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Commentaries and editorials

Snake River Ranked
4th Most Endangererd

by Tomas D'Anella
NBC Right Now, April 18, 2023

Little Goose Dam is seen in this undated photo. Billions would be spent to reconfigure transportation in the Lower Snake River corridor used by farmers to move grain and other products to and from Idaho and the Tri-Cities. WASHINGTON -- Only three rivers rank higher than Snake River on American Rivers' Most Endangered list. The river running through Washington, Oregon and Idaho is the fourth most endangered river in the nation.

A report finds four dams along the river to threaten the livelihoods of salmon in the Columbia-Snake River basin. A suggestion from the American Fisheries Society calls for the dams to be removed.

The salmon and steelhead that used to thrive in Snake River are now listed in the Endangered Species Act as threatened.

A report from Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray said the dams can be replaced with new infrastructure, but the improvements must be made before it can be removed.

The struggles of the river have affected the Northwest Tribal Nations, as salmon are a focus in the tribes' religion and sustenance as businesses depending on the river are suffering.

In the past, opposition in support of the dams have come from multiple sources, including Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA). The representative called on factors including fish survival, costs and energy replacement that the removal would cause.

"Our communities cannot afford to breach and remove the Lower Snake River Dams," said Newsome in a 2022 statement. "This report reiterates the importance of the Lower Snake River Dams to our agriculture, transportation, navigation, irrigation, tourism, and clean energy sectors."

In June 2022, Newhouse introduced a bill, H.R. 8016 to require operations of the river and dams be consistent with decisions made from the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision.

Tomas D'Anella
Snake River Ranked 4th Most Endangererd
NBC Right Now, April 18, 2023

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