Animal Law Review


Dams are a critical threat to salmon habitat and population recovery. While much progress has been made in the past few years with dam removal, the more quickly dams are removed, the greater chance that salmon can be restored to their historic ranges. In the Pacific Northwest, dams are a particular threat to salmon. Many regulatory tools can be used to bring dams into compliance, but there is often much resistance to these efforts. This Essay proposes that by targeting dilapidated private dams opposed to functional ones on public land, compliance or removal will be achieved with less resistance and hassle. By making such dams a priority, more salmon habitat will be restored with comparatively little effort. Targeting private nonfunctional dams is a cost-efficient step that will speed much needed salmon habitat recovery.



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