For Immediate Release July 19, 2000
Contact: (202) 456-6224
STATEMENT OF GEORGE T. FRAMPTON, JR. ACTING CHAIR
Contrary to press reports this morning, the Administration is not "opposed" to the breaching of Snake River dams. We intend to develop objective performance standards to determine whether endangered salmon runs in the Columbia Basin are rebounding, and to assess the need for dam removal on those standards. Our proposal will involve aggressive steps to save salmon throughout the Basin. We cannot be sure based on the best science available today whether the dams will need to be breached in order to achieve our recovery goals. Breaching would be a last resort, but one we must be prepared to take if necessary. Extinction is not an option. It is the responsibility of the federal agencies to do everything they can to save these runs, but it must be a cooperative effort with States and Tribes, and Congress must give us the resources we need. Saving these imperiled salmon is an extraordinarily complex challenge, but I am confident that working together we can succeed.
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