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Food Professionals Call for Solutions

Washington State Food Professionals Call for Solutions for Salmon and Communities

On March 9th, more than 225 Washington State-based food professionals sent a letter thanking Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray for their initiative to protect and restore endangered Snake River salmon and asking Sen. Maria Cantwell for her assistance this year to help develop a comprehensive, long-term solution for imperiled Columbia-Snake River Basin salmon.

Food Pros Logosclick to viewIn recognition of the extinction crisis facing many Northwest salmon populations today, more than 225 chefs, brewers, market owners and others from across Washington State sent a letter to Gov. Inslee, Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell. The signers emphasize that for them, “salmon is much more than a fish; it is one of our most valued business partners.” The letter thanks these three statewide policymakers for their past efforts to protect salmon and asks for their “continued leadership at this moment of great urgency and opportunity.”

The letter stresses that urgent work is needed in 2022 to prevent further extinction and to restore salmon abundance in the Snake River Basin in a manner that brings everyone – including farmers, fishermen and other food producers - forward together.

Last year, Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee acknowledged the extinction crisis facing Snake River fish and committed to developing a long-term plan by July 31, 2022 in order to protect and restore them. As a key step in the process to develop a comprehensive solution for Snake River salmon and Northwest communities, they have been working closely with the region’s tribes, stakeholders and other experts to produce a report by early spring that identifies how to replace the energy, irrigation and transportation services provided by the dams today. Sen. Cantwell's leadership to help develop a durable, regional solution that meets the need of Snake River salmon and Northwest communities will be essential for this initiative's success.

The letter calls for action: “We need new policies and programs in 2022 that will provide both fisherman and farmer greater certainty and the opportunity to thrive. We ask you to seize this window of opportunity before us to develop and deliver a comprehensive investment package that restores the lower Snake River, recovers healthy salmon populations, and keeps farmers and fishermen gainfully employed and feeding our communities.”

While Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee have not explicitly committed to including dam removal in their plan, they have put this option at the center of discussions today. Their report will be a crucial resource for understanding our region’s options for replacing the dams' services as they explore how to restore salmon abundance, help feed endangered orcas, and uphold our nation’s promise to our region's tribes in a manner that moves everyone forward together.

Settlement talks between the Biden Administration, Nez Perce Tribe, State of Oregon and SOS member groups led by Earthjustice are also under way on a similar timeline. The long-running litigation was paused last fall to allow the parties to work together to develop a long-term solution that could resolve the lawsuit and protect endangered wild fish facing extinction caused in large part by the system of federal dams and reservoirs on the Snake and Columbia rivers.

Here's the full letter with signers and the accompanying press release.


Stand with Washington State Food Professionals - Contact Governor Inslee, Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell today.

Urge them to act this year...before salmon extinction becomes our legacy.

Contact Washington State's leaders: "Now is the time to act!”

Please call and write:

If you live in Washington State, here's one important thing you can do right now: pick up the phone and call Gov. Inslee, Sen. Murray, and Sen. Cantwell.

We need their leadership to protect and restore abundant salmon populations and the many benefits they bring to our region, and to invest our communities and infrastructure to bring everyone forward together. It only takes a moment, but make a big difference!

Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621 (D.C.)
Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441 (D.C)
Gov. Jay Inslee: (360) 902-4111 (Olympia)

Here are suggested message points:

  • Introduce yourself and include where you live. Be polite and speak clearly.
  • Main message for Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee: “I am calling to thank the senator / governor for her/his commitments to protect Snake River salmon and for engaging with Northwest Tribes, stakeholders and other experts to develop a comprehensive regional solution that restores Snake River salmon and invests in our communities by July 2022.
  • Main message for Sen. CantwellI am calling to thank the senator for her good work to secure important funding for culvert removal and habitat work in last year's infrastructure bill. I also urge her to provide her leadership in 2022 working with Sen. Murray and the Biden Administration to develop a comprehensive plan for Snake River salmon that restores the lower Snake River and replaces the services they provide today.
  • Messages for all three public officials:
  • As a constituent, I strongly support restoring the lower Snake River and its salmon through dam removal and investing in critical infrastructure to ensure more just and prosperous communities.”
  • Share why salmon/orcas/healthy rivers are important to you, your family, and your community.
  • Emphasize the urgency and the opportunity today! We need for bold, urgent action this year to prevent salmon extinction: Restoring the Snake River is critical for protecting its fish from extinction - and it also represents an historic river/salmon restoration opportunity for the people of the Northwest and the nation.

Send an email to Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee, and Sen. Cantwell:

You can also follow these links below to send a pre-written, editable letter. (Phone calls are more impactful - and a follow-up email can help reinforce your message!)





Here's a listing of links and phone numbers for important Northwest public officials. You can also send emails to these electeds officials directly through their websites.  View List...

Here are links to further information about the urgent plight of Snake River salmon – and opportunity today for the Northwest leaders to work with each other and the Biden Administration on a comprehensive plan that works for salmon, tribes, fishermen and farmers – and for all of us.

Website: Gov. Inslee / Sen. Murray Process: Lower Snake River Dam Replacement Study (Feb. 2022)

Joint Statement from Patty Murray and Gov. Inslee on Joint Federal-State Process (Oct. 2021)

Seattle Times: Lawsuit over dams on hold as Gov. Inslee, Sen. Murray pursue breaching assessment on Lower Snake River (Oct. 2021)

Press statement: Nez Perce Tribe supporting Stay of litigation [Facebook link] (Oct. 2021)

Biden-Harris Administration announce steps to improve conditions for Columbia Basin salmon (Oct. 2021)

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