Joint statement on Murray-Inslee salmon proposal

Columbia and Snake River salmon are on the threshold of extinction. 

For Immediate Release—May 14, 2021


American Rivers
Columbia Riverkeeper
Defenders of Wildlife 
National Wildlife Federation
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association
Save Our Wild Salmon
Sierra Club
Washington Environmental Council

Joint statement on Murray-Inslee salmon proposal

SEATTLE—American Rivers, Columbia Riverkeeper, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, National Wildlife Federation, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Save Our Wild Salmon, Sierra Club and Washington Environmental Council today released the following statement in response to Washington Sen. Patty Murray’s and Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent proposal on salmon in the Northwest:

Columbia and Snake River salmon are on the threshold of extinction. 

Today, Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee called for a regional process to address this ecological and economic crisis, to honor Tribal treaties, and to support agriculture and energy. 

This announcement followed Representative Mike Simpson’s framework—based on hundreds of stakeholder meetings and outreach—to address the challenges facing salmon, Northwest Tribes, and communities throughout Idaho, Oregon and Washington. 

We hear Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee making an unequivocal commitment that salmon will not go extinct on their watch. We will hold them to that promise starting today. 

They should engage with Rep. Simpson and the Tribes, organizations, and regional stakeholders who informed his framework for investments in the Northwest.

To accomplish the goals they have announced, a Murray-Inslee process must:

  • Move forward immediately and reach a conclusion in months, not years. Tribes cannot wait. Salmon cannot wait. Orcas cannot wait. 
  • Provide substantial, upfront funding for planning, for implementation, and for addressing the needs of communities that will be affected by the steps necessary to bring salmon back. The moment to secure that funding is now as our country prepares to make extensive investments in infrastructure.
  • Recognize the central role of Native American Tribes as full partners in developing and implementing the Murray-Inslee plan. History demands no less.
  • Build on the clear scientific evidence that without restoring the lower Snake River and removing four dams there, Snake River salmon will go extinct.

There can be no more kicking the can down the road. The region now needs a concrete process to develop an urgent action plan on a defined timeline. 

We aim to work with Sen. Murray, Gov. Inslee, Rep. Simpson and other elected officials to ensure this process achieves the goals a comprehensive solution must—for salmon, Tribes, and the Northwest. 

# # #