As recently as 50 years ago, the Snake River and its tributaries were among the world’s greatest salmon rivers. No more. A series of hydroelectric dams along the once majestic and free-flowing water way has made it all but impossible for salmon, especially Columbia Basin Chinook, to swim to the Pacific and to the orcas who feed off them. Now both animals face extinction. This is the basis of Dammed to Extinction, a one-hour film playing Saturday. Dammed to Extinction, based on a chapter of Steven Hawley’s 2011 book Recovering a Lost River, played at the recent Eugene Environmental Film Festival. The film’s co-sponsors are the Sierra Club, the Rachel Carson Academy at Churchill High School, Cascadia Wildlands and Earthkeepers as well as a coalition of church environmental groups. The director Steve Hawley will be available for questions after the movie, and Jeff Ziller of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will offer an update on the upper Willamette spring Chinook and the dams blocking them from their spawning grounds.
Dammed to Extinction, a one-hour film with discussion to follow, is 7 pm, Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1685 W. 13th Ave. FREE.