Natural River Resolution – December 1999

Natural River Resolution

December 1999

Whereas, all runs of Idaho’s wild steelhead and salmon are either already extinct or listed under the Endangered Species Act, and

Whereas, many factors including – habitat degradation, over harvest, hatchery practices, and poor water management – have contributed to the decline of Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead the construction and operation of the federal hydropower/navigation/irrigation system on the lower Snake and Columbia Rivers is the critical limiting factor to the survival and recovery of Idaho’s anadromous fish, and

Whereas, the four lower Snake River dams are the deadliest to Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead, and

Whereas, the independent fisheries scientists of the P.A.T.H. (Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses) process find that bypassing the lower four Snake River dams offers the highest level of certainty of restoring endangered Snake River salmon and steelhead in the shortest time, and

Whereas, in May 1998 the Idaho fish and Game Commission endorsed dam retirement on the lower Snake as the best biological option for recovering Idaho’s salmon and steelhead, and

Whereas, Idaho’s marginal steelhead fishery is a significant benefit to Idaho’s rural economy, contributing in a steelhead season like 1992-3, $90 million in generated economic benefit and nearly 2300 jobs, and the return of healthy, fishable runs of salmon to Idaho would add another $60 million in annual economic benefit and generate another 1800 jobs, and*

Whereas, adverse effects of dam bypass can be mitigated and IOGA supports mitigation for those parties adversely affected by retiring these 4 dams, and

Whereas, IOGA has supported salmon and steelhead recovery efforts because of the importance of a viable anadromous sport fishery to the rural economies of Idaho, therefore

Be it resolved that the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association supports retirement of the four Lower Snake River dams in lieu of flow augmentation as the best biological choice for recovering salmon and steelhead in Idaho.

*(source-The Economic Impact of Steelhead Fishing and the return of Salmon Fishing in Idaho, Don Reading, consulting economist – Ben Johnson and Associates, September, 1996.)