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Press Releases

Save Our Wild Salmon







For Immediate Release
December 14, 2023

Media Contact
Tanya Riordan, Policy and Advocacy Director
Save Our wild Salmon Coalition

Biden administration commits significant federal resources to rebuild Columbia Basin salmon, honor obligations to Tribes, and prepare for lower Snake River dam breaching

SEATTLE, WA –  The new federal commitments announced today by the White House, the States of Oregon and Washington and four Columbia Basin Tribes are an important first step toward a comprehensive solution to restore healthy and abundant salmon populations, and essential to honoring Tribal Treaty obligations.

The agreement provides a multi-year pause in litigation to allow for implementation of commitments, actions, and federal investments advancing the recovery of salmon, steelhead and other Native fish populations throughout the Columbia River Basin, including more than half a billion dollars in NEW federal funding to the region and additional resources for habitat restoration and fish passage infrastructure.

These federal commitments are a turning point in the long-standing litigation to protect and restore Snake River salmon, and they build on comprehensive bi-partisan efforts, conclusive science, regional planning, public input, and State, Federal and Tribal leadership.

The federal commitments, actions, and investments identified respond directly to The Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative (CBRI), a groundbreaking, comprehensive and visionary joint proposal from the “Six Sovereigns” (the states of Washington and Oregon and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation, and the Nez Perce Tribe).

The CBRI offers a comprehensive roadmap to rebuild imperiled native fish populations, honor Tribal treaty rights, and restore healthy ecosystems while supporting a robust Pacific Northwest economy. The CBRI explicitly calls for the services of the lower Snake River dams to be replaced and then the dams breached within two fish generations (approximately 8 years) to avoid extinction and begin rebuilding salmon populations to healthy and harvestable levels.

Federal investments to restore the lower Snake River and replace and modernize irrigation, energy, and transportation infrastructure provide significant economic benefits to Tribes and communities throughout the Columbia and Snake River Basins, while addressing the impacts of climate change and the crisis facing salmon and orcas.

“Save Our wild Salmon Coalition applauds the Tribal, State, Federal, and NGO partners collaborative efforts in advancing a comprehensive solution, and securing important investments to begin to recover imperiled fish populations, honor Tribal treaty rights, and restore the lower Snake River. We must work together, urgently and effectively, to implement and build on these important steps forward – to prevent salmon and steelhead extinction. Urgent action, leadership and strong support from stakeholders and policymakers across the Northwest is essential - to seize this historic opportunity, end the harmful status quo, and move forward a comprehensive plan and investments - benefiting the entire region and future generations.”  Tanya Riordan, Save Our wild Salmon




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