T he Feb. 2020 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Snake-Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead was produced by federal agencies under a 2016 court order and analyzes several options for the future management of federal dams in the Columbia Basin, including one option that would remove the four dams on the Lower Snake River.
Unfortunately, despite the DEIS' recognition that restoring the lower Snake River would deliver the greatest survival benefits to Snake River fish compared to any of the other options, it instead recommends a Preferred Alternative with only minor modifications to a longstanding approach that has proven to be illegal, costly, and ineffective for over 25 years.
The scope of this EIS process is simply too narrow to deliver the kind of changes required to meet the needs of imperiled salmon populations and fishing and farming communities facing loss and uncertainty. Citizens in the Northwest and across the country must work together to use the current public comment period to contact elected officials in the Northwest and call for their urgent leadership and solutions.
We have a unique window of opportunity today for an unprecedented conservation and community success story in the Northwest: to restore the lower Snake River and recover its endangered salmon and steelhead populations and the benefits they bring to the people of the Northwest and nation. Right now, we need stakeholders, sovereigns, and citizens to speak up and help policymakers choose a science-based solution that will recover salmon and steelhead populations and meet the needs of our communities.
We are reaching out to YOU, a dedicated supporter of salmon and steelhead conservation, to urge policymakers to make the right choice. Please set aside a small amount of time in the next several weeks to call in and speak up for solutions on the remaining DEIS call-in “meetings.”
Call-in DEIS “meetings" will occur on March 25, 26 and 31. They all start at 4:00 pm PST. Nearly all comments are delivered during the first hour, so this is a 1 hour commitment, not 4 hours. Call-in number: 844-721-7241; Passcode: 599-8146#
Here are the specifics of our request:
1. Plan to join one of the upcoming calls and make a brief 3-min comment: the DEIS fails salmon and communities; Northwest communities must work together on an inclusive regional solution; urgent leadership from Northwest governors and members of Congress is needed, etc. (see the attached memo with suggested talking points).
2. Help recruit a small number of knowledgeable, articulate contacts and partners in your networks to join one of the call-in dates and deliver their 3-min comment. Economic messengers especially helpful, but all voices are welcome and needed.
3. Follow up with SOS staff to let us know what meeting you will join, and if you have recruited others. We’re keeping track of our speakers and will work to spread them evenly across the remaining meetings. Please also follow up with us if you have questions or we can assist in any way.
NOTE: Anyone can call in from anywhere to any of the meetings. Based on the first two calls this week, it looks like the number of commenters on these calls is likely to remain low and it is helpful in these calls that we organize a strong complement of speakers and constructive messages around durable and inclusive solutions and the need for political leadership in the Northwest.
Remember that change can only begin with concerned, dedicated, and vocal citizens like you.
Thank you for considering this request.