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Biden Administration Prepared to Remove
Lower Snake River Dams to Save Native Salmon

by Ateneyck
Fox 28, December 4, 2023

Salmon River and Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho. For a fish born in Idaho's Salmon River, it must get past eight dams. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration and federal agencies are prepared to remove four dams from the lower Snake River to save native salmon, according to leaked documents.

The four lower Snake River Dams, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite, are part of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). FCRPS is the largest source of clean and renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest.

According to the Federal Caucus, it would cost $1.3 billion to $2.6 billion to breach the dams. "A key benefit of the federal dams is clean air. These dams produce a lot of energy and no greenhouse gas emissions."

But word is floating around that there is federal funds may be used to boost tribal-led efforts for salmon in upper Columbia River Basin. These four dams contribute to the near extinction of 13 salmon and steelhead species that return to the Columbia Basin from the Pacific Ocean to spawn.

There has been years-long negotiations about the Snake River dams regarding the threat to these 13 salmon and steelhead runs. With these negotiations, a lawsuit was filed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service against the federal government in 2021.

A 2022 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study, wrote that without dam removal and habitat restoration on the Snake River, the likelihood of extinction for 13 salmon and steelhead runs is "moderate to high."

A leaked letter to the White House shows some Republican representatives from the Northwest who are against the removal of the dams, including Representative Cathy Mcmorris Rodgers.

The representatives are concerned about this proposal because of the vague language that could be misconstrued. They believe that it lacks clarity and reminds the Biden administration that they need to be involved in this decision.

Overall, this proposal is ongoing. Federal agencies, a coalition of tribes and conservation groups are coming together to help restore the local salmon population in the Pacific Northwest region.

Biden Administration Prepared to Remove Lower Snake River Dams to Save Native Salmon
Fox 28, December 4, 2023

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