The Columbia River, and salmon that need a healthy river to survive, are in trouble. Each year, wild salmon and steelhead return to the waters of the Columbia and Snake rivers to spawn. This salmon run is an integral part of a cycle which has happened for millennia. However, warming waters and dams that block the path of these salmon are threatening native salmon populations. If we do not change the way that dams on the Lower Snake River are managed, these salmon risk extinction.
Our faith tells us that we have an obligation to care for the Earth and the people who depend on it. We are called to protect “all creatures great and small,” and keep their habitats healthy so that they can thrive. We believe we have a mandate to protect our wild salmon, and defend the livelihood of our Native neighbors and the commercial and sport fishers who rely on salmon.
U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers has proposed a bill that would prohibit scientists and fishers from making needed changes to dam management on the Lower Snake River. H.R. 3144 prohibits structural or operational changes from being made to the four outdated dams on the Lower Snake River without an act of Congress.
HR 3144 would derail solid science, analysis, and citizen involvement that have shown that the current operating procedure of these dams does not adequately protect salmon. It thwarts an open, transparent process to move the region towards resolution and a future where fishermen and farmers can thrive, treaty obligations are honored, and abundant salmon once again return to the Columbia-Snake Rivers.
Join Earth Ministry staff and members in Eastern Washington to put our faith in action and tell Rep. McMorris Rogers that that religious communities want sustainable and healthy dam management that protects every creature, especially wild salmon. Submit your comment below to add your voice to the ranks of people of faith asking Rep. McMorris Rogers to withdraw H.R. 3144. We will deliver these comments to Rep. McMorris Rogers at her Spokane office later this month. Thank you!