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Abstract

Measures taken in the Northwest to recover three Snake River salmon runs protected under the Endangered Species Act—and to improve the entire Columbia River Basin salmon fishery—will result in various benefits and costs. This report analyzes the effect on the region's agricultural sector of two proposed measures: reservoir drawdown along the lower Snake River and reductions in irrigation water supply in the upper Snake River Basin. For the Northwest region, adjustments in crop production could lower producer profit by $4-$35 million annually (less than 3 percent of 1987 baseline profit), depending on the scenario evaluated. Agricultural employment could decrease by 50-2,600 jobs, while total employment could decrease by 600-5,500 jobs. The report also analyzes selected economic benefits of salmon recovery, including improvements in commercial and sport fishing.

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