A Baker's Dozen

From the desk of Nicole Cordan

Nicole zoeNicole and her dog ZoeFor those of you who know me personally, you know that this campaign and these fish are part of who I am.  I am in awe of them at every turn.  And I made a promise to my daughter that our magnificent salmon and steelhead would not go extinct on my watch.  I promised her that I would fight to make certain that she, and her children, will always have the ability to watch these awe-inspiring creatures spawn in a small mountain stream, as I did for the first time 20 years ago.  I make that same commitment to you now and I hope that you will continue to fight alongside Save Our Wild Salmon to ensure our children, and their children, have a future where Columbia-Snake River salmon thrive.

So it is with a heavy heart that I tell all of you that I am leaving Save Our Wild Salmon, to instead shift my focus to the Southern part of Oregon to help find solutions to our public lands debate.  For thirteen years I have worked with all of you to raise awareness of the plight of the fabled salmon runs in the Columbia-Snake River Basin. I am so proud to have been a part of this unique team.  We are a diverse group – fishermen, clean energy advocates, businesses, conservationists – with diverse interests, who don’t always see eye-to-eye. But thanks to our shared passion for and dedication to these magical creatures who grace our rivers and ocean, we have set aside differences to work together to bring Columbia-Snake salmon issues to the forefront, both in the Northwest and across the country.  We have come so far and done so much together, and I thank each of you for allowing me to be a part of this amazing team.

I think this team – SOS’s supporters, campaign partners and staff – are the main reason Columbia-Snake River salmon are persevering against so many odds.  Together we have challenged the Bonneville Power Administration, other federal agencies, and some states to make changes to the federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, changes the science shows and the fish confirm are making a huge difference - both for salmon and for those who depend on them.  

We are also changing this Administration’s mind about these salmon.  Instead of telling us enough has been done, that status quo policies are sufficient, the Administration is now talking with us about how best to move forward.  You have all helped make that difference. You wrote amazingly creative Valentine’s Day poems, you reached out to friends and family members and asked them to have their businesses support a real stakeholder process, you sent countless letters to decision-makers, and you posted pictures of yourself, your friends and your children around tables to make certain the right people got the message.  All these things are helping to move this Administration to act for salmon, rivers, and jobs.

We have made and we continue to make a difference, but we have more work to do.  We are at a tipping point, on the cusp of changing the game.  I can see it, and I think you all can as well.  But we are not quite there yet.  And I ask you to put all you have into this campaign in the coming days, weeks and months.  I promise to do the same, even if I am no longer the campaign director.

There is so, so much happening.  Change is in the air. Trust me when I say that it is hard to leave this campaign at this moment.

I am honored to have been a part of this team.  To have worked with so many of you. To have corresponded with almost all of you.  To have read your letters and notes to elected leaders with the stories and passion you each have and you each bring to this issue.  You have given me strength to push on even in the darkest moments and in the end you were right, because we deserve rivers colored with the red backs of salmon and so do our children.

As I move into a new role on a new issue, I promise to continue to fight for our salmon.  I hope you will too. Thank you for all you do on behalf of Columbia-Snake salmon and steelhead.

Save Our wild Salmon is a diverse, nationwide coalition working together to restore wild salmon and steelhead to the rivers, streams and marine waters of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of our region's ecology, economy and culture.

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