Monday, August 8, 2022


The annual Kids Count report highlights the well-being of America's children, Pennsylvania groups call for reproductive rights, and Minnesota's electric vehicle infrastructure is on verge of a growth spurt.


Democrats seal the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act after a weekend session, New York City's Mayor condemns the Texas governor's immigrant busing initiative, and Elon Musk calls for a debate on Twitter bots.


People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

Public Comment Encouraged on Snake River Dams Removal Plan


Friday, June 24, 2022   

A report from leaders in Washington state lays out how the services of four dams on the lower Snake River could be replaced in order to save ailing salmon species in the region. Now, the public has an opportunity to comment on it.

The draft report comes from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and found it is plausible to replace the dams and the services they provide, including to agriculture, transportation and energy production.

Erin Farris-Olsen, Northern Rockies and Prairies regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation, explained her organization favors removing the dams.

"The report itself is not surprising for many of us who have seen the lower Snake River dams as being an opportunity for our Northwest future," Farris-Olsen noted. "Removing the dams is in fact possible, and that it's really essential to avoid the extinction of salmon."

The plan's estimated cost is between $10 billion and $27 billion. A rally this Saturday in Portland will call for dam removal to save salmon. Supporters of the dams include Washington state Republicans, who say now is not the time to remove dams producing reliable power, especially with soaring energy prices across the country.

The report pointed out climate change could affect how productive the hydroelectric dams are. It said drought and low snowpack already are affecting their usefulness, and suggests replacing the dams with other renewable energy sources.

Farris-Olsen pointed out the region has spent billions of dollars on salmon restoration efforts that have not worked, and believes it should be taken into account when looking at the price tag for dam removal.

"It's also not just a cost to remove the dams," Farris-Olsen contended. "It's an investment in energy infrastructure that's going to be the future for the Northwest."

Farris-Olsen added the region is lucky there still are salmon to protect, but will not have that luxury if action is not taken soon.

"As a salmon fisher myself, it's been tough to kind of articulate the sense of urgency because the species themselves are so resilient," Farris-Olsen acknowledged. "They keep coming back, even if they're coming back in record-low numbers."

Public comment on Inslee and Murray's draft report is due by July 11. Ultimately, the power lies with Congress to approve breaching the federally-operated dams.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Salt marshes are coastal wetlands rich in marine life. They sometimes are called tidal marshes, because they occur in the zone between low and high tides. (FWC)


Conservation groups along several states on the East coast stretching from North Carolina to northeast Florida are working through a plan to conserve …

Social Issues

Children in Missouri are facing unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression - that's according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book, released today by …


Over the weekend, Nevada's Lehman Caves celebrated its 100th anniversary as a national monument. Supporters behind a proposal to add another monument …

Later this year, Minnesota officials hope to receive federal approval for its plan to use infrastructure dollars, awarded to each state, to add fast-charging stations for electric vehicles. (Adobe Stock)


By 2030, Minnesota wants 20% of all light-duty vehicles on its roads to be electric. But a lot of charging stations are needed to help achieve that …

Health and Wellness

In about a month, the Pennsylvania General Assembly revisits a controversial proposal with five separate amendments to the state Constitution…

Corridor H Highway Project construction in Tucker County, West Virginia. (W.Va. Dept. of Transportation)


West Virginia has received federal Infrastructure Bill funding to complete the Corridor H Highway, a four-lane route beginning in Tucker County and …

Social Issues

Despite numerous challenges, eastern Kentucky schools and advocacy groups are working to make the upcoming school year as normal as possible and get …

Social Issues

Children's advocacy groups are sounding the alarm about the well-being of Ohio's kids. The 2022 Kids Count Data Book released today highlights some …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021