In late 2021 Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state announced a process to examine whether there are reasonable means for replacing the benefits provided by the four Lower Snake River Dams, sufficient that breaching of the dams could be part of a comprehensive salmon recovery strategy for the Pacific Northwest. Recovering salmon in the Lower Snake River would also benefit the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales that depend on salmon, especially Chinook salmon, for their survival.
In response to the extinction crisis facing Snake River salmon, Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee issued a draft report in early June on the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. The draft report describes the breadth of services and benefits currently provided by the dams, and the actions that have been considered to replace or improve upon these services and benefits if the dams were to be breached. The report also details expected results of replacement actions, anticipated costs, and additional questions that need to be answered. Since January, the independent consultant-led effort has engaged with stakeholders, Tribes, and experts from across the Pacific Northwest. The independent draft report can be found at https://www.lsrdoptions.org/
The draft report is not the final report and does not constitute a recommendation on whether the Lower Snake River Dams should be either breached or retained. The report will continue to be informed by input occurring between now and the conclusion of the Murray-Inslee process. The input includes, but is not limited to, public comments received in the June-July period, direct engagement led by the senator and the governor, and further relevant data made available before the process completes in summer 2022. When the process completes, a final version of the report will be released and will form a component of the governor and senator’s recommendations on a path forward for the region.
Public comments must be submitted by 5 p.m., PST, on July 11. Emailed comments can be sent to email@example.com with the email subject line “Draft LSRD Benefit Replacement Report.”