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Commentaries and editorials

Breaching Snake River Dams
Best Chance for Northwest Salmon

by Meredith Rock
Herald and News, April 14, 2021

Tlakluit Indian, standing on rock, fishing with dip net. (Edward Curtis c. 1910) Response to article "Tribes call on Biden, Congress to remove Snake River dams:" It isn't just local tribes who have a vested interest in restoring our salmon population. 130 different species rely on the nutrients they provide.

Our Southern Resident killer whales, cherished icons of Northwest culture and tourism, depend on chinook salmon as their primary food source. Due to the dwindling supply, these orcas are now endangered. Most of the remaining 75 residents are males and non-reproducing females, and 69% of pregnancies will end before birth.

Breaching the four Snake River Basin dams represents the best opportunity for chinook restoration in the continental US. It would restore 140 miles of significant river habitat and reconnect salmon to over 5,500 miles of pristine, protected rivers and streams. The benefits will be felt far and wide in the Northwest.

In the midst of a mass extinction event, saving our endangered species is a moral imperative. Republican representative Mike Simpson has taken bold action, and other Republicans should follow suit. I urgently call on Oregon's senators to lead with a comprehensive plan to restore salmon, protect orcas and meet the needs of our communities.

Meredith Rock, Seattle
Breaching Snake River Dams Best Chance for Northwest Salmon
Herald and News, April 14, 2021

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