Shoshone-Bannock Tribes voice support for proposed dam removals

BOISE — A member of the Fort Hall Business Council testified before the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee Monday to voice support for a proposal to remove four lower Snake River dams.

Fort Hall Business Councilman Nathan Small said the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have opposed the dams since they were built and have petitioned to have the Redfish Lake sockeye listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Small denounced Senate Joint Memorial No. 103, which if passed would publicly express the state’s opposition to removing the dams.

The committee voted to give the joint memorial a do-pass recommendation, and it now moves on to the full Senate full.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has proposed the dam removals in an effort to reverse declining salmon and steelhead migrations.

“The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have worked extensively with Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson in the development of the Energy and Salmon Concept. We strongly support his comprehensive proposal and oppose the SJM 103,” Small testified, according to a Tribal press release.

Small acknowledged Salmon haven’t historically made it to the Fort Hall area, due to a natural barrier at Shoshone Falls, adding, “If there is a chance to bring the salmon above, then let’s bring them home.”

Small said the Redfish Lake sockeye’s numbers have diminished to near extinction.

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