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Snake River Dam Yard Sign Campaign

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Hello Friends of the Salmon and the Orca!

This is musician and environmental organizer Dana Lyons asking for your help to launch a yard sign campaign to raise awareness about breaching the four lower Snake River dams.

We have an opportunity right now to help save the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas of the Salish Sea, and the endangered salmon runs of the Snake River.  Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho has proposed that we breach the four lower Snake River dams.  Breaching these dams would allow salmon access to huge areas of spawning grounds in Idaho, which will help save endangered salmon runs and provide much needed food for the orca.

As I travel our region playing concerts and talking to people from all walks of life (including Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents), my sense is that well over 90% of the people of Washington, Oregon and Idaho want to save the salmon and the orca.  In a democracy, when you have 90% support for something, it seems like you should win. 

So why are most of our senators and representatives dragging their feet on removing the lower Snake River Dams, perhaps the strongest step we can take to save the orca? The answer is pretty straightforward:  They are not hearing from us enough. 

In addition to phoning and writing our representatives, another way of making ourselves visible is to put up eye catching yard signs.  You get five or six signs up in a small town, it feels like a movement.  It creates discussion in the community.

Some of our elected officials want to do the right thing for the salmon and the orca, but they are afraid of the big moneyed interests who want to keep the dams.  President Obama was famous for saying: you want me to do something, you have to MAKE me do it.  He meant that we need to get out there and create so much noise, that the politicians will be more concerned about the wrath of the voters, than the big money.

We have fought battles in the past that very few people thought we could win.  Virtually no one thought we could stop the six proposed coal ports in Washington and Oregon.  We beat all six.  It seemed impossible to stop the nuclear power plant on the Skagit River in Washington or to dismantle the Trojan Nuclear Plant in Oregon.  Neither of those exist.  A coalition of Native Americans and environmental groups fought for years to remove the Elwha River dams. Now, those dams are gone and the salmon and steel head run wild up into the heart of the Olympic Mountains.

We can do this.  We can remove the lower Snake River dams.

It’s time to turn up the heat.  It’s time to let our voices be heard and seen.

We are raising $1500 to pay for the first 250 yard signs.  As we hand out signs we will ask for donations to raise money for the next 250 signs.  We will keep this up until that great day when the dams are breached and the salmon can run free into the wilds of Idaho again. 

I want you to hold this vision in your minds eye.  Picture tens of thousands of people, gathered on the banks of the Snake River, to celebrate the demolition of the dams.  Many of our region's finest musicians will be performing.  Our elected officials will be there, and they will be so happy because they will have done something wonderful that they can brag about to their grandkids.  There will be a giant potlatch with salmon and fried bread.  Tears of joy will be shed:  A similar scene to the dam removal ceremony for the Elwha River dams, not so long ago.

Remember:  we who want to save the orca are the vast majority.  If we make our voices heard, we WILL breach the lower Snake River dams, and take a giant step toward protecting the orca and the salmon.

Thanks for your help.   Keep up the fight.  The orca, the salmon, our kids and our grand kids are counting on us.

PS.  If we raise more money than $1500 we’ll be able to distribute signs faster and be able to give some away for free.  For example $5000 pays for 1000 signs:  More signs for our elected officials to enjoy.

Snake River Yard Sign Webpage 

Watch "The Great Salish Sea" by Dana Lyons

Snake River Yard Sign Webpage 


  • Janet Alderton
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Pavl Zachary
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs
  • Warren-Bud Anderson
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Frank Forencich
    • $20 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

Dana Lyons
Bellingham, WA
Debra Ellers
Team member
Heather Nicholson
Team member
Team member

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