[seattletimes.com] The Yakama and Lummi nations called Monday for taking down the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River to restore salmon runs once the mightiest in the world.
The three big energy producers churn out enough electricity to power more than 2 million Pacific Northwest homes annually and also provide an important inland navigation route for commercial goods.
The tribes’ call for main-stem dam removal intensifies a long-running debate over the teardown of dams in the Columbia River Basin. This year in particular feels desperate for tribes and fishermen and advocates of endangered southern resident orcas, which rely on chinook salmon from the river. Some fish runs are at 13 percent of their 10-year averages.