Skip to main content

Restore the Snake River

Delivery to U.S. Senate

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.

By taking action, you will receive emails from Earthjustice. Change your mailing preferences or opt-out at any time. Learn more in our Privacy Policy. Earthjustice's actions are hosted on Phone2Action. Learn about the Phone2Action Privacy Policy.

What’s At Stake

Once again, the federal agencies that manage the dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers — led by the Trump administration — have rejected desperately needed salmon restoration actions in favor of maintaining a costly status quo that has failed both salmon and orcas. 

The agencies' new plan repeats the mistakes of the past and rejects a critical component of a comprehensive solution: restoration of the lower Snake River by removing four federal dams. Salmon populations, and the highly endangered orcas that rely on them, are in decline, but we can restore thriving salmon runs that literally pump life into Northwest ecosystems if we remove the dams now.

Removing the dams is only the first — though crucial — step to creating the comprehensive solutions that Snake River salmon and Northwest communities need and deserve. We have an opportunity to change direction and not only achieve the largest river restoration and salmon recovery in history, but also to make the investments needed to enhance our regional economy, including creating a strong future for farming, fishing, recreation, port, and tribal businesses. We can do this by working together to build sustainable economies and ecosystems in the Northwest.

The Trump administration's actions to undermine bedrock environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and further entrench the harmful status quo runs counter to the values we hold. The Northwest deserves a bolder vision for what it can become. Salmon are the lifeblood of the region, so we must correct our past mistakes and secure their future. We can only do this if our senators speak up, champion our values, and do the hard work to build support for a comprehensive solution.

Time is running out — both Snake River salmon and southern resident orcas are in critical condition — and it's clear that the current leadership of our federal agencies isn't going to do what’s necessary to save them. We have the tools to restore abundant salmon runs and create prosperous local economies, but we need the political will to get it done. Tell your senators we need their leadership in D.C. to push for real solutions for our struggling salmon and vanishing orcas.

An orca breaching
Kelley Balcomb-Bartok

An orca breaching.

Your Actions Matter

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

Read More

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.