Saving Salmon And The Flathead

"Everything... in the photograph -- trees, bushes, all the animals and plants in the forest and the water -- contains ocean nutrients from salmon." -- Carl Safina in the LA Times. © Save Our Wild Salmon

We live in an amazing place and nothing quite drives that point home like working with people who are passionate about their causes — be they businesses, advocates or adventurers. So, we’re excited to throw our weight behind a couple of great causes: saving Snake River salmon and the Flathead. Keep reading to see what’s happening, and how you can help!

Save Our Wild Salmon has been fighting to recover Snake River salmon for two decades. Snake River salmon Snake River salmon return to the biggest, highest, coldest, best-protected spawning habitat left in the Lower 48. In the last 6 months, tens of thousands of people across the country, nearly 100 members of Congress, three former Northwest governors, hundreds of local and national businesses, thousands of scientists from around the country have called on the Obama administration to end the legal and political deadlock to save wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest. And on Sunday, writer and founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, Carl Safina voiced his opinion in the Los Angeles Times:

Two months ago, in a swift trick no one saw coming, the Obama administration embraced the Bush administration’s failed salmon plan for an even more important watershed, the Columbia/Snake River system. The Columbia and its tributaries formerly produced more salmon than anywhere else on Earth, but the once-mighty rivers now have 13 salmon stocks in danger of extinction…

The fundamental problem with the plan is that its goal seems to be to maintain endangered salmon in an endangered state rather than revitalizing them. The administration appears unmotivated to restore salmon abundance and their role in the ecology and economy. Here’s what gives the administration’s game away: The one salmon species that is already at levels low enough to trigger additional action in the new plan has been exempted from the new triggers.

Jane Lubchenco, the administration’s point person for oceans and salmon, insists that “the actions in the plan will prevent further declines.” But keeping salmon in a coma and on life support does not heal them, nor help the other species, including people, that depend on them. The likeliest outcome of a salmon strategy based on just avoiding extinction will be extinction — and not only of salmon…

"Star" -- Puget Sound's most recent addition to it's resident Orca whale population. © Howard Garrett

There’s another photograph I saw recently. Taken just two months ago where Puget Sound meets the Pacific, it shows a new orca calf emerging from the water atop its mother’s back. The scientists from the Center for Whale Research who track orcas named her Star, hoping she will guide another seemingly intelligent mammal — us — to restore the salmon abundance she will need to become a mother herself 13 years from now. May she inspire the Obama administration to think again.

Read the rest of Safina’s op-ed at the LA Times…

Take action to save Snake River salmon here!

©Garth Lenz, iLCP

Miles of free-flowing river, sky-scraping jagged peaks and abundant wildlife make the Flathead River Valley one of the most wild and beautiful places on earth. But unfortunately, diversity and a natural aesthetic don’t always ensure protection. Proposed mountaintop removal mining in southeastern British Columbia, Canada is threatening the Flathead. Earlier this month, we wrote about the Epicocity Project’s new film, Flathead Wild.

Along with the film, people can really get a sense of place by viewing the gorgeous photos from the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Visit Planet Green for a slideshow that will make almost anyone want to protect the Flathead!

Want to do more? Watch the video, and pass it along to your friends. And take action HERE!


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Filed under epicocity, Outdoors, photos, Rivers, Save Our Wild Salmon

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