Federal agencies in the Northwest charged with protecting endangered wild salmon and steelhead
from the lethal impacts of federal dams in the Columbia and Snake rivers are holding fifteen
Public Scoping Hearings this fall in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
These Scoping Hearings represent the first phase of a court-ordered review under the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of salmon restoration alternatives in the Columbia and Snake
Rivers. One obvious alternative is removal of the lower Snake River Dams. This spring, the U.S.
District Court in Portland, OR issued a strongly-worded opinion that found the agencies’
latest plan inadequate and illegal - in violation of both the ESA and NEPA.
This is the 5th plan to be invalidated by 3 judges across twenty years. The next plan – and
this NEPA Review – is the public’s opportunity to get involved and ensure that the
federal agencies get it right this time!
This issue has relevance to whitewater boaters for a few reasons:
1) A restored Snake Rivers would restore opportunities for a 140 mile multi-day river trip on the
lower Snake River and reconnect the river to communities like Lewiston that are currently walled
off from the river. In 2002 the US Army Corps of Engineers estimated demand for paddlesports
would be for over 300,000 user days following dam removal.
2) Management actions to address declining salmon runs directly impact opportunities to
experience and enjoy upper tributaries like the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho. While these
actions have been implemented, the biggest factors—i.e. Snake River Dams—affecting
fish populations remain unaddressed.
3) Restoring the fishery resource in the upper Snake River on tributaries like the Lochsa,
Selway, and Salmon Rivers is consistent with our mission to restore rivers. We all want healthy
rivers to enjoy and productive salmon runs are part of that experience in the Pacific Northwest.
You can review the feds' calendar below and get ready to attend the hearing nearest you.
- Monday, October 24, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wenatchee Community Center, 504 S. Chelan Ave.,
- Tuesday, October 25, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Town of Coulee Dam, City Hall, 3006 Lincoln
Ave., Coulee Dam, Washington
- Wednesday, October 26, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Priest River Community Center, 5399 Highway 2,
Priest River, Idaho
- Thursday, October 27, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Kootenai River Inn Casino & Spa, 7169 Plaza St.,
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
- Tuesday, November 1, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Red Lion Hotel Kalispell, 20 North Main St.,
- Wednesday, November 2, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., City of Libby City Hall, 952 E. Spruce St.,
- Thursday, November 3, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn Missoula, 3720 N. Reserve St.
- Monday November 14, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Historic Davenport Hotel, 10 South Post Street,
- Wednesday, November 16, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Red Lion Hotel Lewiston, Seaport Room, 621 21st St.
- Thursday, November 17, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Courtyard Walla Walla, The Blues Room, 550 West Rose
St. Walla Walla, Washington
- Tuesday, November 29, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Grove Hotel, 245 S. Capitol Blvd. Boise,
- Thursday, December 1, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Town Hall, Great Room, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle,
- Tuesday, December 6, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, River Gallery
Room, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon
- Wednesday, December 7, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King
Jr. Blvd., Portland, Oregon
- Thursday, December 8, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Loft at the Red Building, 20 Basin St.,
- Tuesday, December 13, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., PST,
Written comments will also be accepted through January 17th, 2017. We will provide additonal
information on providing comments in the coming weeks.