Ask for his help to convene stakeholder table
Portland, OR— Today, 19 Oregon state legislators urged U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley to stand up for Columbia-Snake River salmon and the communities that depend upon them by helping to convene a stakeholder process. Senator Merkley has a strong history of supporting salmon in the Northwest. In 2009, he called for a solutions table to chart a new path forward on salmon restoration efforts. In a letter submitted today to Senator Merkley, fellow Oregon elected officials call on the Senator to step up his support for these economically, culturally, and biologically important creatures.
Last August, a U.S. district court again rejected the federal agencies' restoration plan for wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake River basin as illegal. After a dozen years, three administrations, and four iterations of illegal federal policies, a new approach on salmon policy is essential. Over 1,100 American businesses, 52 U.S. representatives, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, the Nez Perce Tribe, and tens of thousands of Americans have all joined Senator Merkley in supporting a stakeholder process.
Oregon State Representative Jules Bailey said, "Senator Merkley's leadership on this issue thus far has been critical. We need his help now more than ever to help lead this process and demonstrate to the rest of the country that Oregon creates smart, effective policies through collaboration, guided by science.
State Senator Jackie Dingfelder agreed: "Salmon are an icon of our region and a natural resource that continues to be plagued by insufficient federal policies. Losing these fish is not an option -- we need real leadership to chart a new path forward by working with stakeholders to create a transparent, lawful and sound restoration plan that will actually help these fish."
Amy Baird, Save Our wild Salmon, (503) 230-0421 X 13, firstname.lastname@example.org