Confidential Memo Outlines Federal Government Plans to Mitigate Breaching of Snake River Dams
A confidential draft mediation document released last month by four members of Congress outlines steps the U.S. Government (USG) will take to mitigate the breaching of four Lower Snake River dams, albeit recognizing the Congress would need to authorize actual dam removal.
“While this USG response does not constitute a decision by the USG to support legislation to authorize dam breaching, the USG continues to be committed to exploring restoration of the Lower Snake River, including dam breach,” the November 2, 2023 draft memo states. “To that end, the USG is prepared to deliver the commitments below, in partnership with the Six Sovereigns and other stakeholders in the region.”
The Six Sovereigns include the State of Oregon, State of Washington, Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.
The draft confidential memo was released by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WASHINGTON), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WASHINGTON), Cliff Bentz (R-OREGON) and Russ Fulcher (R-IDAHO), who have sent a letter to President Biden raising numerous questions about provisions in the document that require clarification.
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