This contains the Final Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final FR/EIS), Executive Summary, and 21 Technical Appendices for the Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Study. All files are provided in pdf format and can be read using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent seven years studying Snake River dam removal. The final environmental impact statement, released in 2002, evaluated four alternatives to help lower Snake River fall chinook get past the dams: 1) the existing condition; 2) maximum transport of juvenile salmon; 3) system improvements that could be accomplished without a drawdown and 4) dam breaching.
The study included engineering work; biological investigations (i.e., effects to salmon and steelhead, resident fish, and wildlife); effects on recreation, cultural resources, and water quality; and socioeconomic effects, including implementation costs, navigation, irrigation, and power. The development of an environmental impact statement and public involvement were also included in the study, both of which are essential to the National Environmental Policy Act process.
The independent peer-reviewed study concluded that dam breaching by itself would not recover the fish, would take the longest time to benefit fish listed under the Endangered Species Act and would be the most uncertain to implement of any of the alternatives. The study’s preferred alternative was major improvements to fish passage systems at the dams.