Today U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee announced the release of an independent draft report that will help inform the recommendations of their Joint Federal-State Process regarding the Lower Snake River Dams and salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. Today’s release of the draft begins a one month comment period that will end July 11.
The draft report describes the breadth of services and benefits currently provided by the dams, and the actions that have been considered to replace or improve upon these services and benefits if the dams were to be breached. The report also details expected results of replacement actions, anticipated costs, and additional questions that need to be answered. Since January of 2022, the independent consultant-led effort has engaged with stakeholders, Tribes, and experts from across the Pacific Northwest. The independent draft report can be read HERE.
Murray and Inslee provided the following statement regarding the draft report:
“We continue to approach the question of breaching with open minds and without a predetermined decision. From the start, we have placed public and stakeholder engagement from communities across the Pacific Northwest as the foundation of any regional process. This continues to include consultation and advisement by federally recognized Tribes whose unique perspectives and sovereignty each of us deeply appreciates. We value the diverse perspective of the many stakeholders who have already provided input toward the independent draft report, and we look forward to hearing much more as this document is available for public review.
“Every community in the Pacific Northwest knows the value and importance of our iconic salmon runs—and every community recognizes the importance of salmon to our economy and cultural heritage. We each remain firmly committed to saving our salmon. We also know that the dams provide significant benefits to our region’s economy and communities. In the coming weeks, we will carefully review and consider public input, tribal consultation, and other engagement from stakeholders before making any recommendations.”
Following the public input period, tribal consultation, and other means of engagement, this report will be updated and released in final form. The senator and governor, considering all the information provided, will then make their recommendations.
This draft report will be available for public review from June 9 through July 11. Comments on the draft report can be provided through a form on the project website, via email, or by mail. All comments must be submitted by 5 p.m., PST, on July 11.
Online comments can be submitted through the project website: https://www.lsrdoptions.org/. Emailed comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject line “Draft LSRD Benefit Replacement Study.”
The independent report was compiled by consultant and expert support retained by the governor’s office.