Hydro-power Reform Coalition for a Stronger Future
The “Joint Statement of Collaboration on U.S. Hydropower: Climate Solution and Conservation Challenge” is an agreement between representatives of the U.S. hydropower industry and the U.S. environmental and river conservation communities. It is a step to help address climate change by both advancing the renewable energy and storage benefits of hydropower and the environmental and economic benefits of healthy rivers. The focus of the agreement is on three potential opportunities:
- Rehabilitating both powered and non-powered dams to improve safety, increase climate resilience, and mitigate environmental impacts.
- Retrofitting powered dams and adding generation at non-powered dams to increase renewable generation; developing pumped storage capacity at existing dams; and 2 enhancing dam and reservoir operations for water supply, fish passage, flood mitigation, and grid integration of solar and wind.
- Removing dams that no longer provide benefits to society, have safety issues that cannot be cost-effectively mitigated, or have adverse environmental impacts that cannot be effectively addressed.
TRIBAL IMPACTS: In 2004, the Penobscot Nation, the hydropower industry, environmentalists, and state and federal agencies agreed on a “basin-scale” project to remove multiple dams, while retrofitting and rehabilitating other dams to increase their hydropower capacity, improve fish passage and advance dam safety. Tribes and tribal fish and wildlife resources are affected by hydropower across Indian Country.
NAFWS: NAFWS joined the “Uncommon Dialogue: Hydropower – Climate Solution and Conservation Challenge” as a key stakeholder in December 2020. Several Tribes and Tribal organizations are active in this initiative as well. We will continue to participate and educate on this project.
There are almost 400 treaties between Indigenous tribes and the United States, each with different terms. This highlights a unique point for Indigenous people as land managers: No two tribes are the same. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a call where somebody wants the ‘Indigenous perspective.’ It’s not this ‘one thing,’” says Julie Thorstenson, the executive director for the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. “They’re all different, but the number one thing that they have in common is that they’re all underfunded.”
– Tribes Are Leading the Way to Remove Dams and Restore Ecosystems, Article by Lindsay Vansomeren