Senator Murray, Governor Inslee call for Columbia-Snake salmon solution

Statement by Tom Kiernan, President of American Rivers

Contact: Amy Souers Kober, 503-708-1145
May 14, 2021

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Washington Governor Jay Inslee today issued a statement calling for a comprehensive solution to recover Columbia-Snake River salmon. American Rivers named the Snake River America’s Most Endangered River for 2021 given the need for urgent action to save salmon from extinction.

Tom Kiernan, President and CEO of American Rivers, issued the following statement in response to Senator Murray and Governor Inslee’s commitment:

“The pledge by Senator Murray and Governor Inslee is a positive step and sets high expectations. Northwest tribes and communities that depend on salmon have heard promises for more than 20 years, while salmon runs have gotten closer to extinction. Recent numbers released by the Nez Perce Tribe warn that salmon runs will hit an ‘extinction vortex’ if we don’t act soon.

To turn ideas into action and make meaningful progress, the region needs immediate resources, secured in this Congress, to accelerate dialogue for solutions including removal of the four lower Snake River dams, replacement of their benefits, and investment in regional energy, agriculture and infrastructure solutions. Senator Murray and Governor Inslee should ensure that national infrastructure legislation includes funding to advance this critical conversation and ensure implementation on an aggressive timeline.

Salmon and communities can’t wait any longer. Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s recent support of Congressman Mike Simpson’s salmon recovery and infrastructure investment proposal, and today’s statement by Senator Murray and Governor Inslee create unprecedented opportunity. All Northwest leaders must seize this moment with adequate funding to address the salmon crisis, honor commitments and treaties with Native American Tribes and support agriculture and an equitable energy transition plan.”