Facts and Information

Here find facts and information related to wild salmon restoration and the support for removal of the four Lower Snake River dams.

Idaho Statesman Is Snake River shipping worth enough to keep dams that harm salmon?

GT-Car-side-viewBy Rocky Barker

August 06, 2017

LEWISTON, IDL  For Idaho wheat farmers like Joe Anderson, staying competitive in international markets is critical to their future.

That’s why Anderson, a fourth-generation farmer from Genesee and a member of the Idaho Wheat Commission, met in June with delegations from China, Chile and Taiwan, negotiating contracts and showing off what the farmers can deliver. One of the advantages they tout is access through Lewiston to ship wheat on barges down the Snake and Columbia rivers, to Pacific ports.

“This river system is incredibly important as a competitive factor,” said Anderson.

Wheat farmers are nearly the only shippers still using the Snake River waterway, completed in 1975, that links Lewiston to the Pacific.

Shipping on the Snake has dropped by 70 percent since its peak in 1998. Other shippers have shifted to Puget Sound ports for hauling their products to Asia, and the various ports always had a hard time getting goods to move back upriver to Lewiston. Clearwater Paper Co., the major employer in the port 465 miles from the ocean, has moved its operations to rail — a major change from about two decades ago, the last time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies considered removing four key Snake River dams in Washington.

Read the full story here at the Idaho Statesman.

Resolution of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society on the Role of Dams and Conservation of Snake River Salmon, Steelhead, Pacific Lamprey, and White Sturgeon

Download as a pdf.

wdafs.logoWhereas the first objective in the constitution of the American Fisheries Society is to promote the conservation, development, and wise use of fisheries, and the American Fisheries Society further commits to promote enlightened management of aquatic resources for optimum use and enjoyment by the public; and

Whereas past management of Snake River salmon, steelhead, Pacific lamprey, and white sturgeon populations and their environment has resulted in a failure to conserve and use wisely the fisheries, or to provide for optimum use and enjoyment by the public; and

Whereas Snake River salmon, steelhead, Pacific lamprey, and white sturgeon extinctions and declines occurred as a result of the impacts from a variety of physical, chemical, and biological factors, including climate change and ocean regime shifts plus those that have been summarized as the “four H’s” - Hatcheries, Harvest, Habitat, and Hydropower; and


Rail and highway investing will benefit farmers, fishermen and communities throughout the Northwest

blue_mt_foothillsWith the right investments we can transport grain and other goods efficiently and affordably without the lower Snake River barge corridor.

Investing in modern rail and highway investments can provide a transportation system that meets the needs of eastern Washington wheat farmers, gives the Inland Northwest a competitive edge in attracting new businesses, and allows for the recovery of wild salmon to self-sustaining, harvestable numbers.

Save Our Wild Salmon along with coalition partner groups have engaged in a constructive dialogue with farmers to explore ways we can keep farmers farming and fishermen fishing, including discussing transportation options that can make lower Snake River barging unnecessary.


The Elwha River: A Case Study in Success

elwhadambigAmerica’s largest current dam removal project has lessons for restoring a free-flowing Snake River

Beginning in 2011, our nation will begin its biggest dam removal project yet. Two large dams on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula have blocked a river and destroyed a once thriving fishery that included chinook salmon in excess of 100 pounds.

A free-flowing Elwha river will re-connect wild salmon and steelhead with more than 70 miles of ancestral habitat – much of it in the pristine lands of the Olympic National Park. In doing so, it will restore healthy fisheries, create long-term jobs, and increase tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities.


Science and law disregarded in 2010 Obama Salmon Plan for Columbia and Snake Rivers

science-labMarch 11, 2011: Scientists respond to NOAA Administrator Dr. Lubchenco in the Oregonian - Saving Columbia River salmon: Going where the 'best available science' leads us.

October 29th, 2010

A broad coalition of salmon advocates, along with the State of Oregon and Nez Perce Tribe, have asked Federal Judge James Redden to declare President Obama’s Columbia and Snake river salmon recovery plan illegal. More on that court filing here.

On May 20, 2010, the Obama administration decided to adopt, with only minor tweaks, the Bush administration’s much-criticized Columbia River salmon plan, despite many chances to make real changes and repeated calls from scientists, courts, lawmakers, and regional stakeholders to take a different path.  This plan could weaken protections for endangered species across the nation and rolls back in-river protections put in place by the federal court since 2006.  Nonetheless, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator and nationally renowned scientist, has stated that she stands “100 percent” behind the science in this plan.  However, scientific documents obtained through the court, and in the administrative record of the ongoing legal battle surrounding this issue, illustrate that science took a back seat to regional politics in this decision.

Check out statements below from scientists on Obama's plan.

Download this page as a pdf.


Tar Sands Update: Calling on Northwest lawmakers


On September 22, forty-two conservation, fishing, clean energy and outdoor organizations from across the Pacific Northwest delivered letters to the members of congress in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The organizations express grave concerns about the potential impacts and risks to our communities, businesses, and environment if Exxon’s is successful in establishing a brand-new “high and wide” mega-industrial transportation corridor through the heart of the Pacific Northwest.


More Articles...

  1. Jul 28, 2010 - The floor, not the ceiling: salmon returns in the Columbia-Snake
  2. Jul 13, 2010 - HIGHWAY TO HELL: Exxon's threat to salmon - July 13th, 2010
  3. Jul 12, 2010 - Independent Scientists Find Obama's Salmon Plan Additions "Inadequate"
  4. Jul 12, 2010 - HIGHWAY TO HELL: Big Oil's threat to salmon
  5. May 12, 2010 - Northwest Power and Conservation Council releases 6th Power Plan
  6. Aug 11, 2009 - The BPA, The NW Power Council, and the Freedom of Information Act
  7. Jul 21, 2009 - Snake River Sockeye Returns 2009
  8. Jun 16, 2009 - Myths and Facts about Lower Snake River Dam Removal
  9. May 13, 2009 - Salmon and Steelhead Returns in the Columbia & Snake Rivers
  10. Apr 01, 2009 - Stuck in the Mud: Growing Flood Risk, Growing Costs with Keeping the Lower Snake River Dams
  11. Mar 18, 2009 - Bright Future
  12. Mar 06, 2009 - Columbia-Snake Basin Map
  13. Mar 06, 2009 - Who Supports Lower Snake River Dam Removal?
  14. Mar 06, 2009 - Why Restore Wild Salmon?
  15. Mar 06, 2009 - Why Remove The 4 Lower Snake River Dams?
  16. Mar 06, 2009 - Background
  17. Mar 05, 2009 - Following The Science in Snake River Salmon Declines
  18. Mar 02, 2009 - Fact Sheets & Documents
  19. Feb 27, 2009 - A Revenue Stream for Salmon, The Northwest, and American Taxpayers
  20. Feb 27, 2009 - A Revenue Stream for Salmon, The Northwest, and American Taxpayers
  21. Feb 26, 2009 - Columbia and Snake River Salmon 101
  22. Feb 25, 2009 - Quotes from Northwest & National Leaders
  23. Feb 24, 2009 - Building Clean Energy / Fighting Climate Change
  24. Feb 24, 2009 - Creating Jobs / Saving Taxpayer Dollars / Investing in the Future
  25. Feb 24, 2009 - Recovering Salmon, Creating Jobs, Revitalizing Communities
Save Our wild Salmon is a diverse, nationwide coalition working together to restore wild salmon and steelhead to the rivers, streams and marine waters of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of our region's ecology, economy and culture.




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