What if a new proposal from Idaho Republican Mike Simpson could end decades of lawsuits and gridlock, and possibly save the Columbia River chinook salmon, plus the orca that depend on them, from extinction?
What if such a plan also provided a more prosperous future for farmers, irrigators, barge companies, and eastern Washington communities?
Representative Simpson followed the science in his three-year quest for a solution, and though breaching the lower Snake River dams is a critical component, it is only a small part of this far-reaching Columbia Basin proposal.
He also worked with regional stakeholders to put forth a broad vision for the region that could renovate the Northwest power grid, provide funds for transportation network alternatives, and give an economic boost to the region.
In addition, for the native people who have depended on the river’s bounty for centuries, the plan would finally honor their tribal treaty fishing rights.
A recent Global Trends report said about the future: “Ultimately the societies that succeed will be those that can adapt to change, but also forge social consensus around what should be done.”
Restoring the lower Snake to a life-giving river absolutely should be done, along with ensuring the economic vitality of Eastern Washington.
We need Rep. Derek Kilmer and our senators to recognize the urgency, seize this opportunity, and move this proposal forward now.