Kilmer comments on Snake River dams

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Derek Kilmer said any decision on the breaching of the Snake River dams should be guided by sound science and a “consensus-driven approach” among regional stakeholders.

Kilmer’s office released a requested statement from the 6th District congressman slightly after the Peninsula Daily News’ deadline on Wednesday. The PDN published a story Thursday about the Port Angeles City Council supporting the removal of the four dams and co-signing a letter urging Kilmer to find “win-win solutions” to benefit salmon and orca populations.

“As a someone who was born and raised in this region, I understand the intrinsic cultural and economic value of the iconic species that reside here, and I believe we have a moral obligation to effectively recover both salmon and Southern Resident orca populations,” Kilmer said in the statement.

“I am grateful for the continued engagement from folks in our neck of the woods on this critical issue.

“As I have shared in discussions with our local Sierra Club members and others, I believe that decisions regarding the future of the Snake River dams must first be grounded in the best available science,” Kilmer continued.

“However, I also recognize that the environmental review process cannot effectively evaluate the socioeconomic and cultural impacts associated with different alternatives.”

Kilmer also supports consensus-driven approach “led by regional stakeholders to determine the best course of action for these dams.

“Any action taken by Congress must be based on sound science and on consensus recommendations from impacted stakeholders,” Kilmer said.

“I am firmly committed to working with folks in our communities and my colleagues in Congress to support that approach.”