ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA一 Idaho Representative Mike Simpson announced a proposal that would “overhaul the hydrology of the Lower Snake River and provide support for the numerous industries reliant on the river system.” The project would contribute to the recovery of Northwest wild salmon in the region, which Simpson said are affected by three main contributors, climate change, poor ocean conditions, and the four Lower Snake River dams that Simpson is looking to breach. The removal of the dams is somewhat controversial, as it provides benefits for transportation, energy, and agricultural communities. The dams allow barges to move from Portland to Lewiston-Clarkston, cheaply transporting agriculture and providing tourism and recreational opportunities that some say would be difficult to replace.
“We appreciate Rep. Simpson’s commitment to restoring salmon and steelhead, doing so in a way that recognizes the value of stakeholder input and recreational impacts of these fisheries,” said Danielle Cloutier, ASA’s Pacific Fisheries Policy director in a Feb. 8 press release. “The combined investment in numerous proposed watershed partnerships and direct funding for recreation and tourism surpasses $3 billion. ASA is committed to working with Rep. Simpson, the Pacific Northwest Congressional delegation, and our regional partners to support the overarching goal of recovering salmon and steelhead runs.”