Half a century after their fishing grounds were flooded by a federal dam, four Northwest Indian tribes will be compensated with replacement sites along the Columbia River. On June 23, the Interior Department and Army Corps of Engineers agreed to spend about $57 million to create access to 31 new fishing areas in Oregon and Washington for the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla and Nez Perce tribes. Construction of the Bonneville Dam in the 1930s inundated 37 tribal fishing grounds, but only five have been replaced as mandated by 1850s treaty rights and a 1988 act of Congress. "I'm happy we finally got it settled," said Mike Farrow, director for the Umatilla Tribes' department of natural resources in Pendleton, Ore. The $57 million will build roads, boat ramps, docks, and campground facilities. Now that they're getting access to the rivers, the Northwest tribes only have to worry about whether there will be any salmon left.


*Diane Kelly