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Youth rally to protect salmon in the Snake River

caption: Snake River Lower Monumental Dam in Franklin County, Washington.
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Snake River Lower Monumental Dam in Franklin County, Washington.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Everyone must come together to protect salmon. That’s the message from teens at a salmon youth rally on the banks of the Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho.

At the rally, teens with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Youth Council asked that politicians protect salmon by removing the four Lower Snake River dams. The four dams in southeastern Washington make it harder for endangered salmon to reach spawning grounds in Idaho.

Nizhonia Toledo is the president of the youth council. The 18-year-old says the council is fighting for indigenous people. It’s also fighting for the large salmon runs that tribal elders remember.

“This is the generation we’re growing up in, where we as youth have to stand up and fight for what we used to have," Toledo said.

The dams also provide key services, including allowing barges to reach the Port of Lewiston, providing farmers with access to irrigation, and generating carbon-free energy.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee have said these benefits must be replaced before the dams can be removed.

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