This draft report makes clear that it is necessary and quite feasible to replace the Lower Snake River Dams as a means of recovering salmon runs and honoring the sovereign rights of tribes.
Thanks to Senator Patty Murray and Governor Jay Inslee and their team for their leadership. We now need the leadership of our NW congressional delegation to come together and take action in 2022.
Snake River salmon runs are in dire need of decisive recovery action. LSRD removal is the only measure that would reverse long-term extinction trends and place populations on a trajectory towards healthy and harvestable numbers.
As the report mentions, change to the Lower Snake-Columbia system is inevitable. The Lower Snake River Dams are aging, seasonally constrained assets that are becoming less and less efficient in a rapidly changing climate.
Developing a clean energy portfolio of solar, wind, energy storage, energy efficiency, and demand response prior to actual dam breaching will maintain a reliable, affordable power grid that is better suited to handle the impacts of climate change.
Maintaining an affordable transportation network for grain shipments without the LSRDs is feasible via upgrading and modifying existing rail line and infrastructure.
The draft report outlines a massive opportunity for the Northwest that centers around LSRD removal: a restored Lower Snake River with abundant salmon runs, justice for the sovereign rights of Indigenous Nations, strong communities, an affordable agricultural transportation system, and a reliable clean energy grid.
As recent resolutions by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and National Congress of American Indians make clear: the decimation of salmon runs is a violation of treaties and other commitments made with tribes by the federal government. Preventing extinction is a matter of justice.
IRU has been Idaho’s leading voice and force for salmon and steelhead for over three decades. As one of our first established goals as an organization, it is at the core of our mission and values. Stay up to date and learn more about our work on this campaign here.