We hope you enjoy the latest edition of Wild Salmon & Steelhead News! In this issue:
1. HR 6247 – The Worst Dam Bill Ever.
2. The Most Interesting Fish in the World.
3. Elwha River success story continues to build.
4. Salmon Mean Business - Outdoor Retailer.
On the right is a photo from Keith Nevison, Student Garden Liaison at the Sustainability Leadership Center of Portland State and a huge salmon advocate. Just check out his awesome tattoo! The picture was taken at the visitor’s center in Stanley, Idaho, just a few miles from Redfish Lake. Go Keith!
1. HR 6247 – The Worst Dam Bill Ever
On August 1st, Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, introduced HR 6247 - a reckless bill threatening salmon, rivers, family-wage jobs, and communities across the country.
Excited about the progress being made on the Elwha, Penobscot, Sandy, Kennebec, and White Salmon Rivers? If HR 6247 becomes law, we can say goodbye to these types of historic, job-creating, river and salmon restoration success stories.
A classic example of congressional overreach and top-down lawmaking, HR 6247 would prevent people from working together and finding solutions to tough problems through collaboration at the local level. This legislation would also further harm already-endangered salmon and steelhead, stifle job creation, and restrict innovation in the clean energy sector, all the while locking in existing problems and creating new ones for rivers, salmon, jobs, and our economy.
2. The Most Interesting Fish in the World
Back in 1992, with help from the daughter of a hatchery technician at the time, Idaho’s Governor Cecil Andrus gave the name “Lonesome Larry” to the only surviving Snake River sockeye that successfully returned to Redfish Lake that year. Larry made national news and instantly became the poster-fish for refortified efforts to protect and restore critically endangered salmon in the Snake and Columbia Rivers.
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Larry’s solo journey home and the launch of more serious efforts to bring Northwest salmon back from the brink of extinction. Unfortunately, while the federal agencies have been happy to spend lots of taxpayer dollars ($10 billion +) in the last 20 years on failing policies and projects, they haven’t been as willing to commit to the projects that really count – like “spill” (which they have ‘agreed’ to over the last 7 years due to a federal court order) or seeking truly effective alternatives, such as removal of the four lower Snake River dams.
All remaining runs of salmon and steeelhead in the Snake River are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Northwest’s most iconic fish remains in peril. Our campaign - with your help - has helped salmon tremendously to secure spill during the migration season. And we will accomplish even more in the future.
Lonesome Larry Links
a. Follow the adventures of Lonesome Larry - the “most interesting fish in the world” via Larry’s website and blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
b. Great piece from National Geographic on Larry: "An Unsung Hero."
c. Three amusing radio ads for Larry that ran this summer throughout Idaho.
d. Sawtooth Salmon Festival: If you are in Idaho this week…Aug. 25 is the date of the Sawtooth Salmon Festival near the town of Stanley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Lonesome Larry will be an honored guest this year. More info via Idaho Rivers United.
e. Outdoor Idaho – “Idaho’s Salmon” - If you missed it, be sure to check out this 30-minute episode from Idaho Public Broadcasting that premiered in July. It does a great job telling the Snake River salmon story – from their decline to what’s going to be needed to bring them back to healthy, fishable levels. Give it a few minutes to load, before watching.
3. Elwha River success story continues to build.
While Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) is introducing legislation that will, if passed into law, prevent locally-driven community-based collaborations to fix rivers, create jobs, and restore salmon, we are, ironically, already enjoying the fruits of one such labor on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington State.
Photo at right: what's left of the 210 foot Glines Canyon Dam in Elwha National Park. Photo by Nick Wolcott. Courtesy of felt soul media, makers of the upcoming film DamNation.
Even before the two Elwha dams are fully removed – the lower one is gone, the upper one will be gone by the middle of next year – habitat restoration and beach recovery is underway and wild steelhead are already returning. Local tribal and non-tribal communities are celebrating. People are working. Dam-removal tourists are visiting – and spending money locally - to see the progress and marvel at the swift changes.
Here are a couple of recent news stories - about the re-emergence after 100 years of the Klallam Tribal people’s creation site, and the dramatic changes on the estuary and beach.
Legendary 'creation site' discovered by Lower Elwha Klallam tribe
Dam gone, nature rebuilds Elwha River beach
NOTABLY - Mr. Hastings’ law - HR 6247 - would make these kinds of amazing success stories a thing of the past. Don’t forget to forward the action link to your friends and family.
4. Salmon Mean Business – Outdoor Retailer edition
This month Save Our Wild Salmon took part in two great events in the world of outdoor business and conservation:
Hot town, summer in Salt Lake City
This summer’s Outdoor Retailer show was hot - in all ways possible. It was great to check in with all of the companies and athletes that help raise awareness and funding for Save Our Wild Salmon and other conservation efforts either directly or through the great work of the Conservation Alliance.
These industry leaders help carry a simple but essential message to policy-makers: healthy salmon and healthy rivers mean business and jobs for communities across the country. Check out some photos from the show.
The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective comes to Portland’s Forest Park.
On August 15th, employees from Columbia, KEEN, REI, North Face, Icebreaker, Merrell, and others took part in an annual volunteer event called “Backyard Collective” hosted by the Conservation Alliance. Well over 300 participants were on hand – a new record! Volunteers spent half the day working on trail maintenance and invasive species eradication on behalf of the Forest Park Conservancy.
Learn more about the Conservation Alliance and their work with outdoor businesses that give back to the outdoors: Check out their website or watch the video overview of their work.