Dam Opponents Organize
by Staff and Wire Reports
OUTFLOW -- Conservation groups calling for removal of four lower Snake River Dams are organizing the third annual Free the Snake Flotilla on Friday and Saturday based out of Chief Timothy State Park at Clarkston, Washington.
Sam Mace of Save our Wild Salmon said she expects hundreds of people including tribal members, anglers, business owners, conservationists, outfitters and recreational boaters to join a six-mile roundtrip paddle on the river.
The rally, organized by a coalition of groups listed at FreeTheSnake.com, will open on Friday at 6 p.m. at the park with tribal drummers, guest speakers, live music and camping. The flotilla is set for Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
"Snake River wild salmon and steelhead returns have plummeted since the lower Snake River dams were built between 1960-75," Mace says in a media release. "With climate change, the impacts of the dams and hot reservoirs are growing worse."
Removing the four lower Snake River Dams would allow the river to flow free for 140 miles to the Columbia to help assure more natural migrations and long-term survival of steelhead and salmon, she said.
Proponents of maintaining the lower Snake River Dams held a Snake River Family Festival in May to emphasize that the dams provide hydropower and barging routes essential to the region.
Dam opponents say the hydropower provided by the dams can be replaced by conservation and other sources.
Meanwhile, the Columbia Riverkeeper this summer released a report on computer modeling indicating that Lower Snake River dams caused dangerously warm water in 2015 contributing to lethal problems with the salmon migration.
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