July 31, 2020
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Wendy McDermott, 970-275-2057
The Trump administration today released the biological opinion and final environmental impact statement for dam operations on the Columbia-Snake rivers. Wendy McDermott, Puget Sound and Columbia River Basin director for American Rivers, made the following statement:
“The Trump administration rushed to roll out yet another scientifically deficient plan that fails salmon, fails to honor treaties and commitments to tribes, and fails our region. Following a long line of attacks from this administration on rivers, clean water and communities, this plan proves that any real, lasting solution must come from us here in the region. We need our Northwest governors and our federal congressional delegation to lead a comprehensive solution that recovers salmon and retains reliable and affordable energy.
“Restoring 140 miles of the lower Snake River to a free-flowing state and improving access to more than 5,000 miles of excellent habitat must be part of any scientifically-sound plan to achieve abundant, healthy and harvestable numbers of salmon. With the necessary investments to replace the benefits of the dams, we can strengthen the economy, address longstanding injustices and build a better future.”
“Since the early 1990s when Snake River salmon became protected under the Endangered Species Act, the agencies have yet to develop a successful salmon recovery plan. It is unfortunate that the courts have had to reject at least five previous plans as illegal and inadequate; and therefore, committing salmon on their trajectory toward extinction. It is time for new solutions. We need to move beyond historic logjams. It is time to focus on what connects us and commit to honoring tribal treaty rights and meeting the region’s clean energy, agricultural and conservation challenges together.”