Salmon and fishing advocates:
Speak up for a free-flowing Snake River
Raise your voice in support of (1) removing the lower Snake River dams and (2) clean and affordable energy in the Northwest's new Power Plan!
Don’t miss this critical opportunity to speak out for the Northwest’s imperiled fish and wildlife populations in hearings and public comments before Dec. 18!
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council was created in 1980 to ensure “equitable treatment” of energy AND imperiled fish and wildlife populations in the Columbia Basin. Thirty-five years later, the Northwest has more energy than it normally needs while 13 wild salmon and steelhead populations remain at risk of extinction. Last summer, a quarter-million Columbia and Snake river salmon died from hot water worsened by the hydrosystem’s many slackwater reservoirs.
By any measure, fish and wildlife populations in the Columbia Basin need serious help.
The Council’s Draft 7th Regional Power Plan offers little help for the Columbia and Snake river’s struggling salmon and steelhead populations. The public has until Dec. 18, 2015, to provide written comments and testimony at public hearings in the Northwest states. An effective Power Plan is critical to charting a Northwest energy future with clean power and healthy fish and wildlife populations. The 7th Plan will be a 20-year roadmap for (1) resource decisions throughout the regional power system and (2) fish and wildlife protection decisions in the Columbia-Snake basin.
While the Draft 7th Plan represents a good start for clean energy priorities, it needs major improvements in its business-as-usual approach to fish and wildlife. We need you to speak up on behalf of our imperiled fish and wildlife populations and insist that they get the equitable treatment to which they’re legally entitled. Improving this draft plan requires fish and wildlife advocates’ active engagement.
HERE'S HOW TO HELP:
- ORGANIZE your friends and urge them to speak up before December 18, 2015!
- TAKE ACTION ONLINE: Submit written comments online here.
- ATTEND A HEARING: Testify on behalf of fish and wildlife and clean energy.
- SHARE this alert link with your friends, families and networks via email and social media!
- CONTACT Save Our wild Salmon to get more involved and help make the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan work better for our imperiled Northwest fish and wildlife populations:
FISH AND WILDLIFE TALKING POINTS:
- The Northwest Power and Conservation Council's 7th Plan must fully assess the costs associated with removing four low-value, high-cost dams on the lower Snake River to recover endangered wild salmon. As the dams in the federal hydrosystem age, their maintenance costs are ballooning. Climate change, meanwhile, is further stressing endangered salmon. The Council should take an honest look at the costs and benefits of maintaining or retiring the four lower Snake River dams to aid the survival and recovery of endangered wild salmon and steelhead populations.
- Abundant self-sustaining populations of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin are priceless and irreplaceable to the ecology, economy and culture of the Northwest. Salmon enrich the lands, waters, and people of the Northwest. Salmon and steelhead support jobs and businesses; cultures and communities, and other fish and wildlife populations. Many populations today face extinction and effective restoration programs are needed more than ever.
- The Council has not lived up to its responsibilities to assure “equitable treatment” of energy and fish and wildlife resources in the Columbia/Snake Basin. Simply incorporating an inadequate Fish and Wildlife Program Amendment into the 7th Plan and ‘calling it good’ is unacceptable.
- Every year, U.S. taxpayers and Northwest utility bill payers are assessed hundreds of millions of dollars for salmon recovery plans that the federal courts have NEVER considered legal. The Courts have ruled government plans illegal four times since 2000. Thirteen populations are listed under the Endangered Species Act; none has recovered.
- Climate change damage is mounting and the Council’s plan does virtually nothing to mitigate these impacts. River temperatures are rising and flow patterns are changing. A quarter-million salmon died in the Columbia and Snake rivers last summer, the result of hot water made worse by the dams and reservoirs.
- Only 1% of the adult Snake River sockeye - just 45 fish - that returned to the Columbia River mouth survived to reach Redfish Lake in central Idaho. Of the 250,000 smolts that swam to the ocean two years ago, just two out 1,000 survived and returned. We need at least 10 times that return ratio just to maintain the population.
- Five years ago, the Council’s 6th Power Plan modeled the affordability of replacing the energy of the lower Snake River dams. Despite many trends – economic, legal, public and climate-related – indicating that dam removal makes even more sense today than it did 5 years ago, the Council has failed to update that analysis.
- The Final Plan must include a full assessment of the costs and benefits of maintaining and removing the 4 lower Snake River dams and replacing the energy with clean, carbon-free resources.
- The Council cannot continue to allow playing effective wild salmon recovery against clean energy. The Northwest needs both wild salmon AND clean energy. It is the Council’s duty to strike this balance and provide for "equitable treatment", as required by law.
CLEAN ENERGY TALKING POINTS:
Carbon-free, salmon-friendly energy is good for fish and wildlife, too! Fish and wildlife advocates support a final 7th Plan that:
- Increases use of energy efficiency, our cheapest, surest and most climate-friendly new resource.
- Avoids construction of new natural gas-fired power plants. We don’t need them.
- Deeply cuts carbon emissions.