Today, the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana released a joint letter committing to an effort to help recover threatened and endangered salmonid species in the Columbia River Basin.
The governors have expressed their desire to continue the work of the Columbia Basin Partnership (CBP). Established by NOAA Fisheries in 2017, the objective of the CBP was to bring together regional stakeholders to create a shared vision for salmon abundance goals and to discuss measures that could help achieve those goals. While the CBP was able to agree on abundance goals, it was not able to find broad agreement on solutions.
The new multi-year effort signified by the governors’ letter will establish processes and decision-making groups to attempt to find solid and practicable solutions to the challenges facing struggling salmon populations.
Northwest RiverPartners is supportive of the goals included in the four governors’ letter but asks that the process specifically be tasked with providing scientific rigor. While there are many stakeholders who genuinely believe that dams have been the limiting factor in salmon recovery, recent research has shown that this anti-dam conclusion is not scientifically founded.