This is your opportunity to tell federal agencies you oppose breaching the Snake River dams, but you must act soon. The comment period ends April 13th

 

We want to help you have your voice heard across the country!

Taking time to make your voice heard helps ensure family farms continue to feed the world!

Use the “Send your message now” link below to directly fill out the form on the federal comment page.

We encourage you to identify yourself as a farmer from Washington. 

Send your message now!

 

This comment period is part of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was ordered by a federal judge in 2016. The DEIS was done under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and is a study of the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams.

The DEIS study found that while salmon would do better without the dams in place, the benefit to fish is uncertain, and the impacts and cost to society would be extremely high.

The Preferred Alternative chosen by the federal agencies would keep the four lower Snake River dams in place but would increase the volume of water spilled over the dams instead of through the turbines. The argument is this would benefit fish, cause a smaller increase to electric rates (about 1.5 percent), and maintain the existing benefits of the dams.

 

Commenting is easy. Follow the steps below:
  1. Click here to get to the official comment page on the federal website.

 

  1. In the comment box at the top of the page, you can enter in your own comments or you can cut and paste the following:

 

I/we oppose the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams because that action would:

  • Eliminate the pools behind these dams that will greatly reduce the only source of water for irrigation for nearly 50,000 acres of prime farmland in eastern Washington. Those farms, in turn, provide many diverse and under-served communities with agriculture work.
  • Increase pumping costs that would result in lower net farm income across the region, which translates to farm households having less money to spend within the regional economy.
  • Eliminate an essential component of the Northwest’s supply of clean hydroelectric power and increase the region’s power costs by $1 billion annually and raise residential utility bills by 25 percent or more. This is in comparison to the estimated rate increase of 2.5 percent associated with increased spills for fish.
  • Ignore the more than $2 billion investment to improve fish passage on the lower Snake and Columbia river dams since 2001. These investments have resulted in the highest adult salmon returns since the first Snake River dam was completed in 1961.
  • Cost $457 million in social welfare as the result of lost irrigation and jobs for farm workers.
  • Cost the U.S. $4 billion over the next 30 years due to the loss of barging.
  • Drive up production costs associated with higher transportation costs for upriver movements (i.e., fertilizer, crops).
  • Place additional demands on existing road and rail infrastructure as well as at barging facilities near the Tri-Cities, thereby increasing CO2 emissions by 17 percent.
  • Remove the important flood mitigation that is currently provided to farmland and residential housing in multiple areas along the Snake River.

 

  1. Once you are done with your comment, you can fill out your name and email if you would like (it’s optional) and then click the “Submit Comment” button on the bottom left of the page. It’s that easy.

Remember, you must submit your comments by Monday, April 13th. Please act today and make sure your voice is heard!

 

For more information regarding the independent studies and research please visit any of the following links:

Complete draft of the Environmental Impact Study under NEPA:
https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/CRSO/Complete-DEIS/#top

Independent Study by Pacific Northwest Waterways Association:
https://www.pnwa.net/energy-salmon/

Northwest River Partners public comment and facts page:
https://nwriverpartners.org/join-us/

Port of Lewiston w/ one-page fact sheet from NWRP:
https://portoflewiston.com/our-rivers/13562-2/