McMorris Rodgers Continues Efforts to Protect Snake River Dams, Recover Endangered Salmon

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) is continuing her efforts to protect critical hydropower and navigation assets on the Lower Snake River, as well as recover endangered salmon. 

Cathy submitted amendments to the Energy and Water and Interior and Environment divisions of the Appropriations Minibus considered by the House of Representatives this week. The amendments: 

  • Prevented any funding in the legislation from being used to authorize, lead to, or study the breaching or functional alteration of any of the four Lower Snake River dams.
  • Prevented any funding in the legislation from being used to breach or functionally alter Federal dams on the Columbia Snake River System in any way that is in contradiction to the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement. This amendment is in response to Oregon’s filing for injunctive relief that could lead to 24 hour spill on all dams on the Columbia Snake River System. 
  • Encouraged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to acquire and deploy non-lethal pinniped deterrence technology at dams on the Columbia River System where USACE has observed an increased presence of seals and sea lions.  

“I share the passion to recover endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest, but tearing out the Lower Snake River dams is a non-starter for me. These amendments further strengthen that position,” said Rodgers. “I will not bend to the will of radical environmentalists whose goal is to tear out dams, no matter the consequences for our region. My goal is to recover salmon. The plan developed by experts across the federal government for operations of the Columbia Snake River system, which is based on the best available science, shows that salmon and dams can – and do – co-exist. It’s time to come to the table and get serious about recovering endangered salmon while also protecting clean hydropower, flood control, and navigation assets.”

Cathy’s amendment focused on non-lethal pinniped deterrence technology received support from Pacific Northwest Representatives Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Mike Simpson (ID-02), and Kim Schrier (WA-08). It was adopted unanimously in a bipartisan en bloc package. This is the first step in an ongoing process to reassess mitigation strategies, deploy the newest technological advancements, and recover critically endangered salmon populations in the Columbia-Snake River system.

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