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2021 Environmental Conference

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Energy, Salmon, Agriculture and Community: REVISITED

Watch the video recordings

Two years ago, Idaho Governor Brad Little called for “breaching the status quo” at an Andrus Center for Public Policy conference convened to bring the stakeholders in the Snake River salmon and dam controversy that has raged since Cecil D. Andrus was Idaho’s governor.

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Republican Representative Mike Simpson did just that, first that day by asking federal power agencies, electric cooperatives, grain farmers who ship by barge and river communities to ask themselves “what if” the four lower Snake dams were removed. Then in February Simpson answered his own question with a bold $33.5 billion concept to replace the power from the dams, invest in the Tri-Cities and Lewiston, pay the transition costs for farmers and shippers, give the region’s Indian tribes and states control over salmon funding and put a moratorium on litigation to provide certainty.

Little and the governors of Oregon, Montana and Washington have begun their own collaborative process to seek a permanent solution as Idaho’s salmon are trending toward extinction. So Thursday, May 13, 2021 the Andrus Center will host a two-year check-in virtual event revisiting the 2019 groundbreaking Environmental Conference, Salmon, Energy, Agriculture, and Community: Can We Come Together?

As in 2019, the 2021 online gathering will include diverse voices reflecting key stakeholders across the region to consider where we are now and how to keep progress moving. 

The half-day virtual event will begin with opening speaker Shannon Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee. The schedule will follow with keynote speakers U.S. Congressman Representatives Earl Blumenauer (Oregon), Representative Dan Newhouse (Washington), and Mike Simpson (Idaho).

There will also be a discussion panel moderated by author and environmental reporter Rocky Barker that includes many return panelists from our 2019 event to discuss where we are now and how things are moving forward.

The Discussion Panel includes:

  • Lynda Mapes, Reporter for the Seattle Times
  • David Reeoloeg, Vice President of Federal Programs for Tri-City Development Council
  • Debra Smith, CEO of Seattle City Light
  • Sam White, COO for PNW Farmers Cooperative
  • Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited

Like many organizations, the Andrus Center has embraced the dynamic created by COVID-19 to ensure the safety of attendees by hosting events virtually. This half-day conference will be hosted online through the conference platform, HOPIN. The Andrus Center has successfully hosted three events using the HOPIN platform and we hope attendees enjoy the unique online experience that goes well beyond your typical ZOOM webinar. Tips, tricks and frequently asked questions regarding the platform can be found in the menu.