The Snake River is a major part of the Columbia River Drainage Basin and has always been vital to those who have lived along its route, including early man. In recent history, about 200 years ago, Lewis & Clark traveled down the Snake River in pursuit of Thomas Jefferson's dream of a transcontinental water route.
Today the entire Snake River is controlled by numerous dams including 4 Corps of Engineer Dams on the Lower Snake. There is on-going controversy on how to manage the Lower Snake and some think the Army Corps Dams on the Lower Snake should be removed to improve salmon migration.
However, the Lower Snake and Columbia River dams do provide flood control, power generation and an important barge transportation route from Idaho to the Pacific Ocean so there is no simple answer.
EPS produced this video under the direction of the Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Office with a focus on the commercial importance of the dams. It is being shown in the wide screen theater at Ice Harbor Dam.