SPOKANE, Wash. -

Conservationists and others have renewed a push to remove four giant dams from the Snake River in southeast Washington to save wild salmon runs.

They're speaking up after a federal judge in Portland, Oregon, earlier this year rejected the government's latest plan for protecting threatened and endangered salmon in the Columbia River system. The judge ordered agencies to take a new look at all approaches to managing the dams, including breaching.

The Snake River stretches over 1,000 miles, from Wyoming's western border to the mighty Columbia River in Washington. For much of its history, the river and its tributaries produced salmon runs in the millions that sustained Native American tribes.

The four dams provide about 5 percent of the region's electricity. A recent federal report said if the dams are removed, a new natural gas plant would be needed to replace the lost electricity.