For Immediate Release: October 21, 2021
Contact: Justin Hayes, Executive Director, (208) 861-6134
BOISE – Today, the Idaho Conservation League joined other plaintiffs, the Nez Perce Tribe, the State of Oregon, and federal defendants to file a request for a stay in the long-running litigation associated with the continued operation of Snake and Columbia River dams and their effect on threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.
According to the terms of the agreement, this litigation will be paused until July 2022, and an interim agreement for the operation of Columbia and Snake River dams will be enacted. The agreement specifies that the pause will allow time for “the Parties [to] work together to develop and begin implementing a long-term comprehensive solution.”
As this filing was announced, the Biden Administration issued a broad and encouraging press release from the Secretaries of Interior, Energy, and Commerce, along with the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and a senior official from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The time is now for comprehensive solutions that address Tribal justice, salmon, and orcas,” said Justin Hayes, ICL’s executive director. “Seeing Secretary-level leaders from the Biden Administration commit to finding durable, comprehensive solutions is significant and follows on the heels of Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) recent announcement that he and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) are working toward the same goal.”
Hayes added, “We’re hopeful this will bring people together to benefit communities across the Northwest by breaching the lower Snake River dams, restoring salmon and steelhead, and making the necessary investments to replace the services they provide.”
The Idaho Conservation League is a party to the litigation, in partnership with national and regional conservation and fishing organizations. The State of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe are also involved, along with federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.