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‘Dammed to Extinction’ comes to Spokane

In this June 6, 2018 file photo, a boat makes its way up the Snake River toward the Lower Granite Dam. (Tribune/Pete Caster)
In this June 6, 2018 file photo, a boat makes its way up the Snake River toward the Lower Granite Dam. (Tribune/Pete Caster)
From staff reports

A new documentary called “Dammed to Extinction” will premiere in Spokane on Thursday after the inaugural Seattle screening last Thursday.

The film chronicles the plight of the endangered Southern Resident orcas who depend on chinook salmon for food, including Columbia salmon runs in winter and spring. It makes the case for why restoring the lower Snake River in Eastern Washington by removing four aging dams is necessary.

The population has dwindled to 75 whales due to many stressors, but the primary factor is starvation, according to a news release from Save Our Wild Salmon, one of the film’s sponsors.

The film features interviews with scientists and experts across the Northwest, from the Salish Sea to the mountain rivers of Idaho, who make the case for removing four aging dams on the lower Snake River.

Filmmaker and EWU graduate Michael Peterson grew up in Tri-Cities. After a career in Hollywood working on big-budget films including “Independence Day,” “Armageddon” and “Contact,” he returned to the Northwest, buying property on the reservoir behind Condit Dam on the White Salmon River.

Peterson and co-producer and writer Steve Hawley will lead a Q&A session after the film.

Watch the Dammed to Extinction Trailer here.

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