American Rivers congratulates Jaime Pinkham on appointment to top Army Corps position

February 25, 2021

Statement by Tom Kiernan, President of American Rivers

February 24, 2021
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

American Rivers today congratulated Jaime Pinkham on his reported appointment as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, one of two positions in the Army that oversee the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program.

Pinkham, a Nez Perce tribal member and Executive Director of the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, has been a board member of American Rivers since 2013. 

The Army Corps of Engineers has a significant impact on river health nationwide, issuing federal Clean Water Act permits and managing 740 dams and more than 14,000 miles of levees. The Corps leads critical flood management efforts and in recent years has been instructed by Congress to incorporate nature-based solutions including floodplain and ecosystem restoration.

Among the more contentious projects the Corps is currently engaged in are the Pebble Mine in Alaska, the Yazoo Pumps in Mississippi, and its management of four federal dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington that are impacting endangered salmon runs.

Tom Kiernan, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:

“We congratulate Jaime Pinkham on his important appointment. He is a strong leader and is committed to science-based, collaborative solutions that benefit communities and the environment. He has extensive experience with river management, tribal treaties, and fish and wildlife restoration. As the first Native American in this position, he begins an important new chapter for the agency.

Climate change is impacting communities across the country with bigger and more frequent floods and droughts. The Army Corps has a critical role to play in strengthening communities in the face of these challenges. Protecting and restoring healthy, free-flowing rivers and investing in natural infrastructure must be the cornerstone of our strategy to build climate resilience because it has proven so effective. We encourage the Army Corps, with Jaime’s leadership, to fully integrate nature-based approaches that protect communities and improve river health into the Civil Works program, and to address long-standing inequities in water resources investments.

We look forward to working with the Army Corps and the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that equitable investment in clean water and river restoration is a top priority.”