ACT TODAY: Complete the SNAKE RIVER SURVEY! Support leadership by Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee!
Last fall, Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee committed to develop and deliver a comprehensive solution to protect and recover Snake River salmon and invest in the region's communities by July 31, 2022.
More recently in February, they posted an online survey and invited people to share their thoughts about Snake River dam removal and salmon recovery. This survey is one part of the Murray/Inslee Snake River Initiative to determine how to restore endangered salmon as they consider removing the four Snake River dams and replacing their services with alternatives.
COMPLETE THIS SURVEY TODAY – AND ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO DO THE SAME! With your help, we can show strong public support for the leadership by Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee and their commitment to develop a comprehensive plan by July 2022 to protect/restore wild salmon and steelhead that includes lower Snake River dam removal. It is important to encourage engagement from as many different people and perspectives as possible.
Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee have said they will announce their findings with an actionable plan by July 31, 2022. In mid-May, they will issue a draft report about how the services provided by the dams can be replaced. That will be followed by a public input process in mid-May through mid-June. It is important to engage with their initiative at every opportunity possible.
Their decision in July will determine whether Snake River salmon will go extinct or recover.
ABOUT THE SURVEY:
- Anyone can fill out the survey; it is not limited to Washington residents.
- You do not need to answer all the questions. At a minimum, fill out questions #2 and #9. You can hit “NEXT” to skip a question.
QUESTION #2 ("What is your primary interest?") allows people an opportunity to share why they - YOU - care about the issue.
QUESTION #9 ("Other issues?") presents an important opportunity to talk about helping orca and other species that will benefit from restoring salmon and steelhead populations. It’s also a chance to mention the urgency - how salmon are facing an extinction crisis, how our region needs justice for tribes, and how this is an opportunity for smart investments that help all Northwest people and communities.
At a minimum, complete Questions #2 and #9: These are the two most important survey questions.
For more information about the Murray/Inslee Snake River Salmon Initiative: www.LSRDoptions.org
SUMMARY OF SURVEY QUESTIONS AND SAMPLE RESPONSES:
QUESTION 1 - Select the box that best represents your affiliation. Check concerned citizens - for most people. You then fill in your zip code in a box for geographic location.
QUESTION 2 - What is your primary interest regarding the lower Snake River dams? [This is the opportunity to say why you care about this issue. Please fill it out with your interest and why this issue is important to you!]
Q2 Sample messages: Prevent salmon extinction; help starving orca; honor treaty rights and our promises to Native American people/social justice; the importance of salmon to our NW heritage; important for sport, commercial, and tribal fishing communities and our economy; ensuring a bright future for our region; want solutions that work for fishermen and for farmers, for tribes and utilities.
QUESTION 3 - Irrigated Agriculture: What benefits need to be replaced if the dams are breached? What actions could provide similar or greater benefits?
Q3 Sample messages: As a result of dam removal, some pumps and wells won't be able to provide the water that the reservoirs did. Actions that address this are to adjust the pumps (longer intakes and more lift) so they will operate at river level and drill wells deeper as needed.
Question 4 - Navigation and transportation: What current benefits need to be addressed if the dams are breached? What actions could provide similar or greater benefits?
Q4 Sample messages: Barging of grain on the Snake River would end with dam removal, as would substantial public subsidies that support current barge transportation. Actions that address this are investing in expanding railroad service, upgrading roads, and modernizing port facilities to handle rail and truck loading/unloading. With a focus on developing electric rail and truck transport, these investments can help reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from moving agricultural products to market.
Question 5 - Energy: What energy services need to be addressed if the dams are breached? What actions could provide similar or greater benefits?
Q5 Sample messages: There is a modest amount of power produced from the dams that would need to be replaced and the dams provide some other energy services. Climate change is already affecting snowpacks and making hydropower less reliable during late summer and winter when it's most needed. Actions to take—We can replace the lost power of the dams with clean energy from wind, solar, batteries, and energy efficiency. The NW has abundant renewable power that is already cost-effective and just gets cheaper. These investments will produce a clean, reliable, affordable, and more modern energy system
Question 6 - Tourism and Recreation: What benefits need to be replaced if the dams are breached? What actions could provide similar or greater benefits?
Q6 Sample messages: There are already abundant slack water recreation opportunities in the Columbia Basin from lakes and other reservoirs. Some campgrounds would be lost from around the reservoirs. Dam removal would make for more diverse and better recreation and tourism because it will restore 140 miles of a free-flowing river and will have more salmon and steelhead. Rafting, kayaking, fishing, and other river-based activities would increase. Guided trips would be in demand. Overall diversity of recreation would grow and benefit.
Question 7 - Community Well Being (environmental, social, & economic resources): What benefits need to be replaced if dams are breached? What actions could provide similar or greater benefits?
Sample messages: There are a modest number of jobs associated with dams, ports, and barges, but they're important to those who hold them; generous retraining and placement programs will be needed and obligatory. Environmental damage has occurred from wrecking a river with the dams. Climate change is overheating the water in stagnant reservoirs killing salmon and steelhead. Breaching the dams would restore salmon, honor our commitments to the tribes, and help reduce temperature impacts.
Question 8 - Economic Prosperity: What benefits need to be addressed if the dams are breached? What actions would provide similar or greater benefits?
Q8 Sample messages: The previous impacts to irrigation, navigation, energy can all be successfully replaced and provide a more modern and effective system in their place. A restored river and salmon and steelhead runs will increase economic opportunity for sport, commercial and tribal fishing communities from central Idaho to the coasts of Washington and Oregon. Restoring the river provides overall economic and environmental benefits to the region.
Question 9 - Other: This is an important opportunity to talk about helping orca and other species that will benefit from restoring salmon and steelhead populations. It is also a chance to mention the urgency for salmon that are facing an extinction crisis, the injustice to tribes and to their way of life that a dammed river has imposed, and the opportunity to address impacts with smart investments and planning and to build a better future for all together.
Have any questions about the survey or this moment of opportunity? Reach out to email@example.com
In recognition of the extinction crisis facing many Northwest salmon populations today, more than 225 chefs, brewers, market owners and others from across Washington State sent a letter to Gov. Inslee, Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell. The signers emphasize that for them, “salmon is much more than a fish; it is one of our most valued business partners.” The letter thanks these three statewide policymakers for their past efforts to protect salmon and asks for their “continued leadership at this moment of great urgency and opportunity.”
The letter stresses that urgent work is needed in 2022 to prevent further extinction and to restore salmon abundance in the Snake River Basin in a manner that brings everyone – including farmers, fishermen and other food producers - forward together.
Last year, Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee acknowledged the extinction crisis facing Snake River fish and committed to developing a long-term plan by July 31, 2022 in order to protect and restore them. As a key step in the process to develop a comprehensive solution for Snake River salmon and Northwest communities, they have been working closely with the region’s tribes, stakeholders and other experts to produce a report by early spring that identifies how to replace the energy, irrigation and transportation services provided by the dams today. Sen. Cantwell's leadership to help develop a durable, regional solution that meets the need of Snake River salmon and Northwest communities will be essential for this initiative's success.
The letter calls for action: “We need new policies and programs in 2022 that will provide both fisherman and farmer greater certainty and the opportunity to thrive. We ask you to seize this window of opportunity before us to develop and deliver a comprehensive investment package that restores the lower Snake River, recovers healthy salmon populations, and keeps farmers and fishermen gainfully employed and feeding our communities.”
While Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee have not explicitly committed to including dam removal in their plan, they have put this option at the center of discussions today. Their report will be a crucial resource for understanding our region’s options for replacing the dams' services as they explore how to restore salmon abundance, help feed endangered orcas, and uphold our nation’s promise to our region's tribes in a manner that moves everyone forward together.
Settlement talks between the Biden Administration, Nez Perce Tribe, State of Oregon and SOS member groups led by Earthjustice are also under way on a similar timeline. The long-running litigation was paused last fall to allow the parties to work together to develop a long-term solution that could resolve the lawsuit and protect endangered wild fish facing extinction caused in large part by the system of federal dams and reservoirs on the Snake and Columbia rivers.
Thank You Senators Cantwell and Murray
and the Northwest Congressional Delegation!
Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and the Northwest delegation recently secured nearly $3 billion in federal funding for imperiled salmon and community investments.This is an important step forward to protect struggling salmon and steelhead populations and the many benefits they bring to the Northwest and nation.
Restoring a freely-flowing lower Snake River by removing four dams is the biggest and best step we can take to protect its salmon and steelhead from extinction and rebuild abundant populations.
The Murray-Inslee salmon initiative can get us there—but only if we act in 2022!
YOU CAN HELP: Contact your U.S. senators and House members in Washington State and Oregon today. Thank them for their recent leadership - and urge them forward: we need bold action in 2022 to protect Snake River salmon and steelhead populations from extinction - and the businesses, communities and ways of life they support.
The House of Tears Carvers, the Nez Perce Tribe and Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment cordially invite you to their Totem Pole blessing ceremony on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at Chief Timothy State Park (near Clarkston, WA)
Details for the Red Road to D.C.'s event to honor the Snake River and restore its endangered salmon:
Background on the Red Road to D.C.: This July, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation are transporting a 24-foot totem pole from Washington State to Washington D.C.. It’s called the Red Road to D.C. As this totem pole travels across the country, it will draw lines of connection - honoring, uniting and empowering communities working to protect sacred places. In this current moment of self-reflection across the United States and the acknowledgment of past and present injustices inflicted on Native Peoples and lands without consent, they invite all peoples to stand united with them to protect sacred places, and fulfill ancestral and historic obligations to the First Peoples of these lands and waters.
Restoring the lower Snake River by removing its four federal dams is critical for protecting its endangered salmon from extinction and rebuilding healthy, abundant populations. The importance of healthy salmon populations and upholding our nation’s responsibilities to Tribes will be highlighted on July 15 as part of this national journey. Other sites on the Red Road itinerary include Bears Ears in Utah, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Totem Pole will arrive in Washington, D.C. on July 28 for three days of events, ceremonies and meetings.
Visit and share widely this Facebook event page
Washington Post article about the Red Road Project.
This project is supported by Earth Ministry, Endangered Species Coalition, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Sierra Club, Spokane Riverkeeper, Rios to Rivers, Idaho Conservation League, Great Old Broad for Wilderness, and Washington Environmental Council/Washington Conservation Voters
This project is supported by Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Coastal Trollers Association, Columbia Riverkeeper, Earthjustice, Earth Ministry, Endangered Species Coalition, Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Pacific Rivers, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Sierra Club, Spokane Riverkeeper, Washington Conservation Voters, Washington Environmental Council, Wild Steelhead Coalition
Watch this recording of a virtual conversation on May 4, 2021 between Congressmen Simpson and Blumenauer discussing their ideas around a comprehensive solution for Columbia-Snake River Basin salmon and Northwest communities and infrastructure.
Background: In late April 2021, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced his intention to work with Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) and the people of the Pacific Northwest "to help craft solutions that protect and restore salmon throughout the [Columbia] Basin, ensure environmental protections and help communities thrive."
He recognizes we face an "existential threat to iconic fish species, to indigenous ways of life, and to sustainability and prosperity... and have an opportunity [today] to end the cycle of conflict, degradation and regional uncertainty."
SOS is excited to share this news with you - and we're grateful to Rep. Blumenauer for his commitment to join forces with Rep. Simpson and work urgently toward solutions to help Northwest salmon and orca, fishing, farming and tribal communities, and clean and affordable energy system. This conversation hosted on Congressman Blumenauer's youtube channel was the first public conversation between these two policymakers on this topic.
For further information, follow this link to an April 30 Idaho Statesman article about this emerging partnership between a conservative Republican from Idaho and progressive Democrat from Oregon.
Thank you, as ever, for your support and advocacy for abundant Snake River salmon, healthy Southern Resident orcas and prosperous communities. Please reach to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to get more involved.