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Hanford Reach declared national monument

The Hanford Reach region of the Columbia river has been named as a national monument by the Clinton Administration. The area is biologically diverse and contains a variety of scientific and historical objects. It also supports the largest

remnant of the shrub-steppe ecosystem that once covered the Columbia river basin.

American Rivers, an environmental action group, believes that the declaration should be followed by a decision to remove four federally owned dams on the lower Snake river if the salmon runs are to

recover. ‘We applaud the administration for creating this monument to protect salmon,’ said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. ‘To secure this administration’s legacy and save the salmon we need a Hanford Reach for the Snake river. For Snake river salmon, delay equals extinction.’ The administration is expected to reach a decision on the fate of the Snake river dams by the end of this summer in response to a lawsuit brought under the Endangered Species Act. (See article on pp16-7 of this issue).

Hanford Reach will be managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under existing agreements with the Depart-ment of Energy.