Department of Interior report documents the harm that dams caused Northwest tribes

Grand Coulee Dam on Columbia River.

In an extensive document published this week, the Department of Interior says that the government was built dams on the Columbia River that harmed the tribes in the region. It is an admission of governmental guilt.

Dams blocked fish migration and flooded thousands of acres, as hydropower was delivered to a growing population of the Northwest.

Washington residents get 60% of their electricity from hydropower from these dams, but in the quest to restore salmon and habitat, the Gov. Inslee Administration is pushing for the removal of some of the dams; now the federal government may do the same, as this report will become part of tribes’ litigation against the dams and the federal agencies that built them.

Washington leads the nation in electricity generation from hydroelectric power. In fact, it accounts for about 25% of the nation’s total hydroelectric generation, according to the Energy Information Administration. The dozens of dams in the Columbia basin watershed are also critical to the nation’s food supply.

“Acknowledging the devastating impact of federal hydropower dams on Tribal communities is essential to our efforts to heal and ensure that salmon are restored to their ancestral waters,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

The 70-page report is at this link.

The Biden Administration’s in December announced a 10-year plan based on an agreement with tribes and state leaders to include removing four dams on the Snake River, part of the Columbia River watershed. The plan comes with a promise of more than $1 billion, plus previously appropriated billions. The removal of the dams is expected to take 10 years.

Washington has been using more and more electricity as electric vehicles become popular in the state. According to the Washington Department of Ecology, 20% of all vehicles sold in Washington last year. were EVs, more than twice the national average of 9.5%. Inslee has signed a law banning the sale of any new gas-powered car in the state after 2035, pushing more and more consumers to turn to hydropower to fuel their vehicles, at the same time dams providing power may be dismantled.

The average residential electricity rate in Washington is low due to hydropower. It averages 13 cents/kWh, which is 26% lower than the national average rate of 17 cents/kWh.

In Anchorage, the Democrat-run Assembly is also also working on a plan to force the removal of the Eklutna River dam, which provides up to 25% of electricity to Anchorage and provides power to the Mat-Su Borough; it also provides the majority of the city’s water supply.

The push for hydropower project removal is coming at the same time the Biden Administration has also set extreme goals for phasing out all vehicles that are not powered by electric batteries.


  1. More greenie made up crap to further indenture the workers in this society. Hydroelectric is the ONLY true renewable energy currently known and the idiocy the prevents it’s implementation is nothing more than enslavement of the population. The Susitna dam would have generated 600 megawatts, more than Chugach Electric currently has capacity to produce on natural gas. The Bradley Lake hydro project across from Homer produces 120 megawatts of clean power. This new idea of unwinding history is pure idiocy.

    • Really get the impression that it really bothers some low IQ people that we still benefit from efficient infrastructure that was built in an era that wasn’t tied down with endless red tape.

      So, now they have to tear it down to help speed our country to 3rd world status. Kind of like when King Skidmark pushed Cash for Clunkers in 2009 and destroyed millions of serviceable 90’s-era vehicles and permanently drove up used car prices.

  2. There goes another “renewable energy source” and the dream of green energy for the USA just to satisfy a few crybabies at the expense of everyone else.

  3. Abundant, reliable and inexpensive energy is the basis for a healthy and stable life. The narrative the Columbia River dams are harmful to Natives is nonsense. There were never enough salmon to sustain the current human populations. Life tended to be short and finding, storing and keeping sufficient food was never certain. There are always liberal white groups behind these headlines using Natives as a prop to create narratives. The Gw’ich’in Steering Committee coming up with nonsense, certifiably BS stories, about caribou migrations to prevent oil/gas development in ANWR is a classic example. Using Natives in this manner is disgusting. To make it all worse they will use the insulting “Indigenous” people label in the process.

  4. There are ways to help salmon and other fish return to their birth areas using fish ladders and routing areas. Blow up the dams and watch your standard of living disappear. Of course, they don’t tell you about the wind farms that are destroying the habitat in states near to California so that Californians can have their E Vs while the deer and antelope die off due to the wind velocities. Hydroelectric power is the cheapest and best of renewable power. I guess it is too much to wish that people would quit listening to these greenies and get some common sense.

  5. Of course Indians don’t use, or want cheap, clean electricity… oh, wait, they do.

    Lets tear down cheap, clean hydro and burn more coal, instead, and make sure the fish are loaded with mercury.


  6. These dams have fish ladders, and they (those who acknowledge the benefits of hydropower) are investigating other methods to help the fish migrate through the dam areas. Also, many states rely on BPA’s (Bonneville Power Administration) hydropower. BPA even sells energy to California, a state with a history of blackouts because it cannot properly manage its grid. Furthermore, many communities have been developed below the dams. I agree with Robert. Destroying “clean” and efficient energy is ludricous.

  7. This is nothing more, and nothing less than communist insurgents sowing the seeds of discontent.

    They seek to strangle us with our own systems, and are in a good position to do so, after having stole their way to government power and fully infiltrating federal agencies. The Anchorage Assembly is not any different.

  8. So why is it exactly that only Alaska and the western states, the PNW in particular, are to have their economies victimized by greenie elitists time after time? What I mean is that, for example, the Penobscot and Androscoggin Rivers in Maine (and NH), and the Connecticut River, which originates in NH to then be the boundary between VT and NH, and then run to MA and CT, had anadromous salmon, eels, and lots of other species, and Native tribes not only still exist there but are named for the rivers. The rivers were closed off by dams and urban sprawl, and those anadromous fish stopped coming, but no one talks about restoration there. Why does our Alaska delegation not point out the discrimination, the arbitrariness, and the lack of science? While we’re at it, why do the greenies in the federal agencies like F&WS, NPS, USFS, etc. worry so much about bringing wolves and grizzlies back in the western states but no one worries about bringing bison and wolves back to Buffalo, NY?

    Alaska has no spotted owls but that did not stop Clinton’s “Gang of Four,” and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from using the opportunity to shut down our Alaska forest products industry, which had employed 4,000 Alaskans. They said that the timber harvests, and the mills were endangering the much more important Alaska salmon industry. In the 30 years that have elapsed since government shut down our Alaska forest industry the timber has grown back on schedule but the salmon industry is now on the ropes. Blame it on climate change aka our petroleum industry, they say. You see where this is all headed?

  9. Yup blow the dams that provide electricity and outlaw petroleum.
    Makes perfect sense to a bunch of illiterate climate protesters who fly around the world in private jets and yachts drumming up business for their alternative wind and solar power that will keep earthlings at bay while they enjoy the good life.

  10. The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in New Th irk State has the New York State Thruway running through the middle of it. Why are rules different for eastern states like NY?


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