoring treaty rights and commitments to Northwest tribes.
American Rivers and Washington Environmental Council called on the Northwest congressional delegation to build on Congressman Simpson’s proposal and advance a comprehensive salmon recovery solution that includes lower Snake River dam removal, as well as robust job-creating investments to replace the dams’ energy, transportation and irrigation services.
The choice is clear. We can either choose the status quo — which looks like salmon extinction, increasing energy insecurity, broken commitments to Indigenous tribes and the loss of a multi-million dollar natural economic resource — or we can work toward a comprehensive solution that invests in a future of abundance and prosperity with the biggest river restoration effort the world has ever seen.
Tell your members of Congress to support solutions that bring back salmon, honor treaties and commitment to the tribes, invest in clean energy and agriculture, and strengthen the economy of the Pacific Northwest. Ask them to include Simpson’s solution in President Biden’s national infrastructure legislation.
Our salmon and communities cannot wait any longer. The cost of inaction is too great. The time for leadership and action is now.