This article is taken from NGFA's May 5th newsletter.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), which is mediating a process to find “a long-term durable plan” to address issues being debated in the Columbia River Basin, announced a third listening session scheduled for May 25.
A limited number of three-minute speaking slots will be available to the public. Advanced registration to speak or listen is required for the session, which is from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT.
Spots for speakers are accepted on a “first come, first served” basis using this registration link.
Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams has been proposed by some entities as a solution to salmon population decline.
NGFA and other stakeholders have emphasized the dams’ important role in the U.S. supply chain and the economic and environmental damage of breaching them.
Importantly, barge transportation moves about half of all grain exports to export elevators and is critical to NGFA members in the Pacific Northwest.
The Columbia-Snake River System is the third-largest grain export corridor in the world, transporting nearly 30 percent of U.S. grain and oilseed exports.
NGFA participated in a previous listening session on April 3, during which NGFA staff emphasized the importance of the dams to the agricultural economy.
Meanwhile, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a request for information (RFI) to solicit feedback on Columbia River salmon restoration and other relevant information to the ongoing mediation.
The agency requests comments by July 3.