Protect Columbia River Fisheries: Oppose HB 4101

From Water Watch

Help stop another attack on Columbia River fish and jobs! Oppose HB 4101 today!

Please contact Governor Kitzhaber and key legislators today urging them to oppose HB 4101, a bill that would undermine key protections for struggling Columbia River salmon and steelhead and threaten more abundant runs which support jobs, economic activity, and food production throughout our region.

Columbia River Gorge (Corbett, Oregon)Photo by MVI

What House Bill 4101 does: HB 4101 would allow up to 450,000 acre feet of additional summertime water withdrawals from the Columbia River or its tributaries and would circumvent rules protecting imperiled salmon and steelhead and the jobs that rely on those fish.

The bill ignores the 25,000 lost family wage jobs in the region caused by declining salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia Basin – jobs lost in part due to poor habitat resulting from excessive water use in the dry season.

Background: To address recognized dry season flow problems in the river and help recover endangered fish, Oregon seasonally limits new water withdrawals from the Columbia above Bonneville Dam unless mitigation water is provided. These seasonal limits and mitigation requirements coincide in time with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s flow augmentation schedule in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. HB 4101 would circumvent these salmon protection rules and allow up to 450,000 acre feet in new water withdrawals during critical summer months when federal and state agencies in the region are working together to meet target flows needed for fish.

Click here for detailed background information on HB 4101 [pdf].

Please help stop the rollback of existing protections for Oregon’s imperiled Columbia River salmon and steelhead! Help stop HB 4101!

Key Points to make in opposing HB 4101:

HB 4101 weakens Oregon’s laws protecting our invaluable Columbia River salmon and steelhead.
HB 4101 jeopardizes recovery efforts to restore imperiled Columbia River fish and recover lost family-wage jobs and economic activity in both small towns and urban areas.
HB 4101 threatens the jobs, food production, and other economic benefits provided by a healthy Columbia River.
HB 4101 undermines the collaborative efforts of a coalition of Umatilla Basin water users to appropriate available winter water from the Columbia River for the Umatilla Basin Aquifer Recovery Project.
HB 4101 marginalizes the economic and cultural value of healthy fisheries in the Columbia Basin.
HB 4101 stacks the deck against fair and balanced policy-making, by proposing an unbalanced task force to predetermine a negative outcome for salmon and steelhead.

Link to Bill

Timeframe: Action needed NOW! This bill is scheduled for a hearing and possible work session in the House Energy, Environment and Water Committee for this upcoming Tuesday, February 14.

Please make your voice heard!

Contact Governor Kitzhaber and Key Legislators:

Gov. Kitzhaber’s Natural Resources Advisor Richard Whitman:

House Energy Environment and Water Committee:
Rep. Jules Bailey, Co-Chair:
Rep. Vic Gilliam, Co-Chair:
Rep. Deborah Boone, Co-Vice Chair:
Rep. Wayne Krieger, Co-Vice Chair:
Rep. Cliff Bentz:
Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer:
Rep. Jim Thompson:
Rep. Brad Witt:

Key Sponsor of the Bill, Rep. Mike McClane:

WaterWatch Contact info on for HB 4101:
Kimberley Priestley, WaterWatch 503-295-4039 x 3,

Jim Myron, Lobbyist, WaterWatch/Native Fish Society, 503-819-5589,

Thank you for taking action,

The WaterWatch Staff

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