The federal government is about to begin an analysis of the environmental impacts of federal dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries. Why should this matter to animal advocates? Because the dams kill lots of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, and because government agencies then kill animals that eat fish, including seals and cormorants, to try to make up for the impacts of the dams.
Now is a good time to express your opinion on this. Federal agencies were recently ordered by a judge to prepare a full “Environmental Impact Statement” on the operation of their dams on the Columbia River system. The agencies are now in the “scoping” process for that review, which is when they identify the issues they plan to address in the EIS.
Humans are the number one cause of salmon and steelhead mortality on the Columbia River. The dams, along with commercial and sport fishing, kill more threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead than seals or cormorants do. Despite this, government agencies have been killing sea lions since 2008 because they eat the adult fish after following them up the Columbia River. More recently, government agencies began killing double-crested cormorants that feed on juvenile fish as the fish migrate down river to the ocean.
Please tell the federal government: (1) their environmental analysis needs to consider the impact of the dams on seals and cormorants; and (2) the dams need to be fixed (or removed) so they don't threaten the survival of salmon and steelhead and so other animals aren't killed to try to make up for that.
Send your comments, by February 7, 2017, to: CRSO EIS, P.O. Box 2870, Portland, Oregon 97208-2870. Emailed comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also testify at public hearings in Oregon (from 4 to 7 p.m.) on December 6 in The Dalles, December 7 in Portland, and December 8 in Astoria. For more information, including specific hearing locations, go here.