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snake river dam removal

Aug. 4, 2020 To Save Orcas, Removing Snake River Dams … While they have a collective generating capacity of 3,033 megawatts, their average yearly output is around a third of that — 1,075 average megawatts (aMWs). For more information, please contact Amy Baird: amy@wildsalmon.org or 503.230.0421 ext. Regarding irrigators in the Columbia-Snake basin, removal of the four lower Snake River dams could actually take pressure off upriver irrigators in Idaho, who under an aggressive non-dam-removal plan would need to let more water remain in the river to mitigate for the effects of the dams. When the energy is most needed in winter and late summer, these dams are good for only 425-525 MWs. It … Due to the lack of water storage, the dams also don't offer much in the way of irrigation. Kate Brown said removing four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington must be a part of a comprehensive plan to save … Similarly, dryland wheat farmers could retain an affordable, reliable transportation system if some of the taxpayer savings from dam removal are invested in upgrading railroads, highways, and Columbia River barge facilities. A U.S. District Court judge in 2016 issued a ruling mandating that a new draft environmental impact statement (EIS) conducted by the three federal agencies overseeing the lower Snake River dams “may well require” breaching them to help salmon recovery efforts. Reality: The four lower Snake River dams are relatively unreliable sources of power compared to some other dams in the federal Columbia River system. Dam removal, however, must be part of a … Analyses from RAND Corp. and the NW Energy Coalition have found that the power from these dams can be affordably replaced with proven carbon-free energy sources. Myth 5: Removal of the Snake River dams will benefit only 4 of 13 ESA-listed fish populations in the Columbia-Snake Basin and there is no science or data suggesting that dam removal would restore them anyway. Some activists claim Snake River salmon are near extinction. On the Northwest’s Snake River, the Case for Dam Removal Grows As renewable energy becomes cheaper than hydropower and the presence of dams worsens the plight of salmon, pressure is mounting in the Pacific Northwest to take down four key dams on the lower Snake River that critics say have outlived their usefulness. Indeed, due to the large amount of energy efficiency in the plan, customers’ bills are actually expected to go DOWN over the next 20 years, even if the four lower Snake dams are removed. economic devastation and thousands of lost jobs. In addition, NOAA’s 2000 Biological Opinion concluded that dam removal was the most biologically certain way to recover Snake River salmon: “[B]reaching the four lower Snake River dams would provide more certainty of long-term survival and recovery than would other measures.” According to the American Fisheries Society, “[i] n contrast to the uncertainty of success from the removal of hydro projects in other portions of the basin, the benefits to Snake River stock survival and recovery would be assured with the removal of the lower four dams on that system...”. In an open letter to the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, published recently, a group of scientists with several hundred years of collective experience in fisheries conservation wrote that research overwhelmingly shows that Snake River wild salmon and steelhead populations cannot be recovered without the removal of four dams on the lower river. Furthermore, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 6th Power Plan, released in 2010 underscores many of the findings in Bright Future. Reality: Removal of the four lower Snake River dams will not significantly increase the cost to integrate or back up wind resources into the grid. Did Trump Write ‘Joe, You Know I Won’ in Letter to Biden? The lower Snake River dams also contain a series of locks that provide a 465-mile navigable waterway from Lewiston, Idaho, to the Pacific Ocean. Myth 4: Fish are doing better than ever and returns are approaching historic levels. The best science shows us that the most effective way to ensure strong salmon returns in variable ocean cycles is to fix their freshwater habitat — and that begins with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. The biggest dam removal project in American history is back on track, following an agreement last week to move ahead with demolition of four dams on the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California. This is a familiar refrain. Because of the unreliability of these four dams, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 6th Energy Plan shows that the region would only need to replace about 245 MWs of additional power to address the current output of these dams. climate change and ever-changing ocean conditions. Listed below are the answers some common misconceptions regarding the effects the lower Snake River dams have on salmon, energy, farms, jobs, and climate change. A controversy has erupted since the late 20th century over the four lower Snake River dams, with the primary argument being that removing the dams would allow anadromous fish to reach the lower Snake River tributaries—the Clearwater River, the Tucannon River and the Grande Ronde River—and spawn in much higher numbers. If expanded fishing business opportunities are included in the economic picture, lower Snake River dam removal could bring billions of dollars in increased economic benefits to the Northwest from expanded fishing (both sport and commercial), new river-based recreational opportunities, and non-recreational revenue. This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com. But headlines focusing solely... Did Biden Temporarily Freeze Trump Rule Lowering Insulin, EpiPen Prices? Ten scientists—some well known for their work in Columbia Basin salmon recovery—published an open letter to the governors of four Northwest states saying Snake River salmon and steelhead are "highly likely to become extinct" if the four lower Snake River dams are not removed. Myth 7: Removing the lower Snake River dams will cause economic devastation and thousands of lost jobs. More importantly, the wild returns are still nowhere near NOAA recovery targets, which must be met for eight consecutive years, or the Council’s replacement or recovery targets. If Seattle had to rely on the lower Snake dams for its power, it would have electricity shortages much of the year. will benefit only 4 of 13 ESA-listed fish populations. To provide an up-to-date and comprehens 22,000+ citizens place a full page ad in Seattle Times informing Gov. Author Rob Masonis strolls the banks of the Grand Ronde River in pursuit of summer steelhead. Myth 8: Removing the lower Snake River dams will hurt farmers and irrigators. Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. Overwhelmingly, the evidence has led us to conclude that removal of the four lower Snake River dams is the single most important step we can take to recover abundant, fishable and harvestable Snake River salmon and steelhead. Environmentalists and salmon advocates have long pushed for removal of the dams, pointing to studies that show a free-flowing Snake River is the best way to help the imperiled salmon runs. Prior to the completion of those dams in 1975, grain and other products in the region were transported to market chiefly by rail and truck. Seattle, WA 811 First Ave.,Suite 305Seattle, WA 98104 Phone:  206-300-1003, Spokane, WA P.O. Myth 9: Lower Snake River dam removal will cause an increase in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The federal government has indicated that the current plan will cost an additional $700 million to $1 billion per year to continue the same general activities that we have been doing for the last decade, but which are not achieving sustainable salmon populations. Facts about Lower Snake Dam Removal Click on the link for news, letters of record, archives, reports, documents, videos, presentations, and how to help. Removing four dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington provides a once in a generation opportunity to recover endangered wild salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia-Snake watershed (including Idaho’s Salmon and Clearwater rivers, northeast Oregon’s Imnaha and Grande Ronde, and southeast Washington’s Tuccannon), while creating new economic opportunities and investing in a … Jay Inslee. Anti-vaccine propagandist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., capitalized on the death of the 86-year old American... Did Bernie Sanders Sell Meme Sweatshirts To Raise Funds for Charities? Myth 8: Removing the lower Snake River dams will hurt farmers and irrigators. The only reason these agreements would be disturbed is if the federal government decided to abandon them. In fact, the latter study found that as much as $1.6 to $4.6 billion could be saved with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. Now, the operation of those four dams — Ice Harbor, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, Lower Granite — is under reconsideration. Myth 3: The lower Snake dams are necessary to ensure that wind power can be integrated into the power grid. Myth 1: Northwest ratepayers will be devastated by the costs of replacing the power lost if the four lower Snake River dams are removed since these dams generate enough to power Seattle. A RAND Corp. analysis, as well as one by a coalition of taxpayer, energy, fishing, and conservation groups, found that removing the Snake River dams may be cheaper in the long run than continuing to spend resources on the failed strategies of the past. Dam removal would also eliminate a growing flood risk in the town of Lewiston, Idaho, where sediment is piling up behind Lower Granite Dam, the uppermost of the four lower Snake River dams. Economic Tradeoffs of Removing the Lower Snake River Dams The debate regarding the potential removal of the four Lower Snake River dams in Washington has been ongoing for over two decades, but much of the existing information is either outdated or incomplete. Recent studies have found that the 140-mile navigation channel created by the lower Snake River dams could be affordably and effectively replaced by upgrading the Northwest’s railroad lines. The lower Snake River dams are all run-of-river dams, which means they don't store water, and thus don't provide any flood control. Myth 10: Redoing the current federal salmon plan would upset agreements built around that plan. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon in 2016 ordered dam managers to consider removing or altering the four Lower Snake River dams. The same Corps analysis found that air emissions from the power sector would increase by less than 1% in the Western states. And RAND’s analysis found that, if done well, dam removal could actually produce as many as 15,000 new, long-term jobs. And studies show that we can remove these dams without resorting to dirty fossil fuels or breaking the bank. 13. A new EIS released Feb. 28 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) … PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report out Friday rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save more than a dozen species of threatened or endangered salmon, saying such a dramatic approach would destabilize the power grid, increase overall greenhouse emissions and more than double the risk of … By Rob Masonis, VP of Western Conservation. Did Republican Dean Browning Tweet ‘I’m a Black Gay Guy’? We know that removing these four dams is the centerpiece of any serious effort to prevent the extinction of Snake River salmon and Southern Resident orcas. The impact on customers’ rates would be somewhere between 2-4% percent if spread throughout the region, refuting claims that dam removal would devastate ratepayers. Prior to the completion of those dams in 1975, grain and other products in the region were transported to market chiefly by rail and truck. Dam removal is only one piece of the package but remains “foundational” to the recovery of the Snake River, True said. The Council’s plan shows that the region can meet its growing energy needs almost entirely with energy efficiency and new renewables and with no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Not only will 140 miles of the lower Snake once again turn into a free-€‹flowing river with habitat complexity, but 5,500 miles of high-elevation spawning habitat will become more accessible to salmon and steelhead. Reality: Removal of the lower Snake River dams need not have a detrimental impact on farmers in eastern Washington. Among other sources, the Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses (PATH, a group of federal, state, tribal, and independent scientists convened by the Clinton Administration in the mid-1990s to examine the causes of Columbia and Snake River salmon declines and the best courses of action for reversing those declines) report from 1998 concluded that removing the lower Snake River dams had an 80 and 100% probability, respectively, of recovering Snake River spring/summer chinook and fall chinook. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save more than a dozen species of threatened or endangered salmon, saying such a dramatic approach would destabilize the power grid, increase overall greenhouse emissions and more than double the risk of regional power outages. A federal judge ordered Bonneville to make a plan to address declining salmon populations in the Columbia River system and to include removal of the Snake River dams as one measure for consideration. Supporters of retaining the lower Snake River dams warn that if they are removed, the hydropower dams … Did President Biden Remove Military Flags From the Oval Office? Did Hank Aaron Die From COVID-19 Vaccination? Reality: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams would actually decrease total air emissions by seven tons per year from the transportation sector. In 1999, activists bought an ad in The New York Times claiming that unless the dams were removed, “wild Snake River spring chinook salmon … will be extinct by 2017.” When 2017 arrived, the Snake River Chinook population was six times larger than in 1999. And the relatively small amount of irrigated farmland along the lower Snake River (Ice Harbor Dam is the only one that provides irrigation for farms) could be replaced by extending intake pipes to a free-flowing river. The evidence is clear, to save money, save salmon and … Myth 6: The real problem for Columbia and Snake River salmon is not the dams, but instead climate change and ever-changing ocean conditions. In Snake River by Jonathan Stumpf January 15, 2021 Leave a Comment. For more information, please contact Amy Baird amy@wildsalmon.org or 503.230.0421 ext. The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies. Twenty years. If Lower Granite is not removed, Lewiston’s levees, along with the city’s railroad and highway bridges, will have to be raised substantially to protect the community from the ever-rising river. Yet NOAA and BPA have consistently downplayed those impacts and instead have attributed both good and bad salmon returns to ocean conditions. Reality: Many claim that removing the four lower Snake dams will only help four of the thirteen ESA-listed species in the Columbia-Snake Basin. The Need for Snake River Dam Removal Comes Into Focus. What would the removal of the lower Snake River dams and restoral of that river mean for Washington state?" While dam removal is not a silver bullet, with strong actions including dam removal, salmon populations will be better able to weather poor ocean cycles in good health and truly thrive when ocean conditions are good. Did Kellyanne Conway Share a Nude Photo of Her Daughter on Twitter? Today, a significant portion of these products moves via barge from Lewiston, Idaho, or grain-loading facilities elsewhere on the lower Snake River. cause an increase in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Reality: The 2009 Bright Future report from the NW Energy Coalition illustrates that there is enough affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy resources in the Northwest to satisfy load growth, phase out all of the region’s carbon-emitting coal plants, and replace the modest amount of power coming from the four lower Snake River dams. Box 67Spokane, WA 99210 Phone:  509-747-2030. to ensure that wind power can be integrated into the power grid. "Removing the four lower Snake dams must be part of any real salmon and steelhead restoration strategy. Myth 6: The real problem for Columbia and Snake River salmon is not the dams, but instead climate change and ever-changing ocean conditions. 13. Reportedly, an elaborate “phishing attack” duped a famous reporter into quitting her job to accept... How To Interpret That ‘1 in 8 Recovered COVID Patients Die’ Study. Together, these four dams produce only 790 aMWs of firm power (i.e., the amount of electricity utilities can count on in a drought year). And even that is misleading, since most of that potential exists in spring when the region has a power surplus. Upgrading railroads in southeastern Washington and Idaho to accommodate most of the grain currently moving down the lower Snake River (some would still be barged from Columbia River ports near Pasco, Washington) would not be cheap, but it can done cost-effectively. Furthermore, a salmon recovery plan including dam removal could free up funding for salmon recovery efforts elsewhere in the Columbia Basin. Were National Guard Soldiers Forced To Sleep in a Parking Garage? Conducted for the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA), the study’s conclusion reflects previous warnings … In truth, while the four Snake River salmon and steelhead populations will benefit the most from the removal of the four lower Snake River dams, this action will also help improve water quality and flow in the lower Columbia River, thus benefiting all 13 listed stocks that migrate through the Columbia. Myth 8: Removing the lower Snake River dams will hurt farmers and irrigators. We cannot afford to continue down this path and lose any more jobs. Last week, Kate Brown sent a letter to fellow Democrat Jay Inslee offering her support of his effort to “restore health” to the orcas. “The science is clear that removing the earthen portions of the four lower Snake River dams is the most certain and robust solution to Snake River salmon and steelhead recovery,” said Oregon Gov. The last couple of years have shown some minor improvements, especially compared to the dismal returns of late. By David Kinney / TU. This material may not be reproduced without permission. The Corps’ own conclusion: dam breaching is the best way to recover Snake River salmon, a conclusion that remains valid today. And while those numbers were predicted to be near or slightly below the 10-year average, they are less than half of the numbers we saw as recently as 2001 and 2002. In fact, the current federal salmon plan permits the federal dams to kill more than 90% of some of these salmon. At the same time, the fishing industry has lost more than 25,000 jobs because of salmon declines in the Columbia- Snake Basin. Did Nintendo Sue 9-Year-Old Paco Gutierrez for Making Cardboard Console? Myth 1:Northwest ratepayers will be devastated by the costs of replacing the power lost if the four lower Snake River dams are removed since these dams generate enough to power Seattle. Reality: Contrary to repeated statements from federal agencies, most wild Snake River salmon and steelhead returns remain at about the same levels as when they were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the early 1990’s. Simply ensuring that the current federal salmon plan is legally and scientifically sufficient need not have any impact on those regional agreements. Snopes and the Snopes.com logo are registered service marks of Snopes.com. The proposed removal of four Lower Snake River dams has been the subject of legal battles since 1991. The science is clear that lower Snake River dam removal is the best hope to restore salmon runs in the Basin. The US Army Corps took 7 years to complete this report at a cost of $33 million. But the problem now in the region is that we actually have an excess of hydro capacity at certain times of year that creates a limitation on how much wind we can allow onto the energy grid. For several years the issues surrounding the four dams on the lower Snake River have been steeped in misunderstanding and misinformation. Thanks to their extensive high-elevation habitat in the mountain rivers and streams of Idaho, NE Oregon, and SE Washington, Snake River salmon and steelhead are well-positioned to survive and thrive in spite of climate change — but only if the four warm, predator-filled reservoirs on the lower Snake River are replaced with a cooler, swifter, free-flowing river. Hydropower facilities can “firm” or back up wind generation by leaving water in the reservoir when the wind is blowing and generating power, and then releasing the water to generate power when the wind is not blowing. The best available biological and social science indicate that the Corps should breach the dams and restore the river so salmon have the chance to thrive. Suggs, a first-year council member and restoration planner for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, said Snake River dam removal … Lower Granite Dam is actually regarded to increase flood risk to Lewiston, Idaho. Feds Reject Removal of Four Snake River Dams in Key Report. Four aging dams in Washington state block passage along the lower Snake River, a major migration corridor linking pristine cold water streams in central Idaho to the mighty Columbia River and out to the Pacific Ocean. For the fifth time the issue is back in federal court, and once again, a judge has called for federal agencies to take a hard look at the removal of Lower Snake River dams. Yes, This ‘Retro’ McDonald’s in Oregon Is Real. Scientists have been talking about Snake River dam removal for decades. Did Trump Have a ‘Diet Coke’ Button in the Oval Office? Both the Bright Future and the 6th Plan show that we have a sensible and affordable path toward a Northwest energy future where regional carbon emissions are reduced enough to meet the regional climate targets and the lower Snake River is restored for the benefit of salmon, jobs, and communities. However, that Corps analysis – as did the Council’s analysis attached to the 6th Power Plan – assumed power from the Snake dams is replaced with CO2-producing alternatives. Most recently, in May 2016, a federal district judge ordered dam operators to put all options on the table to save threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead – including dam removal on the Snake River. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last … The new plan says that’s the best option for fish – but too expensive in terms of irrigation, transportation and power generation. 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