In 2008, the federal government struck a landmark deal with Northwestern states and native tribes: The feds would devote an additional $1 billion to restoring endangered salmon, but only if its erstwhile adversaries agreed to stop fighting for dam removal. Six years later, are the Columbia Basin Fish Accords recovering salmon — or just preserving the status quo?
Find out in my first cover story for High Country News, a deep dive into salmon management, tribal politics, and hydroelectric dam operations. It’s been called “meticulously researched,” “thought-provoking,” “the best journalism I’ve seen on this topic in years,” and also “this is terrible are you kidding????” Read on and judge for yourself.