Keynote Presentation

Join us virtually for a night with David Moryc, Senior Director Wild and Scenic Rivers and Public Lands Policy American Rivers, to learn about:

A Vision to Save the Beating Heart of the Pacific Northwest, Restoring the Snake River Through Dam Removal

Thursday April 15th at 6:00PM

David showed clips from America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2021:

The Aerial Perspective: Lower Snake River shows the proposed removal of the earthen portion of the dams

Here Representative Mike Simpson discusses his proposal to remove the dams, restore the rivers, help communities adjust, and ultimately recover the salmon:

The Snake River in Oregon, Washington and Idaho is the Columbia River’s largest and most important tributary which once hosted up to six million wild salmon and steelhead. This river served as the backbone of the ecology, economy, and culture of the Pacific Northwest. The construction of the four lower Snake River dams created significant impediments for migrating fish and changed river conditions to the point where the numbers of salmon and steelhead have plummeted by roughly 90%. Today Snake River salmon and steelhead are on the brink of collapse, listed as Endangered Species, which has shock waves through the region’s web of life and the people who depend on them for their cultures and livelihoods.

Over the last three decades, efforts to recover imperiled Snake River native fish, including previous efforts to strike an agreement to remove the Lower Snake River dams, have been unsuccessful. The status quo is supported by powerful economic interests that have stood in opposition to removing the dams. However, changes in economic conditions over the past decade, most importantly in the energy sector, has opened the door for regional decisionmaker willingness to engage on the issue.

For the first time, decisionmakers in the region are talking about making strategic investments that would reimagine the region’s energy future, improve aging infrastructure, support a growing agricultural economy and meet the nation’s obligations to the region’s tribal nations. We will explore the importance of the Columbia and Snake River Basins and the national campaign to remove the dams and find lasting solutions for the region.

At American Rivers David Moryc provides overall leadership and strategic direction for the River Protection conservation program. David has B.A. in Philosophy and B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia, and David is recovering from attending the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. David joined American Rivers in November 1999 in the Northwest Region where he helped shape policy on river restoration, protection and federal dam issues relating to salmon and steelhead in the Northwest. He spearheaded an effort to create a $40 million habitat restoration program for the lower Columbia River ecosystem. Prior to American Rivers David worked for the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology and Georgia Museum of Natural History, identifying threatened and endangered fish populations in both Tennessee and north Georgia watersheds. He is an avid angler with a passion for steelhead.