Monday December 4, 2023

The Chronicle

Four Pacific Northwest lawmakers are pressing the Biden administration for more answers on a possible settlement of long-standing litigation over federal dams on the lower Snake River and their impacts on native salmon and steelhead runs.

In a letter Wednesday, congressional representatives from eastern Washington, Oregon, and Idaho posed multiple questions over a draft document they said has “vague and imprecise language” that could have “wide-ranging impacts” across the region, including removal of the dams.

The letter was submitted by Republican U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse of eastern Washington – where the four dams are located – along with Russ Fulcher of Idaho and Cliff Bentz of Oregon.

The lawmakers were responding to disclosure of the U.S. government’s “Commitments in Support of the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative and in Partnership with the Six Sovereigns.” The “sovereigns” are the states of Washington and Oregon and Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.

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