Salmon and steelhead have been a part of Idaho for thousands of years, and our clear mountain streams have been their home. Now they are endangered and on the brink of local extinction. Fish hatcheries do not allow for the genetic diversity required for their continued survival under adverse conditions.
Congressman Mike Simpson has developed a comprehensive plan to bring them back in abundance by taking down the four lower Snake River Dams and making communities whole by solving the issues that arise by this action. This plan is urgently needed. It provides for clean, reliable and affordable energy, clean water, outdoor recreation and improvements for transportation and irrigation for farmers and other water users. It will enhance local economies that depend on fishing and recreation. It will modernize the Northwest’s energy transmission. It will incentivize the improvement of water conditions on the mid-Snake River. It will help businesses transition to a revitalized waterfront on the Snake River. It will rebuild and expand rail links for grain shippers.
This type of comprehensive plan has worked in other areas of the country such as the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. I would urge Gov. Brad Little and Sens. Crapo and Risch to support Simpson’s proposal, as it addresses the concerns of all stakeholders and makes Idaho communities whole. Let’s bring salmon back to their ancestral home.