For Immediate Release: Feb. 24, 2021
Justin Hayes, Executive Director, (208) 861-6134.
Scott Ki, Communications Associate, (208) 345-6933 x 114.
BOISE – There is an urgent need for bold and broad action to restore healthy salmon and steelhead to the Columbia and Snake River basins while securing a better future for clean energy, communities, and Tribes in Idaho and the Northwest.
The Columbia Basin Collaborative – an effort by the governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – seeks to build off of past regional efforts. As this latest collaborative effort gets underway, ICL wonders how it will connect to a recent proposal by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.
Rep. Simpson’s proposal seeks to provide the region with the authority and resources that it needs to come together to chart and build a better future for all the people of the Northwest.
The preliminary meeting of the CBC concluded today and left unresolved if it is capable of “acting nimbly” (as it states it would like to do) and embracing and advancing Simpson’s efforts now while simultaneously initiating what many view as a slower moving regional dialogue.
Simpson’s proposal, which would provide the region with $33.5 billion in funding to address salmon recovery and invest in renewable energy, agricultural transportation, job creation, and healthy communities, is linked to a faster track, and envisions being connected to the anticipated infrastructure and stimulus bills that are expected to move through Congress later this year.
We urge the CBC to take advantage of a once-in-a-generation proposal to make things right for all. In-depth discussions, like those likely to emerge from the collaborative, will be more successful once significant investment for infrastructure and jobs for the region is secured. To succeed on behalf of salmon, energy, and communities, the Congressional effort needs to advance now. The CBC should throw its support behind Simpson’s proposal.