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Restoring the Lower Snake River

obama.opportunity-All across the country the message is clear: Americans want a real solution to the Columbia & Snake River crisis that will recover healthy populations of wild salmon and steelhead, create good jobs, revitalize communities, and build a clean energy future.

Over the few years, more than 70 members of Congress, 3 former Northwest governors, hundreds of local and national businesses, thousands of scientists from around the country, the State of Oregon, the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, thousands of commercial and sports fishermen across the Pacific Rim have raised their voice in support of a stakeholder-driven solution and an "all options" approach to the crisis facing wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.  In addition, tens of thousands of salmon, clean energy, and taxpayers advocates nationwide have sent messages to the Obama Administration to continue this call.

Here are just some of the important events and media stories of the last few years...

December 17th, 2009: Daily Astorian editorial - Obama was right: So it’s time for his NOAA to release scientific findings on the salmon plan. Read the Astorian editorial.

November 30th, 2009: Idaho Statesman Blog on Obama salmon science by Rocky Barker, "Memo shows scientists raised doubts actions to save salmon will do as much as advertised" Read more of Barker's op-ed.

November 24th, 2009: Idaho Rivers United blog by Tom Stuart, "Idaho salmon have a day in court"

Read Tom Stuart's article.

November 24th, 2009: SOS Blog - "Where do we go from here?" - Read the blog.

November 23rd, 2009: Oregon Flyfishing Blog Post by Matt Stansberry, "The battle for Columbia Salmon comes to a head in Portland courtroom today" Read more of Stansberry's posting.

November 23rd, 2009: Press Release - Fishermen, conservationists return to court to challenge Obama's Columbia-Snake Salmon Plan. Read the press release.

November 16th, 2009: Idaho Statesman Blog from Rocky Barker, "Redden raises new concern in salmon-dam case"

Read Barker's blog.

October 30th, 2009: 1859 Magazine interview w/ David James Duncan "The River Why's David James Duncan on water, salmon and the policies that are killing them" Read the interview at 1859.

October 25th, 2009: Seattle Times Guest Columnist - Rebecca Wodder - "Lessons for Snake River in the Klamath Basin agreement"

Read more of Rebecca Wodder's op-ed.

October 19th, 2009: High Country News Guest Column by Michael Blumm - "Obama disappoints when it comes to salmon"

Read Blumm's column.

October 17th, 2009: Eugene Register Guard Op-ed from Glen Spain "Obama’s salmon plan just repackages Bush’s failed effort " Read Glen Spain's op-ed.

October 10th, 2009: Daily Astorian - Letters to the Editor - Read the Letters

October 9th, 2009: Oregonian op-ed from Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski - "Another flawed plan to protect salmon" Read the Oregonian op-ed from Governor Kulongoski

October 7th, 2009: Oregonian Op-ed from Michael Blumm - "For wild salmon, more business as usual" Read the Oregonian op-ed.

October 2nd, 2009: Wend Magazine - "After No Action From Obama, Salmon Stakeholders Take it to the House."  Read the blog post from Wend.

September 27th, 2009: Eugene Register Guard - Guest Opinion: We need to both help salmon and produce cleaner energy - by Steve Weiss, Senior Policy Associate for NWEC. Read Weiss' op-ed.

September 23rd, 2009: Daniel Jack Chasan's article "Obama science goes schizophrenic on salmon restoration" in Crosscut. Read Chasan's article.

September 19th, 2009: New York Times editorial: Not there on salmon. Read the editorial.

September 15th, 2009: Salmon Community Press Release - Obama administration follows flawed Bush salmon plan despite scientific, economic and legal failings. Read the Sept.15th Press Release. Read the Salmon Community's response.

September 15th, 2009: "Meet the new boss: same as the old boss" - Oregon Fly Fishing Blog reaction to Obama administration's salmon plan release.  Read the blog.

September 9th, 2009: Salmon community release it's Top 10 actions President Obama's Commerce Department must take to repair the deeply flawed Bush plan in order to restore salmon and meet the needs of the people of the Northwest and nation. Read the Top Ten.

August 31st, 2009: Blogpost on the Flyfish Journal: "Judge James Redden: Steelhead God"

August 26th, 2009: Op-ed in the News Tribune from Sara Patton, Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Coalition: "Salmon, water, energy policies should be considered together".  Read Patton's op-ed.

August 24th, 2009: Save Our Wild Salmon receives information indicating the Obama administration received misleading information, reports, and guidance from Bonneville Power Administration and other federal agencies.  Read more on this story.

August 20th, 2009: Jean-Michel Cousteau along with more than 120 scientists across the country have sent a letter to the Obama Administration regarding the 2008 federal plan for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

This comes after a May letter from the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society reasserting the environmental and economic benefits of removing the four lower Snake River dams. The Western Division of the American Fisheries Society represents over 3,000 scientists in the West.  Read the AFS letter.

August 16th, 2009: San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: Doing away with dams

President Obama is playing for time before wading into one of the oldest - and most far-reaching - disputes in the West's water wars: the fate of four dams on the Snake River in Washington. But eventually he and his policy team should muster the courage to go with a sweeping but science-backed option: Take down the string of outmoded structures that impede salmon." Read more of the San Francisco Chronicle's Ediorial.

August 12th, 2009: Los Angeles Times Editorial: Giving Snake River salmon a lift

Trucking the threatened fish past dams isn't working, The Obama administration should call for talks on what will... the Obama administration should call for settlement talks that include all the parties involved -- power utilities, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists. At least some of the dams must be breached, but only in conjunction with helping the region develop new sources of clean energy and transportation for Idaho's grain. In the long haul, it makes more sense to truck wheat than fish." Read more of the Los Angeles Times Editorial.

August 11th, 2009: New York Times Editorial: Salmon Test

"Significantly, [Judge Redden] also said that any new plan should leave all recovery options on the table, including the idea of breaching four dams on the lower Snake River. We have long recommended such a course, which many scientists see as the surest means of restoring the fish... this means that at the very least Mr. Locke must reject the Bush plan, promise to devise a new one in close consultation with regional interests and keep dam removal on the table as very real backup if all else fails." Read more of the New York Times Editorial.

August 10th, 2009: Buffalo News Editorial: Bust the dams, save the salmon

"This fight has been going on for more than a decade, and it should end. Sit down with the stakeholders—beers optional." "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration leader Jane Lubchenco, herself a career marine biologist, should lead an administration effort to solve this problem for good by removing four Lower Snake River dams and giving the salmon a chance to recover."  Read more of the Buffalo News Editorial.

August 10th, 2009: Boston Globe Editorial: A Dam Shame

"The Obama team should reject the barges, fish ladders, and other half-measures used by the Bush administration and instead call for the removal of the dams." Read more of the Boston Globe's editorial.

August 9th, 2009: Oregonian: Dam decision poses test for Obama team

Nationally-recognized lawyer and natural resources law professor Charles Wilkinson advised President Obama that, after many years of federal failure, sleight of hand, declining salmon populations, he needed to get this important decision right, including removal of the four lower Snake River dams. Read more from Wilkinson's op-ed.

August 7th, 2009: Kevin Richert, Editorial Page Editor for the Idaho Statesman, offers his perspective to the President – strongly encouraging a break from the past and the establishment of a Northwest stakeholder process.

August 6th, 2009: Save Our Wild Salmon learns that in May of this year, the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society sent a letter to NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco regarding Columbia River salmon recovery, encouraging consideration of multiple options including breaching of the four dams on the lower Snake River in order to rehabilitate Columbia River salmon.  Read the letter from AFS.

August 5th, 2009: Three former Northwest governors sent a letter to President Obama urging him to abandon a 2008 Bush administration biological opinion (BiOp) for the Columbia-Snake rivers, and pull stakeholders together to create a solutions settlement table. Gov. John Kitzhaber, MD (OR), Gov. Cecil D. Andrus (ID) and Gov. Mike Lowry (WA) are urging the Obama administration to move on from the failure of the past administration and create “lawful, science-based solutions that help people, create jobs, and build the green economy of tomorrow.”

Read more about the Governors' letter.

July 31st, 2009: Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), joined by 23 additional co-sponsors from across the nation, introduced the Salmon Solutions and Planning Act (SSPA) in the House of Representatives. Shortly after introduction, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of the original cosponsors, issued a statement regarding the bill for public record.

The legislation comes on the heels of a letter signed by outdoor clothing company Patagonia and more than 90 other national business leaders asking Congress to support a salmon “solutions” table and to act on legislation that will help bring about a durable resolution to the long-standing challenge of salmon recovery.

July 24th, 2009: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sends a letter to President Obama urging him to craft a "stakeholders table" to solve the Columbia Basin salmon crisis in a manner that looks at all scientifically credible and economically viable options. Read the letter from Senator Merkley.

July 23rd, 2009: A new twist in dam removal on the Snake River – by Seattle Times editorial columnist Lance Dickie. Dam removal on the Lower Snake River always lurks in the ruminations of U.S. District Judge James Redden on salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin. Whether viewed as a threat or remediation, I could not imagine dams being breached. Until now.  Read more of Lance Dickie's column. Read the letter from Clarkston and Lewiston businesses.

July 4th, 2009: New York Times Editorial: 10 years, 430 dams.  

Following the success of a decade-old campaign to improve water quality and fish species, the West Coast’s four big dams on the Lower Snake River should be removed. Read more.

June 6th, 2009: Los Angeles Times: Saving the Columbia and Snake river salmon. Guest Opinion by Paul VanDevelder.

June 2009: Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch announce support for an "all options" approach to solving the Snake River salmon crisis. Read more from the Pacific Northwest Inlander.

May 26th, 2009: Scores of salmon and fishing advocates, many with their boats in tow, gathered outside of the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon, where Obama Administration officials met to determine the fate of the Bush-era salmon plan for the Columbia & Snake Rivers.  More on the May 26 rally.

May 18th, 2009: Judge James Redden issues a strongly worded guidance letter to NOAA Fisheries and the federal action agencies regarding the 2008 Biological Opinion for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. Read Judge Redden’s Letter.

May 4th, 2009: High Country News: Salmon Salvation by Ken Olsen. Will a new political order finally be enough to bring the dams down? Read on.

May 1st, 2009: Over 30 organizations and businesses, representing tens of thousands of individuals across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Alaska, send a letter to President Obama, continuing the call for his leadership on salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Read more. Matt Daly of the Associated Press reports that the Obama Administration has requested a 30-60 day pause in the salmon litigation schedule to take a closer look at details of the the federal salmon plan.

April 24th, 2009: National conservation groups ask Obama Administration to change Bush's harmful salmon policies in the Columbia & Snake Rivers. Read more.

April 10th, 2009: New York Times Editorial Board calls on the Obama Administration to solve the Snake River salmon crisis. Read more.

April 5th, 2009: In an opinion editorial to the Oregonian, Cecil Andrus, Former Secretary of Interior and Governor of Idaho, urges the Obama Administration to craft a workable solution in the Columbia and Snake Rivers that involves stakeholders.  Read more.

March 27th, 2009: Over 70 members of Congress send a letter to President Obama asking him to consider all scientifically credible and economically viable options for Columbia and Snake River salmon recovery, including a look at removing the four lower Snake River dams.  Read the letter from Congress.

March 9th, 2009: Over 80 commercial and recreational fishing associations and conservation organizations called on President Obama to create a high-level Salmon Director position in the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to restore West Coast salmon populations, protect fishing jobs and rebuild the salmon economy.  Read more.

February 25th, 2009: More than 100 outdoor and fishing business leaders submit a letter asking President Obama to bring stakeholders together to create a real recovery blueprint that will restore the Columbia Basin’s wild salmon and steelhead runs to vibrant, self-sustaining levels. Read more.

Febraury 21st, 2009: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board calls on Obama re: Columbia-Snake salmon. Read more.

December, 2008: Thousands of salmon advocates submit comments to President Obama welcoming him to the White House and urging his leadership on Columbia-Snake Basin salmon. Action item here.

Please remember to take action on this crucial issue.  Several members of the Obama Administration need to hear from you. Take a moment to send a message to:

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

President Obama

Please also contact your members of Congress

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