The Northwest Can Have a Healthy Snake River, Wild Salmon, and a Strong Economy
Most scientists agree that removing the lower four Snake River dams would be the surest way to restore self-sustaining, harvestable wild salmon and steelhead populations to the lower Snake River and its tributaries.
Yet many people worry that removing these dams would harm the Northwest’s energy supply, grain farmers and others who ship products by river barge, and irrigators. The truth is, removing these dams and updating existing energy and grain transportation systems presents an opportunity to improve the efficiency and reliability of these systems, as well as save taxpayer and electric ratepayer money.
Before the dams are removed, there must be a plan in place to:
Replace the dams' energy in an affordable and carbon neutral manner
Upgrade railroads, highways, and the Columbia River barge system to maintain and enhance the affordability and reliability of the region's freight transportation system
Retrofit irrigation pump systems to draw water from a free-flowing river
Not only are the benefits of the dams replaceable, the restoration of the lower Snake River and the recovery of Snake River salmon and steelhead would substantially benefit the region's economy and quality of life. It would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of new income to recreational and commercial fishing economies in both the inland and coastal Northwest, and it would greatly enhance the region's boating, hiking, wildlife-watching, hunting, and other recreational and tourism opportunities.