We are pleased with the recent announcement concerning the first meeting of the Governor’s Salmon Workgroup in Boise. Governor Little has assumed a position of leadership on the recovery of our native salmon and steelhead, an issue IRU has been passionately involved in for the last two and a half decades.
While there have been many ups and downs in the fight to recover Idaho’s iconic fish, IRU has been constant in our advocacy, echoing the perseverance that Idaho salmon and steelhead display during their migrations that cover thousands of miles in order to return home.
The convening of the Workgroup marks a hopeful point in this issue. It is a wise step by our governor to ensure that Idaho’s plan going forward is collaborative, thanks to a diverse array of interest groups that will be present.
However, it is crucial that the Workgroup comes out of this series of meetings with a meaningful solution that will provide Idahoans with wild fish in numbers that can adequately support communities across the state. We cannot afford to follow a plan that maintains the status quo, something that has been proven to be detrimental to the health of our wild fish stocks.
Namely, it is imperative that the Workgroup advocates for the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams in order to restore a healthy passageway for Idaho’s fish heading to and from the mountain streams of their birth.
The Workgroup has a unique opportunity to ensure that our agricultural, fishing, and recreation economies remain strong and supportive to those that rely on them, while simultaneously giving Idahoans and people across the Northwest what we really want: our fish back.