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.