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Snake River ranked as America’s most endangered

Snake River top American Rivers’ annual list due to risks to Salmon and Steelhead
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:07 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Idaho was in the spotlight when the conservation group American Rivers ranked the Snake River as the most endangered river in America.

The risks to Salmon and Steelhead and the impact that would have on the local economy led to the river’s high ranking.

Scott Bosse of American Rivers says the removal of the four lower Snake River dams is the last hope for those fish.

“If you’re in Idaho, the Columbia/Snake River is the only game in town. And, you know, the Columbia/Snake migration corridor is the main artery between the heart of Salmon habitat in Idaho and the Pacific Ocean. And as long as we have a clogged artery between the heart and the ocean the patient’s not gonna fare very well.”

Bosse advocates for Congressman Mike Simpson’s proposal to remove the four lower Snake River Dams in Washington. Bosse says this proposal could lead to an increase in fish populations, water levels in Southern Idaho, and less money spent on fruitless efforts to save the fish without removing the dams.

How to save these fish has been debated for decades and has gotten so complex that legislation is needed to change the trend toward extinction for these species, Bosse says. But people can still help.

“I think people in Idaho, people need to reach out to every member of Idaho’s congressional delegation. I mean, Mike Simpson has asserted some bold leadership this year, the rest of the delegation has yet to follow. And they need to hear from their constituents that it is not acceptable to let Idaho’s Salmon and Steelhead go extinct.”

Allowing the fish to travel naturally would also remove the need to flush water down the river, saving large amounts of water for agricultural purposes, Bosse says.

“You don’t even have to care about Slamon and Steelhead in Twin Falls to care about this issue, because water is gold in Eastern Idaho.”

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