Sierra Club Celebrates Signing of Columbia River Basin Agreement at White House


Kim Petty,, 360-362-8467

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Biden administration joined Tribes and states from the Pacific Northwest in a signing ceremony to celebrate the Columbia River Basin agreement

Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous attended the ceremony to commemorate the administration’s historic commitment to restore the salmon and steelhead populations, restore habitats, and expand clean energy production throughout the Columbia River Basin region. 

“For years, Tribes in the Pacific Northwest have been united in calling for the federal government to honor the treaties it signed a century and a half ago and protect the salmon that are so essential to their way of life,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous. “Today’s ceremony celebrates those years of persistence, begins the process of mending those broken promises, and puts us on the pathway towards the greatest recovery of salmon populations in history. 

“Since time immemorial, Tribes have stewarded the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest. The failure to honor treaty obligations nearly drove salmon to the brink of extinction. The Biden Administration has laid out the roadmap to recovery, and we again urge them to work with Tribes, elected officials, and community stakeholders to implement this plan into action with the urgency that is needed.”  

The agreement announced on Dec. 14, 2023 outlines plans to develop stability for the communities and wildlife that depend on a resilient Columbia River System, and was reached in partnership with the four Lower Columbia River Treaty Tribes — the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation, and the Nez Perce Tribe — and the states of Oregon and Washington.

“With this important landmark agreement, we now have a solid foundation on which to restore the Snake River and invest in clean water and salmon habitat in the mid-Columbia River,” said Sierra Club Snake/Columbia River Salmon Campaign Director Bill Arthur. “We are committed to working with the Tribes, the Biden Administration, and states to implement the full scope of the agreement — the forward momentum must continue.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit