Can Snake River Dam Removal save the River?

The removal of four snake river dams has been a much-debated topic for years and the arguments for and against the removal have their reasons from each side. For the Native American tribes it is essential that the removal happens so the River can heal from the damage the dams have done to its ecosystem and allowing the return of salmon to spawning areas that have been cut off since the inception of the dams. But on the other side of the argument, farmers argue that the removal would harm their irrigation system for the crops they grow and could lead to their demise as growers of food. In early 2021, Idaho Representative Mike Simpson announced a $34 billion plan for the dam removal. As reported by High Country News, The Nez Perce, Yakama Nation, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Umatilla Indian Reservation have long seen the Snake as a living being, both in its ecological functions and through the relational act of fishing. The dams upset tribal relationships to the river and violate treaty rights by causing the loss of salmon and land and restricting tribal lifeways. So the Tribes have vocally supported dam removal and Simpson’s proposal.