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Six Sovereigns and Biden Administration Partner in Historic Fashion to Find Solutions that Benefit Salmon and the Pacific Northwest

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For immediate release: December 14, 2023

Today, the Biden Administration announced its commitment to partnering with the Six Sovereigns* on actions that address the urgency of the salmon, climate, energy, and Tribal justice crises facing the Columbia River Basin.

The Six Sovereigns worked in a historic, collaborative manner to develop a comprehensive package of actions- the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative (CBRI)- to address these crises, and now welcome the Biden Administration’s commitments, in response to the CBRI. This is an integral step in our collective work to prevent salmon extinction and restore their population to healthy and abundant levels.
The Administration’s commitments outline the critical steps we will be taking together to address an extinction crisis among salmonids throughout the Columbia River Basin. More than just avoiding extinction, today’s announcement marks a renewed obligation to restoring salmon to healthy and abundant levels, while addressing the services provided by the Federal Columbia River Power System and creating a roadmap for the region to meet growing electricity demand with new, clean energy resources.

The Six Sovereigns’ CBRI provides a path to solutions that consider all affected parties that rely on the Columbia River, while building on a foundation of sound science and – like Governor Inslee and Senator Murray’s report and recommendations, and Congressman Simpson’s Initiative – advancing actions that solve for salmon, climate, and Tribal injustice while also building a stronger, more resilient Northwest.

The Six Sovereigns appreciate the Biden Administration for acknowledging the needs of the salmon and the communities that depend on them. With today’s announcement, the Administration is embracing the United States’ treaty and trust obligations to Tribal nations, while also considering all other interests- energy consumers, irrigators, fishers, recreationalists, and farmers, to name a few.

As we look ahead, the Six Sovereigns are optimistic about the ongoing partnership with the Biden Administration to advance and implement the urgent, actionable elements set forth in these commitments.

About CRITFC. The Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is the technical support and coordinating agency for fishery management policies of the Columbia River Basin’s four treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Nez Perce Tribe.

CRITFC, formed in 1977, employs biologists, other scientists, public information specialists, policy analysts and administrators who work in fisheries research and analyses, advocacy, planning and coordination, harvest control and law enforcement.

Public Information

Media contacts:

Conf. Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
Star Diavolikis | 509.830.6698

Conf. Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Travis Snell | 541.429.7394

Conf. Tribes of the Warm Springs
Brent Hall | 541.215.0404

Nez Perce Tribe
Kayeloni Scott | 208.790.1815

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek
Elisabeth Shepard | 503.881.4370

Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Mike Faulk | 360.902.4136