Environmental Groups Release Statement on Yakama and Lummi Nations’ Announcement

Organizations commit to dialogue about future of natural world in Pacific Northwest


Todd True, Earthjustice, (206) 406-5124


Bill Arthur, Sierra Club, (206) 954-9826


Robb Krehbiel, Defenders of Wildlife, (206) 577-2007

Today, the Yakama and Lummi Nations made an historic announcement regarding the future of the Columbia River basin at Celilo Park.

The following is a joint statement from Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife:

“The Yakama and Lummi nations are challenging all of us to think at a scale and in a time frame beyond our immediate concerns. They are seeking to right an historic wrong: No one has experienced the destructive impacts of river development on fish, wildlife, and the health of rivers, as dramatically as the peoples whose lives and cultures depend on rivers, wild salmon, and all they support.

“How to manage the Columbia and lower Snake Rivers to meet all our needs for power, fish, commerce, and the health of our communities is something we should all be taking a fresh look at as the climate crisis puts more stress on our forests, rivers, farms, cities, and towns.

“Our organizations are committed to a thoughtful and inclusive conversation about a future we will all share. We want to help build a region that has affordable carbon-free power, abundant salmon and orca populations, and healthy forests, farms, and communities.

“We are already engaged in a conversation about restoring the lower Snake River because we have an immediate need and an unprecedented opportunity to move quickly and invest in measures to restore not just the lower Snake River itself but all the communities that depend on it. This is an important step we can take now to meet the kind of challenge the Yakama and Lummi Nations have put forth.

“We are committed to building solutions that bring forward everyone who depends on the natural resources of our great rivers. Today’s call by the Yakama and Lummi Nations is a welcome reminder that we need to work together to build solutions that meet present-day realities and future concerns.”

Dipnet fishing at the Cul-De-Sac of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) around 1957, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, USA
Dipnet fishing at the Cul-De-Sac of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) around 1957, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, USA. Celilo Falls was inundated after the installation of the Dalles Dam in the late 1950s. (United States Army Corps of Engineers)

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