Restore Salmon to the Snake River
- by: Sierra Club
- target: Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation
Wild salmon bring nutrients from the briny ocean back to the high mountain streams, create an environment that help other fish – like steelhead and pacific lamprey – thrive, and are a critical food source for endangered orcas. These dams prohibit salmon from returning to their birthplace to spawn, thus endangering their ability to reproduce and thrive.
For years, the federal agencies responsible for these dams have refused to act to protect wild salmon. That changed when a federal court judge ordered the Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation to develop a plan to restore wild salmon and directed them to consider range of options including dam removal on the lower Snake River.
Now, these agencies are seeking your input on what they should do to bring salmon back. Removing the four dams on the lower Snake River is the single most important action to restore a pathway for salmon to thousands of miles of pristine cold-water streams in the wilderness of central Idaho, southeast Washington, and Northeast Oregon.
Take action today! Tell the Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation to remove the four dams on the lower Snake River and help restore wild salmon.
Subject: Remove the Snake River dams and restore wild salmon
It's past time to remove the four outdated, salmon-killing dams on the lower Snake River. This is an alternative you must consider fully and fairly in the court-ordered environmental impact statement you are preparing for managing the Columbia and Snake River dams.
You must base your analysis of this alternative on the best available science about salmon and other species that depend on them, including endangered killer whales. The analysis must also fully account for the market and non-market economic costs and benefits of dam removal, including the benefits of a restored river and the money tax- and rate-payers will save if the dams go. You must incorporate in your evaluation replacing the electricity from these dams with low-cost carbon-free power, not power from fossil fuels. Also evaluate the benefits of increased water flows and spill in both the Columbia and Snake Rivers when combined with dam removal. And you must actually mitigate for the existing and future impacts of climate change on Snake River salmon.
Such an analysis will lead you to conclude that these dams must go. We don't need them anymore--but we do need to bring back our irreplaceable wild salmon. The biggest step we can take on the path to salmon restoration in the Snake is to remove the lower Snake River dams.