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Bring back our rivers, and we bring back our salmon

Delivery to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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What’s At Stake

The science is clear. Removing the four Lower Snake River dams could bring back million-strong salmon runs, benefitting sport, commercial, and Tribal fishing communities, and helping starving orcas who depend on the salmon. We have an opportunity to ask for a plan that reimagines how the river can work for everyone.

The agencies that oversee the dams just released a draft plan that fails in its mandate to help recover endangered salmon and steelhead. We need you to tell them this is not acceptable if we want to pull orcas and salmon back from the brink of extinction. The comment deadline is April 13.

The lower Snake once acted like a superhighway for migrating salmon, connecting some 5,500 miles of pristine spawning streams with the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Scientists have long said that removing the dams is foundational to the recovery of both endangered salmon and the critically endangered orcas that depend on salmon as prey.

The current draft plan is not the solution the orcas or the salmon need. We need you to raise your voice to let the agencies know that preserving the status quo of their operations is not enough.

Please join us in supporting a plan that restores abundant populations of salmon, protects and invests in the economic vitality of local communities, continues the region’s legacy of providing reliable and affordable clean energy, and helps the iconic orcas recover and remain a vital part of our region and heritage.

A sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Little Redfish Lake Creek, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho.
Neil Ever Osborne / Save Our Wild Salmon / iLCP

The biggest threat to the survival of the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia/Snake River salmon is not an act of nature. It’s man-made dams, which create barriers to salmon migration to and from the ocean.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.

Important Notice

Your message is delivered to a public agency, and all information submitted may be placed in the public record. Do not submit confidential information.

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