Administration’s Columbia Basin salmon plan is another failure

American Rivers calls on Northwest leaders to fight the plan and help find lasting solutions for the region

October 31st, 2007

<P>Michael Garrity, American Rivers, 206-213-0330 x11</P>
<P>Amy Kober, American Rivers, 206-213-0330 x23 </P>

NOTE: Read our initial analysis, Five reasons why the new Columbia-Snake salmon plan is a failure

Seattle, WA – As the Bush administration released another scientifically inadequate salmon plan for the Columbia and Snake rivers today, American Rivers called on Northwest leaders to convene the people of the basin to consider sustainable, long-term solutions for salmon and communities.

NOAA Fisheries rewrote the draft biological opinion for the federal system of dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, under court order from federal Judge James Redden who declared the 2004 biological opinion illegal.

Michael Garrity, associate director of Columbia Basin programs for American Rivers, made the following statement:

“This is the third time in seven years that the federal government has failed to come up with a plan that works for Columbia Basin salmon and communities, and it is time for our Northwest leaders to step up and help the region forge a new vision for the future.”

“This latest salmon plan offers no solutions. It leaves Columbia Basin communities bogged down in uncertainty and it leaves our region stuck with an undesirable status quo. And it keeps wild salmon on a downward path to extinction.”

“Northwest leaders have a responsibility to help the region and the nation put together a plan that contains stronger measures to protect salmon and communities.  Northwest governors should refuse to sign off on this deficient Bush administration plan.  And the Northwest congressional delegation should help the region get the scientific and economic information needed to finally have an honest dialogue about the costs and benefits of different salmon recovery measures.”

“With the continued failure of the administration’s plans, it is time for the region to take a serious look at removing the four dams on the lower Snake River. Scientists say it is the single most effective measure we can take. And, with smart investments in transportation, renewable energy and irrigation infrastructure, we can affordably replace the limited benefits those dams provide. This kind of investment makes a lot more sense for taxpayers and local communities than continuing to throw money at a failed approach.” 

“We can recover the salmon. We can protect farms and local communities. We can restore the river. We know what we need to do. What’s holding us back at this point is just lack of political leadership and a lack of vision.  That is a poor excuse for allowing these incredible animals go extinct, depriving river and fishing communities of economic opportunity, and breaking treaty obligations. It is an excuse that future generations will not accept.”



About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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