Snake River dams

Fresh support for Snake salmon recovery

Long-awaited report shows that replacing the dams’ benefits is possible. Change in the Snake basin is inevitable.

Since the completion of the four lower Snake dams in 1975, the river’s salmon and steelhead populations have declined by more than 90 percent—to the detriment of tribes, anglers, businesses, and communities across the Northwest.

Throwing new momentum behind ambitious steps to recover the most important run of salmon and steelhead in the Lower 48, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released an analysis this week finding that it is feasible to replace the agricultural, energy, and irrigation benefits provided by the lower four Snake River dams.

But this report is just a stepping stone toward a free-flowing Snake. Congressional leadership and the Biden Administration must take urgent steps to restore a free-flowing Snake River, and in turn support our Pacific Northwest communities and honor tribal commitments.

Urge Congress to make this vision a reality and remove the lower four Snake River dams.

If dams are breached, salmon will recover and benefits of dams can be replaced

The report confirms that replacement of the benefits from the dams is not only possible, but that changes in the basin’s environmental conditions and energy production capacity are inevitable—whether the dams are removed or not.

The report also confirms that removing the dams would return robust runs of wild salmon and steelhead to the basin.

However, significant action and investment will be needed to restore a free-flowing Snake River, according to the report, which estimated that replacing the services provided by the dams could cost between $10.3 billion and $27.2 billion. Additionally, Congressional authorization will be needed before the Army Corps can pursue breaching of the dams.

Read the full draft report here.

Snake River salmon and steelhead aren’t safe yet. What’s next?

The draft report will be available for public review and comment through July 11, 2022. Comments can be provided via email, through the project website or by mail. A final version of the report will be released later this summer, and will be the foundation of the recommendations from the Governor and Senator on a path forward for the region.

Urge Congress to make this vision a reality and remove the lower four Snake River dams.