TOPPENISH, WA - Two Washington tribes are demanding drastic measures that they say will save northwest salmon.
At an event along the Columbia River on Monday, Yakama Nation leaders called for the removal of three lower Columbia River dams. The move was also supported by leaders of the Lummi Nation, based in the Bellingham area. The tribes say that eliminating the Bonneville, the Dalles and John Day dams is the only way to restore the dwindling salmon population.
The dams provide electricity to more than two million homes in the northwest each year and are along a key route for transporting goods from the Lewis-Clark Valley and other ports.
“We are salmon people,” said Lawrence Solomon, Secretary of Lummi Nation and supervisor of the Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office. “Salmon connect our rivers and our waterways, salmon connect our peoples."
The Yakama Nation says they never signed off on construction of the dams and it violates their treaty rights.
Efforts by various groups to also remove dams along the Snake River have been ongoing.