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Nez Perce Tribe Calls for National Leadership from the Administration and Congress: Murray-Inslee Report on Replacing the Service of the Lower Snake River Dams

Lapwai, ID – The Nez Perce Tribe called for national leadership from the Administration and Congress to prevent salmon extinction today in anticipation of the report commissioned by Senator Murray and Governor Inslee on replacing the services of the lower Snake River dams.

“Salmon – the icon of the Pacific Northwest – are facing an extinction crisis, and need a restored lower Snake River.  The subsidized services provided by the four dams that have turned the Snake into a lake can be replaced and addressed, and in doing so we will be charting a smarter, better future for the Northwest and the Nation,” stated Chairman Samuel N. Penney.

“The Murray-Inslee Report will provide even more support for taking action now to restore the lower Snake River and invest in the Northwest in a way that will ensure that this region leads the Nation and the world.  Now is the time for National leadership and action from the Administration and Congress to work on solutions to address a status quo that is antiquated and only works for a select few to provide a future that would work for everyone,” stated Vice-Chairman Shannon F. Wheeler.

The Biden Administration issued a statement this spring on Columbia Basin salmon indicating that “we cannot continue business as usual” and that “Doing the right thing for salmon, Tribal Nations, and communities can bring us together.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq/news-updates/2022/03/28/columbia-river-basin-fisheries-working-together-to-develop-a-path-forward/

The Nez Perce Tribe, Columbia Basin Tribes, Northwest Tribes, and tribes across the Nation support Congressman Simpson’s legislative proposal that includes restoring the lower Snake River, making a significant new investment in fish and wildlife funding and ensuring the tribal and state fish and wildlife managers – not the Bonneville Power Administration – are in charge, reintroducing salmon in the Upper Columbia and Upper Snake Basins, and funding actions including Pacific lamprey passage, sturgeon protection, and addressing the hatchery infrastructure backlog. 

ATNI Resolution 2021-23 (https://nezperce.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ATNI-Res-2021-23.pdf); NCAI Resolution 21-009 (https://www.ncai.org/AK-21-009.pdf)

The Northwest Tribes recently expressed their support for the leadership and actions that the Administration and Congressman Simpson, Governor Brown, Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and Governor Inslee have taken to date and renewing their urgent call for action from the Administration and Congress.  ATNI Resolution 2022-23 (https://atnitribes.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Res-2022-23-expressing-thanks-for-salmon-leadership.docx.pdf).

The Nez Perce Tribe recently announced its vision for contributing to replacing the energy provided by the Lower Snake River Dams.  https://vimeo.com/710582042