Restore the Snake River

What's At Stake

Three decades after our first lawsuit, there’s finally a real plan for Snake River salmon – one that sets us on a path to breaching four dams on the Lower Snake River. Help us make it happen.

The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation, the Nez Perce Tribe and the states of Oregon and Washington recently presented the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative (CBRI) – a roadmap for the long-term recovery of salmon and steelhead within the Columbia River Basin. 

Based on the solutions outlined in the CBRI, the Biden administration announced a package of U.S. government actions and commitments to provide initial funding, resources, and steps to begin implementation of the Initiative.  

This plan and federal commitments were secured through more than two years of mediation stemming from Earthjustice’s litigation that brought parties involved in the litigation together to work through solutions. Thanks to the the Biden administration, the four Lower Columbia River Treaty Tribes, the states of Oregon and Washington, the clients we represent in the Snake River litigation, and the advocacy of people like you, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We are now on a path to replace the services of the four Lower Snake River dams so that the dams can be breached within two fish generations (approximately 8 years) to avoid extinction and begin rebuilding salmon populations to healthy and harvestable levels. 

With a visionary plan from Tribes and States and a good-faith commitment from the Biden administration to take steps to support it, Congress now must authorize breaching and decommissioning these four dams. Thank the Biden administration for its work and tell your representative and senators to restore a free-flowing Snake River and protect salmon and steelhead. 

The CBRI is not just a plan for salmon and steelhead – it includes a suite of recommendations to replace the services provided by the four Lower Snake River dams. The plan will move us toward a future that includes healthy salmon and steelhead, affordable clean energy, improvements to regional agriculture and transportation to support a robust economy, and healthy ecosystems and to meet the many resilience needs of stakeholders across the region necessitated by our changing climate. 

The path forward is not without hurdles, but today’s announcement brings us closer to a free-flowing Snake River than we’ve ever been since the dams were built. Decades of persistence brought us to this moment, and we’re going to need your help to maintain the momentum you have helped build until the river is restored. 

Join us in thanking the administration for its efforts and telling your members of Congress to authorize dam breaching. 

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

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