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Commentaries and editorials

Join Effort to Protect
Snake River Fish

by Travis Bradford
Missoulian, April 27, 2021

Map: Retail rate pressure is downward across the Northwest. Source: Columbia River System Operations Enivornmental Impact Statement, (Appendix H Chapter 6 data, excluding effects of Increasing Spill at Lower Columbia Dams) Each year, I eagerly await the changing colors of autumn and the cooling temperatures of fall, the signal to start my yearly pilgrimage over the continental divide to chase steelhead on the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers. These iconic fish were once abundant, but are now in peril of extinction unless we act fast.

Despite taxpayers funding $17 billion in recovery efforts over the last 20 years, four species of pacific salmon and steelhead are federally listed as threatened or endangered in the Snake River Basin. An important part of the Northwest's history and heritage will be lost if we don't restore the once abundant runs, and as someone who has witnessed this downturn with my own eyes, I believe it is time for the four Lower Snake River Dams to go.

In February of this year, Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho released an ambitious proposal -- -- that would restore sustainable salmon and steelhead runs, rebuild infrastructure and create economic opportunities in the affected river communities.

I applaud Rep. Simpson's leadership and commitment to the Northwest with his plan to invest in industries affected by the proposal, and urge U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester, as well as U.S. House Rep. Matt Rosendale, to join Simpson by bringing the Northwest delegation together to restore the iconic salmon and steelhead runs of the region.

The Northwest is a very special place for anglers and outdoor recreationists that is known the world over. We have the opportunity to provide certainty for future generations that rely on the Snake River for enjoyment and livelihood. We need to be strong enough to face these challenges head-on before it is too late for these renowned creatures and iconic rivers that make up the backbone of towns big and small in the Northwest.

Travis Bradford Missoula
Join Effort to Protect Snake River Fish
Missoulian, April 27, 2021

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