Snake River | Photo by Carl Zoch
Snake River | Photo by Carl Zoch

#1: Snake River, WA, OR, ID

Threat: Four federal dams, climate change, poor water quality

The dams on the lower Snake River are an ongoing source of injustice and the loss of salmon is violating Native American rights.

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Snake River | Photo by Carl Zoch

Snake River | Photo by Carl Zoch

Salmon are the spiritual and cultural icon of the Pacific Northwest and a critical component of the Northwest’s economy. Unfortunately, these magnificent fish are teetering on the brink of extinction. The loss of salmon, a keystone species, has devastated ecosystems, native cultures, and fishing communities across the region. Scientists say that the Snake River, the largest tributary and historically the most prolific producer of salmon in the Columbia River Basin, holds the largest potential for restoring salmon to healthy, harvestable numbers. To accomplish this, removing four dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington is essential along with increasing flow over downstream dams.

A comprehensive salmon recovery plan is vital to honoring treaties and responsibilities to Northwest tribes. This comprehensive plan must also include job-creating investments in clean energy and agriculture, to secure a future of abundance and prosperity in the Pacific Northwest. The region’s congressional delegation must ensure these urgently needed solutions are a key part of President Biden’s national infrastructure legislation.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • Washington Environmental Council

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