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Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

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House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

In Hot Water, Rallies Planned for NW Salmon

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Thursday, August 5, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin.

Saturday, the Rally for the River is calling for action from Congress to save endangered fish species in the region, including removing four lower Snake River dams that impede salmon migration and heat up the river.

Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, said his group recently captured video of the sockeye salmon struggling in the warm waters of the Columbia.

"The heartbreaking video of the sockeye covered in lesions and fungus should sound an alarm," VandenHeuvel asserted. "We need action now from the Northwest delegation."

Water temperatures above 68 degrees can be lethal for salmon, and the Columbia has already been above 70 degrees this year. VandenHeuvel pointed out high temperatures stress salmon metabolism and leave them more susceptible to predation and disease.

He predicted the situation will only get worse unless leaders act to remove the Snake River dams.

Betsy Emery, advocacy and campaign manager for the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, said anglers contribute $5 billion per year to the Pacific Northwest's economy, but she fears salmon in the basin are at a tipping point.

"A lot of us who spend time on the river and spend time thinking about these fisheries are really nervous," Emery remarked. "Could this be that catastrophic event that starts pushing some of these runs that we love so much, from a fishing perspective, into a space where they might not be strong enough to fish?"

VandenHeuvel added people are becoming inspired to take action.

"More and more people are getting involved and recognizing how serious and urgent this issue is," VandenHeuvel contended. "For salmon, for the orcas that depend on them, for the people of the Pacific Northwest."

Rallies are planned for Boise, Corvallis, Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Spokane on Saturday.

Disclosure: Columbia Riverkeeper contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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