The Online Questionnaire is one of several important ways to participate in Governor Inslee’s Lower Snake River Stakeholder Process. This webpage introduces you to the questionnaire before you complete it and suggests an effective approach when you do. The deadline to complete the questionnaire is 5:00 pm, January 24, 2020.
Visit the SOS' Washington State LSR Stakeholder Process Resource Page to learn more about the process and additional ways that you can get involved and ensure your voice is heard.
What future for the Lower Snake River, salmon and orca, and communities?
How can Northwest people work together to restore the Lower Snake River, ensure healthy fishing and farming communities,
and support a clean, reliable and affordable regional energy system?
Right now, Governor Inslee’s office is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind conversation in Washington State about the future of the lower Snake River – its four federal dams, its endangered salmon and steelhead populations and the benefits they deliver to people and ecosystems. Washington State began its Lower Snake River Stakeholder Process last summer. The idea originated in 2018 as a recommendation from Gov. Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force. It was later endorsed by the governor and funded by the state legislature last April.
A main purpose of the Stakeholder process is to facilitate a constructive dialogue among stakeholders, policymakers and the public to better understand the costs, benefits and tradeoffs of restoring the lower Snake River by removing its four dams – including the types of investments that will be needed to ensure that all affected interests come through this transition together. A draft report summarizing information from 75+ interviews with stakeholders and sovereigns and input from the public is due for release in mid-December, with a final report expected in February 2020.
Gov. Inslee wants to hear from you! Please complete the online questionnaire today. It will be open through Jan. 24, 2020. (You can also join salmon, orca and fishing advocates – and other important stakeholders – at evening workshops in Clarkston (1.7), Vancouver (1.9), and Tri-Cities (1.13).)
ABOUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE:
The questionnaire begins by collecting basic demographic information, including one’s zip code; it is anonymous, but one can include an affiliation.
It has eight topic areas:
• Salmon and Steelhead
• Tribal Resources
Each starts with a brief statement, followed by three multiple choice questions:
(1) Do you agree/disagree?
(2) How will keeping the dams affect this topic area?
(3) How will removing the dams affect this topic area?
Each topic areas includes a comment box (maximum 600 characters) where you can explain your perspective, offer advice, etc. Given the limitation of multiple choice questions, these comment boxes are the most important part of the questionnaire. We suggest that you craft your brief comments in a WORD document first and then copy and paste into the questionnaire when ready.
Suggested themes for the questionnaire: Important themes for you to communicate in this questionnaire:
(i) There is great urgency to act to restore the lower Snake River and to do so in a manner that meets the needs of salmon and people; problems that would be created by dam removal must be addressed with a comprehensive solution.
(ii) We need political leadership: regional policymakers engaging with each other and with affected stakeholders and sovereigns – to develop a collaborative solution that meet needs and bring everyone forward together.
(iii) Northwest policymakers must help/support/develop a robust plan to remove the lower Snake River dams AND invest in affected communities to order avoid energy, irrigation and transportation disruptions and to leverage real economic and community opportunities created by restoring the lower Snake River.
(iv) Effective solutions for Snake River salmon and communities must meet these criteria:
(1) recover Snake River salmon and help critically endangered orca
(2) invest in affected communities to ensure everybody moves forward together and no one is left behind
(3) support a reliable, clean and affordable regional energy system.
Completing the questionnaire’s comment boxes using your own words is likely to have the greatest impact. We encourage a constructive, collaborative tone while highlighting the great urgency for leadership and action to help endangered salmon and orca and invest in the important community transitions that will be needed.
• There is great urgency for action. All remaining Snake River salmon and steelhead populations are in deep trouble today – 2019 adult returns were some of the lowest on record. Southern Resident orcas face extinction due to a lack of their main prey – Chinook salmon. We must act urgently and boldly – or we will lose these iconic Northwest species forever.
• There is strong scientific support for restoring the lower Snake River by removing its dams to protect wild salmon and steelhead from extinction.
• Political leadership is urgently needed in Washington State and the Northwest to develop a collaborative plan that removes these four federal dams and invests in affected communities. An effective plan must bring everyone forward together. Policymakers must work with each other, sovereigns and stakeholders to develop a plan removes the dams and replaces their services with alternatives.
• It is critical that a robust dam removal transition plan includes economic development and other investments to maintain reliable and affordable energy, irrigation and transportation services, just transitions, and other elements to responsibly transition affected communities as needed.
• With the support and engagement of Northwest policymakers, stakeholders and sovereigns in Washington State and regionally must begin working together to develop a package that restores the lower Snake River and invests in essential community transitions to ensure that everyone moves forward together.
• Numerous analyses show that the dams’ energy, irrigation and transportation services can be replaced cleanly and affordably, and will result in big net economic and community benefits locally and regionally.
• The status quo is unaffordable, unsustainable, and uncertain for salmon and for people. The federal government’s current approach is not working for salmon, orca or our fishing and farming communities. Taxpayers and regional ratepayers have spent $17B on five illegal Columbia Basin salmon plans over 25+ years, but failed to recover a single endangered population. A new approach is urgently needed.
-- Save Our wild Salmon Coalition staff contacts:
-- Carrie Herrman, Spokane: email@example.com
-- Jacob Schmidt, Spokane: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Amy Grondin, western Washington: email@example.com