Biden Administration Announcement Marks Historic Step in Salmon Recovery in the Columbia River Basin

December 14, 2023

Contact: Kayeloni Scott | | 208.790.1815 

Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration details a package of commitments to the Northwest, representing a critical step towards restoring the Snake River and saving the basin’s salmon and steelhead from extinction in a manner that ensures communities thrive in the transition. Past decisions have endangered keystone species and created services that communities came to rely upon. These commitments illustrate the dedication to building a stronger, more resilient region.  

American Rivers applauds this path toward reciprocity for rivers, salmon, and all that depend on them. Just as Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) outlined through his Columbia Basin Initiative, the lower four Snake River dams cannot be removed without first replacing the transportation, energy, and irrigation services they provide. This settlement package establishes a foundation for doing just that and puts us on a course toward restoring a healthy, free-flowing lower Snake River. 

“The only way we will get to success is if we start working together to solve each other’s problems,” said Tom Kiernan, President and CEO of American Rivers. “We applaud the Biden Administration, the Six-Sovereigns1, and all other parties for coming together in an historic agreement to advance solutions for the Northwest salmon and people. American Rivers will continue to stand with our partners and Tribal Nations across the Northwest to advocate for restoration of the Snake River, ensuring the survival of salmon and steelhead, and upholding Tribal Treaty Rights.” 

1. The Six Sovereigns include Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation, Nez Perce Tribe, State of Oregon, and State of Washington. 

Additional Resources: 
White House Fact Sheet