Photo of salmon swimming in Columbia River.
Salmon Make Their Return Salmon return to Idaho to spawn. © Ron Troy/TNC


Congressman Simpson Proposes Columbia River Basin Salmon Recovery

Comprehensive package seeks transformation of Columbia River Basin in support of people and nature

The following is a statement by Mark Menlove, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Idaho chapter, after U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, released a comprehensive proposal to recover imperiled salmon stocks in the Columbia River Basin and transform the region’s energy, transportation, tourism and agricultural infrastructure: 

In building that future for the Pacific Northwest, salmon extinction is not an acceptable outcome.

Mark Menlove Director of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho

“The Nature Conservancy believes bold action is needed to create a future in which people and nature thrive. In building that future for the Pacific Northwest, salmon extinction is not an acceptable outcome.

“This is a complex and challenging issue that impacts a broad cross-section of stakeholders and interests. We must find equitable solutions that uphold commitments to Tribes and provide for a sustainable future for our region and salmon. 

“We commend Congressman Simpson’s commitment to finding comprehensive solutions for salmon recovery and look forward to working with him, Tribal people who have stewarded this place from time immemorial and many other leaders and stakeholders. We hope this effort will shape a science-based, innovative and equitable plan that ensures a thriving economy, clean water and healthy salmon runs for generations to come.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.