Leave All Options OpenLetter to the President
From 107 Congressmen
August 5, 1999
Dear Mr. President:
As members of the U.S. Congress, we recognize that restoring salmon is an issue of national importance, as well as a key concern in the Pacific Northwest. In particular, we believe that Snake River salmon— and steelhead—are an economic and environmental asset whose preservation is a national responsibility. Indeed, Congress has made treaty commitments to Native American Tribes and to the government of Canada to preserve and restore salmon. With this in mind, we urge you to address salmon recovery with the utmost fairness and attention to the best possible science and economics.
Billions of dollars from the federal government and the Pacific Northwest have already been spent to build, operate and maintain the dams on the Lower Snake River and in efforts to mitigate the impacts of these dams on our nation’s resources. All Snake River salmon recovery plans contemplate the expenditure of additional federal and regional money. Such measures will be most effective if the problem is faced without delay and investments are targeted at the most promising solutions.
For these reasons, we are particularly urge you to oppose any appropriations riders, bills, or agency attempts to circumvent relevant laws or postpone prompt consideration of a full range of salmon recovery options on the Snake River. We urge that all scientifically credible options—including modified versions of present policies, partial removal of the four dams on the Lower Snake River, and any other alternative recommended by your agencies or developed within the region—be considered with equal rigor and seriousness, and be subjected to the same scientific scrutiny and economic mitigation studies.
Without prompt and impartial consideration of all scientifically credible alternatives for the recovery of salmon on the Snake River, we risk theloss of both money and the nation’s natural resources.
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