MISSION, Oregon – Leaders for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are not taking a stand in the controversy of removing the four dams on the lower Snake River. Director of Communications Chuck Sams says the tribal government is working with the federal government on protecting salmon instead.
“We have an accords agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. government, and we’ve had some great success returning salmon by managing it in a more appropriate manner,” he said.
Sams says negotiations of those accords is ongoing and CTUIR’s goal is one of coexistence.
“There are tribal members, of course, who feel very strongly that they should come down,” Sams said. “There are others that recognize that there’s a need for power. There’s got to be a balance there. We just need to find that balance.”
Sams said that by working with the BPA, Columbia River Tribes have succeeded in ensuring salmon runs are possible, in spite of the existence of the dams.