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So Goes the Nation? Salmon Recovery in the Pacific Northwest Glenn Vanselow Pacific Northwest Waterways Association National Waterways Conference Portland,

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Presentation on theme: "So Goes the Nation? Salmon Recovery in the Pacific Northwest Glenn Vanselow Pacific Northwest Waterways Association National Waterways Conference Portland,"— Presentation transcript:

1 So Goes the Nation? Salmon Recovery in the Pacific Northwest Glenn Vanselow Pacific Northwest Waterways Association National Waterways Conference Portland, OR September 8, 2006

2 Columbia Basin Tour

3 ESA Listings in the PNW 26 Northwest fish runs listed under ESA Northern California to Canadian border 1989: First ESA petitions 1991: First listings: 3 Snake River runs 1995: First Biological Opinion Challenged/rejected in court 2000: Biological Opinion Challenged/rejected in court 2004: Biological Opinion Challenged/rejected in court 2006: River Operations Set in court by judge’s order

4 ESA Listings: The Side Effects Clean Water Act lawsuit Challenged river operations and the existence of the dams Snake River dredging lawsuits Court prohibited dredging twice Third lawsuit settled (with help from PNWA) Columbia River channel deepening lawsuit Challenged Biological Opinion and Corps’ economic analysis Appellate Court allows project to proceed Corps permits delayed More projects subject to review Higher level of scrutiny More resource agency coordination

5 ESA Listings: The Side Effects Irrigation water withdrawals challenged Withdrawals curtailed Hydropower system cutbacks Hydro is 64% of region’s power supply Flow augmentation Spill programs Hydropower rates increased 25% of PNW power rates are fish costs Navigation threatened 50 Million tons per year, Columbia River $16 Billion in international trade Million tons per year, barged $2 Billion in cargo value

6 ESA Listings: The Side Effects Bonneville Power Administration Rate Impacts

7 ESA Listings: The Side Effects Cost to PNW ratepayers (not the federal government): $8 billion

8 Navigation & Power Benefits Threatened 26 Northwest fish runs listed under ESA Northern California to Canadian border 13 are Columbia Basin runs 4 are lower river runs They do not pass any dams 5 are upper Columbia runs They do not pass any Snake River dams Only 4 of the 26 pass Snake River dams Yet, Snake River dams are under attack Environmental groups, some NW tribes say: “Breach the four Snake River dams” Members of Congress join in: 85 cosponsor Salmon Planning Act (authorizes breaching the Snake River dams) 103 sign Blumenauer-Petri letter (asks NOAA to analyze breaching)

9 Dam Breaching is Not the Answer Record fish runs in last five years Juvenile survival is 3 times higher than 1970s When dam breaching was first proposed Juvenile survival continues to improve 2006 highest on record Survival is higher today than before the Snake River dams were built Source: NOAA Fisheries

10 Dam Breaching is Not the Answer It is bad for the environment It shuts down the cleanest, most fuel-efficient transportation mode It shuts down hydropower: clean, renewable and zero air emissions It is bad for the economy Loss of navigation Loss of hydropower Loss of irrigated agriculture It will not help the fish Only 4 of 26 listed runs No demonstrated benefit Possible harm Photos from 1992 Snake River drawdown test

11 Contact Information: Click on: Action Agenda Then: Fact Sheets


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