Over the many years I have engaged with stakeholders and tribal partners about a path forward in the Columbia Basin, one thing is clear: The status quo isn’t working. Iconic salmon and steelhead stocks continue to decline, with several now on the brink of extinction. As we know, extinction is irreversible. However, there is still time for a collaborative solution that will benefit all in the region.
The Columbia and Snake rivers are economic drivers that we have developed for local and regional prosperity. Salmon and steelhead are keystone species critical to the region’s ecosystem and the economy, as well as subsistence and cultural health for tribal peoples who have fished the rivers since time immemorial.