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Press Releases

Save Our Wild Salmon

March 23, 2023

Joseph Bogaard, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition,, 206-300-1003

Bill Arthur, Sierra Club,,  206-954-9826

Miles Johnson, Columbia Riverkeeper,, 541-436-3625


Salmon advocates respond to Rep. Newhouse's bill to "protect the four lower Snake River dams"

Joseph Bogaard, Executive Director, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition: 
"The legislation proposed by Reps. Newhouse and McMorris-Rodgers is an attempt to double down on a failed, illegal, costly, and harmful status quo that would lock in "extinction-is-the-only-option” strategy for critically endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin. 

The proposed legislation will only serve to deepen uncertainty and evade pressing problems facing Northwest salmon and our communities and economy. 

And, unfortunately, their proposal misses an enormous opportunity to bring people together around shared solutions that can restore healthy salmon populations, create jobs, invest in clean energy, modernize critical infrastructure and assure a brighter and more prosperous future for all people of the Northwest. 

Decades of scientific research make clear that restoring the lower Snake River is necessary to protect its wild salmon and steelhead from extinction. It is also feasible and affordable.  With effective planning and input from Northwest policymakers, Tribes, stakeholders, communities, and federal agencies, we can develop a collaborative, comprehensive solution-- ensuring salmon abundance for future generations, AND a reliable, affordable clean energy system, modernized transportation system, and robust agricultural and fishing industries. 

Salmon and fishing and orca advocates remain committed to working with the people and policymakers of our region to craft solutions for salmon and our communities that move everyone forward together. We appreciate the bipartisan leadership by policymakers in the Pacific Northwest and by the Biden Administration to bring people together to develop durable solutions that will protect Northwest’s native fish from extinction and restore them to harvestable abundance."


Bill Arthur, Chair, Sierra Club Columbia/Snake River Salmon Campaign:
"Reps. Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers legislation offers no solutions but attempts to lock in a failed and costly status quo.  The salmon and steelhead of the Snake river today swim at the brink of extinction. The current approach to recovery will never meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act nor achieve restoration needed to uphold our nation’s treaty rights responsibilities or support healthy sport, commercial and tribal fishing economies and communities.  The courts have ruled six times that the federal plans are inadequate and illegal.  The plan Reps. Newhouse and McMorris-Rodgers want to enshrine, adopted under the Trump administration, assures we remain on a path to extinction, litigation, and increased uncertainty for everyone.  

Fortunately, as Governor Inslee and Senator Murray, and Rep. Simpson have demonstrated, we can responsibly replace the services provided by the dams, restore the Snake River and meet ESA and treaty rights requirements.  The Biden Administration is moving foward with recognition we must meet our legal and moral requirements to protect and restore these imperiled fish. We can invest in better transporation and energy systems that create a stronger future with abundant salmon. We are pleased that the vast majority of the Northwest congressional delegation and the Governors of Washington and Oregon are seeking solutions that work for everyone."


Miles Johnson, Legal Director, Columbia Riverkeeper: 
"Representative Newhouse is fear-mongering: The Lower Snake River dams provide no meaningful flood control and removing them would not put people in danger from increased flooding. Representative McMorris Rodgers should stop lying about the science: The National Marine Fisheries Service and the American Fisheries Society agree that dam removal is necessary to protect Snake River salmon from extinction and to rebuild abundant, fishable populations. Much like climate change, the scientific debate about what Snake River salmon need is over. Leaders who continue to deny it sound increasingly tone deaf and detached from reality."

Here is a link to the Newhouse website and today’s press release:

Newhouse Introduces Bill to Protect Four Lower Snake River Dams, Clean Energy, Jobs, and Transportation in the Pacific Northwest


Save Our wild Salmon is a coalition of 40+ conservation organizations, fishing associations, clean energy and orca advocates working together to protect and restore healthy, abundant fishable populations of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife, and ecosystems.

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