Media Advisory : Court Hearing in Portland on Columbia/Snake Salmon - 3.9.2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Court to Consider Immediate Measures to Bolster Salmon Survival
Plaintiffs seek increase in spill and a halt to spending on dam infrastructure that may soon be retired
The U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore. will hear arguments on March 9 concerning Earthjustice’s motion for injunction seeking short-term measures to improve salmon survival rates. The requested actions will better provide safe passage for juvenile salmon navigating the heavily dammed Columbia River Basin during the spring migration season, and help ensure a level playing field as federal dam operators consider the possibility of dam removal on the lower Snake River.
Plaintiffs seek an increase in water releases over spillways at the four lower Snake River and four lower Columbia River dams, to improve survival rates for endangered juvenile salmon bound for the ocean. They also request a moratorium on tens of millions in capital spending on projects that would extend the life of dams on the lower Snake River that may soon be retired. Federal agencies are currently in the process of conducting a NEPA/EIS Review in the wake of a May 2016 ruling that rejected a previous salmon protection plan as illegal under NEPA and the Endangered Species Act. Agencies must consider lower Snake River dam removal as an alternative under that analysis.
Earthjustice, together with the State of Oregon and with support from the Nez Perce Tribe, is representing a host of fishing groups and conservation organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, Save Our Wild Salmon, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisheries Associations, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Idaho Rivers United, and more.
U.S. District Court of Portland hears motion for injunction.
Thursday, March 9, 2017. 10 a.m.
Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, Room 1327
1000 Southwest Third Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204-2944