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Some green groups oppose Simpson's lower Snake River dam removal plan

A coalition of 17 environmental groups is speaking out against a key part of Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson's plan to save salmon and steelhead.
Credit: AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios
FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, water moves through a spillway of the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River near Almota, Wash. Farmers, environmentalists, tribal leaders and public utility officials are eagerly awaiting a federal report that could decide the fate of four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River.

BOISE, Idaho — A coalition of 17 environmental groups is speaking out against a key part of a sweeping plan to remove the lower Snake River dams to save salmon and steelhead.

The groups said in a letter to Democratic senators in Oregon and Washington that the 35-year moratorium on fish- and dam-related lawsuits included in Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson's proposal was too high a price to pay in exchange for dam removal. 

Simpson last month released his $33 billion legislative concept to breach the dams and help affected communities, including farmers and cities that rely on shipping commerce such as Lewiston, Idaho.