WAWG Responds to New Actions Regarding Columbia-Snake River System

Photo by Ben Cochrane

This week, the Biden administration announced two actions as part of the administration’s agreements, formalized earlier this year, with four tribes and the states of Washington and Oregon to advance the health of wild salmon populations. The Department of Interior released a report entitled, “Historic and Ongoing Impacts of Federal Dams on the Columbia River Basin Tribes” and a new interagency working group – the Columbia River Task Force – has been formed.

While the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) acknowledges the critical importance of tribes in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), we also strongly believe that a thriving region can only be possible when the interests and wellbeing of all are considered. We do not believe that the health of the salmon population and the interests of other stakeholders need to be at odds.

“The PNW brings together some of our nation’s best attributes – vibrant culture, strong rural economies, and cutting-edge technology. However, for our region to succeed it is critically important that any decisions made, especially those regarding the Columbia-Snake River System, consider the impact on stakeholders from all communities including Washington’s wheat farmers,” said Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

As the Columbia River Task Force begins their work, WAWG appreciates the inclusion of representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Hennings added, “We look forward to working with USDA to ensure our unique perspectives are adequately shared.”