For Immediate Release: Oct. 14, 2021
Justin Hayes, Executive Director, (208) 861-6134
Laura Pinover, Communications and Engagement Assistant, (208) 286-4780
On October 14, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that he and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) are actively working on a “Salmon Action Plan” process to save Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead from extinction. They plan to spend the coming months determining how the services provided by the lower Snake River dams can be replaced. The governor made his statement during an event held by Washington Conservation Voters.
Citing the dire situation that salmon, steelhead, and Southern Resident Killer Whales are currently in, Inslee promised urgent action for fish, orcas, and communities across the Northwest. Inslee and Murray will determine how stakeholders currently benefit from the dams, and how a new system could provide the same services.
The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) expects this process will come to the obvious conclusion: the lower Snake River dams present an existential threat to Idaho’s salmon and steelhead and must be removed. All services that the dams provide can be replaced.
“The time is now to take action for salmon, orca, and Tribal justice,” said Justin Hayes, ICL’s executive director.
ICL urges Inslee and Murray to treat Congressman Mike Simpson’s (R-ID) Columbia Basin Initiative as a starting point and use their process to improve and fine-tune it. Rep. Simpson has said that his office will soon begin drafting legislation. ICL encourages Inslee and Murray to work with Simpson to ensure that federal legislation is introduced by the summer of 2022 that implements and funds this effort.