Salmon and Dams on the Lower Snake River

Jul 21, 2020

This week’s segment of Sustainable Idaho is hosted by Chris Brown and will present basic information on the proposal to remove four hydroelectric dams from the lower snake river.


Chris looks at the biology and economics of the issue, exploring the importance of sustaining salmon and steelhead runs with regard to energy, transportation and business interests in the region.

A special follow up report on how this issue affects Idaho’s Native American population will be the August 11 th segment of Sustainable Idaho.
Special thanks to Mitch Cutter at the Idaho Conservation League for providing much of the data for this segment. Below, you can find additional sources and information used for this report.

Northwest Energy Coalition Report on Power Replacement
https://nwenergy.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/LSRD-Study-Flier-FINAL.pdf
Bonneville Power Authority Electricity Fact Pages
https://www.bpa.gov/Hydroflowshere/Pages/Hydropower-flows-here.aspx
https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/default.aspx
Report on Cost of Continuing Dam Operation
https://www.sightline.org/2019/09/17/snake-river-dams-hydropower-is-no-longer-
particularly-cheap/
Nez Perce Tribe Press Release on Dams
https://indiancountrytoday.com/the-press-pool/nez-perce-tribe-calls-for-leadership-on-
lower-snake-river-restoration-and-accurate-complete-and-transparent-information-on-
impacts-of-four-lower-snake-river-dams-zkH0oasQHkKnAVxZ-jm5rw
Reports on Importance of Fishing to Idaho Economy
https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors/steelhead-fishing-closure-hammers-idaho-
economy/article_481f7f8c-7a85-5a7e-bf5c-029b53b9144f.html
https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/survey-fishing-has-major-impact-idaho-economy
Idaho Conservation League Resource on Salmon and Steelhead
https://www.idahoconservation.org/issues/wildlife/steelhead/
Save Our Wild Salmon Dam Removal Myths and Facts
https://www.wildsalmon.org/images/PDFs/Fact_Sheets/mythsfacts.sm.pdf
Idaho Rivers United Fact Page
https://www.idahorivers.org/celebrating-salmon
News Report on Federal Environmental Impact Study
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/feds-reject-removal-of-4-snake-river-dams-
in-key-report/
EPA Environmental Impact Statement Database

https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-II/public/action/eis/details?eisId=290736
Environmental Impact Study Process Fact Page
https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/CRSO/
Columbia Rivers System Operations EIS Report
https://species.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/82/2020/03/CRSO-EIS-Governors-
Salmon-Workgroup-03-05-2020.pdf
Examples of Successful River Restoration Projects
The Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula:
https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2020/04/how-a-dying-river-came-roaring-back-to-
life/
The Rogue River in Southern Oregon:
https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2018/06/26/salmon-are-booming-in-
oregons-rogue-river-dam-removal-may-be-why
The Kennebec River in Maine:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/lessons-from-the-field-
edwards-dam-removal-
maine/#:~:text=25%2C%201997%2C%20FERC%20ordered%20the,the%20reservoir%
20started%20to%20flow.
Report on Carbon Emissions from Reservoirs
https://news.wsu.edu/2016/09/28/reservoirs-play-substantial-role-global-
warming/#:~:text=%E2%80%93%20Washington%20State%20University%20researcher
s%20say,greenhouse%20gases%20produced%20by%20humans.