WASHINGTON – US Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) today sent a letter to President Biden voicing severe concerns regarding the administration’s efforts to breach the lower Snake River dams.
The effort, outlined in September in the “Memorandum on Restoring Healthy and Abundant Salmon, Steelhead, and Other Native Fish Populations in the Columbia River Basin,” highlighted the goal of salmon restoration. However, the memo ignores Congressional authority over the dams, scientific data that supports the current state of the dams, the views of regional partners, and the affects it will have on constituents.
“Congress – and Congress alone – can change the authorized purposes of federal women and determine their future. Recent history has repeatedly shown that Congress is unwilling to drastically alter the operations of the Columbia River system or remove the lower Snake River dams,” the senators wrote. “. . . Recent salmon return numbers underscore that the policies implemented by past administrations—Democrat and Republican—are working.”
“Rather than focusing attention on controversial proposals that won’t be implemented by Congress or plans that have buy-in from only a limited portion of those who rely on the river system, we urge you to return to efforts that build on regional consensus, are grounded in science, and can be supported and implemented by Congress,” the senators continued.
Risch successfully removed Democrats’ attempts to breach the lower Snake River dams in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which was included in the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
Read the full letter here.
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