The Columbia Basin Initiative

I welcome your feedback on this concept. Thoughts and comments can be sent to

To view Congressman Simpson's presentation CLICK HERE


• I have found that replacing the benefits of the 4 LSRDs would be very expensive at a minimum of $33.5B.  However, this may prove to be a bargain when compared to what it may cost in out-of-pocket dollars for fish recovery and future costs put on stakeholders.

• Despite spending over $17 billion on fish recovery efforts, Idaho salmon and steelhead numbers are not improving and will continue to get worse.  Will we spend $20 billion more in the next 30 years only to have them go extinct anyway? The worse they get, the more we will spend.

• With the climate warming, will we have less snowpack in the mountains leading to drier and warmer rivers and reservoirs in the summer with significant effects on stakeholders?

• We are unable to see into the future and those questions reflect the uncertainty that everyone says they want to avoid yet could result in tens of billions of dollars in economic costs and hardships.

• Most of us saw what happened to Northwest timber communities that were devastated by the spotted owl wars.  Is this our opportunity to avoid much of the social and economic pain and suffering that afflicted the timber families and communities when the mills closed, and the logging jobs were lost?

• I want to be very clear; I have not drafted legislation and I am not currently drafting legislation. A concept like this will take all the Northwest delegation, governors, tribes, and stakeholders working together to draft a solution. It will be no easy task and on a very tight timeline.

• It would be a tragedy if future generations looked back and wished that we current Northwest leaders and stakeholders would have at least taken the time to explore this opportunity to develop our own Northwest solution to protect stakeholders and save salmon.