Friday, June 29, 2007

Day FIVE - Santa Rosa

On the fifth day of our journey with Fin, we awoke in Santa Rosa, a beautiful wine town about an hour north of San Francisco. We drove in to let the people see Fin, doing a few circuits around their downtown and up and down Main St. We chatted with Rob Dickerson from Trout Unlimited and he wished us well. Rob is the Project Manager for TU’s North Coast Coho Project. Considering that Coho are now extinct on the Snake River and elsewhere, Rob has the noble job of making sure these runs of fish stick around on the Pacific coast. (READ MORE about recent salmon returns in the Columbia & Snake Basin.)

At noon we drove over to Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey's office to meet her staff. We were received very warmly and had a chance to discuss the campaign with them over lunch. It is clear Rep. Woolsey and her staff recognize the cultural and economic importance of salmon recovery up and down the coast by supporting solutions to the Snake River salmon crisis. READ MORE about Congressional activity on behalf of Columbia and Snake River salmon.
Special thanks to Tom, Emmie, Ed, and Jennifer for the hospitality! After taking some pictures with them, we hit the road again, pointing our Salmon south, towards San Francisco.

For us, Santa Rosa marks the end of our first leg of the Road Show (coastal Oregon and northern California), and the milestone gave us a moment to reflect on the experiences and conversations we’ve had so far.
Though Jeremy and I knew that salmon recovery in the Columbia & Snake River Basin impacts hundreds of thousands of people in the Northwest, it is eye-opening to see the connections this issue makes across the spectrum. Just in the first few days we have talked to many different people, all with similar goals.

From coastal fisherman trying to earn a living, to those whose recreation depends on healthy salmon and rivers, to the markets and their customers that choose wild salmon as a healthy food, these fish represent so much to so many people. California fishermen share the same struggles as those who depend on the Columbia & Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon. The message from all these people is clear: Congress needs to provide leadership and address the salmon crisis in the Northwest. ADD YOUR VOICE

In the coming days we will be in Berkeley at a farmers market, in Oakland at the Zoo, in Vallejo at a congressional field hearing, in Marin for a fair and 4th of July parade, and finally at the Aquarium by the Bay in San Francisco.

Hope we see you somewhere along the road!

- Jeremy, Bobby, Buster and Fin

Thursday, June 28, 2007

DAY THREE: Into California

Fin hangs out with his oversize friends

After meeting a man who was actually to scale with our friend Fin in the redwood forest, we spent the first part of Wednesday in front of Wildberries Market in Arcata, CA., a beautiful fishing town and also home to Humbolt State University. In Arcata we talked to many enthusiastic supporters of the campaign, ranging from stream surveyors, to fishermen, to concerned citizens. We also were interviewed by 3 different newspapers and with photos featured in The Eureka Times-Standard and The Eureka Reporter.

As morning slipped into afternoon we headed out of town for a stunning drive through the redwoods and into a seacoast village called Fort Bragg for a local farmers market. Again we were warmly welcomed and spent a few hours meeting locals, spreading the word about the Snake River, and collecting signatures, pictures and stories. Thanks to Gypsy at the Farmers Market and Lisa Schepman for their help.

As the sunset on a full day of activities we made our way to Santa Rosa, CA., where we will meet Thursday with the staff for Congresswoman Woolsey, a leader on salmon recovery in Northern California. So, please tune in tomorrow to hear about what adventures another day on the road with Fin will bring.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Introducing Buster

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While Fin, our king-size wild chinook salmon, has stolen the spotlight so far as the lead ambassador on the road show, we'd also like you to meet Buster, the wild sockeye salmon who's been with us for years. Along the way, Buster has delivered his message of breaching the lower Snake River dams to anyone who will pay attention. He's met businesses, kids, members of Congress, the media and more. And he's back on the road with us on this trip too.

This morning, while he was reading recent press coverage on the Snake River campaign, we interrupted his breakfast to ask Buster how he was feeling so far about the road show.

He looked up from the latest salmon cover story from the Cascadia Times, and called the trip "amazing." It's inspiring, he said, to share stories with the human community. Continuing to wax poetic (Buster does that sometimes), he added, "Both Fin and I see our role as helping to strengthen the bond between salmon and people; part of the great chain of being in the Northwest. The survival of wild salmon and steelhead really depends upon the awareness and decisions people make, from Senators to salmon charters."

In fact, Buster was so so thrilled to find himself on shores of the Pacific Ocean this morning that he ran off and made us this video. We hope you like it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

DAY TWO - Coos Bay, Oregon

The Road Show spent Tuesday, June 26th in Coos Bay, a fishing town on the southern Oregon coast, down at the marina talking to fisherman. It began as a foggy day, but as the sun emerged, it burned off and turned into a magnificent afternoon.

One thing that immediately became clear to us was the level of solidarity up and down the coast among the fishermen. They understand that what is good for salmon and fishermen in Washington, is likewise good for salmon and fisherman in Oregon.

We had hours of great conversations with interested people, and were able to collect dozens of signatures for our petition and postcards to Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio. While we were saddened to hear about the economic hardship and the effects on the fishermen’s families, we were inspired by their passion and willingness to move forward to seek real and lasting solutions to the crisis.

One of the main attractions at the marina, besides the access to fishing, was a business called Fisherman's Wharf. At Fisherman's Wharf, they sell the day's catch right off the boats, and each product is marked with the name of the boat the fish came off of. We must send thanks to the Ledoux family for the delicious smoked salmon, and to the Charleston Marina and the Charleston RV park for the hospitality.

We also spent an hour with television reporters from the local CBS and ABC stations who will both run stories this evening on our visit to their community, and share our message with a far larger audience then we were able to today. We're trying to get a copy of the stories, and if we can, we'll post the videos here later this week.

That is it from the road today, be sure to check back in tomorrow when we will be in Arcata, CA.

- Jeremy and Bobby

Monday, June 25, 2007


Save Our Wild Salmon Hits the Road for Salmon Recovery

Save Our Wild Salmon, a broad-based coalition of salmon advocates, fishermen, fishing businesses and conservation groups, is hitting the road this summer with a 5-state public outreach tour to raise awareness for endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

Dubbed “Extinction Stops Here,” the road show will make scheduled stops in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Nevada in June and July to raise visibility for the plight of endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and build support for removing the four lower Snake River dams in Washington State.

Fewer wild salmon are returning each year to key western watersheds like the Klamath and Columbia-Snake river basins. Habitat destruction, poor water management, and dams on the Klamath and lower Snake Rivers have caused wild salmon populations to drop dramatically. Declining runs have curtailed fisheries and hurt regional economies throughout the Pacific salmon states of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

The star of the road show is FIN, a traffic-stopping, 25-foot-long hand-crafted King Salmon that travels on an oversized trailer, who will be pulling up to fairs, festivals, farmer’s markets, zoos, aquariums, marinas and various waterfront locales. Children can climb aboard and explore interactive salmon exhibits, while everyone can learn about what it will take to recover endangered Northwest salmon and steelhead to healthy, abundant and sustainable populations and restore declining West Coast fisheries.

People will also have the opportunity take part in a petition and postcard drive to send a message to elected leaders urging them to ensure that the federal government meets its responsibility to restore and recover wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake River basin, and protect the coastal and river fishing communities that depend upon them.

This administration and its federal agencies continue to disregard the cultural and economic value of salmon and its importance to the people of the Northwest. If we’re going to maintain fishing communities and economies, and ensure salmon for the future, we need real political leadership to ensure long-term protection and restoration of the rivers, streams, and oceans where wild salmon live and spawn.

Congress has the power to put us on the path that leads to stable jobs, clean, affordable energy, good fishing, abundant salmon, and places in the outdoors for our families to enjoy.

It’s time to step up. Extinction stops with us.

Each individual we can reach who appreciates what we have in wild Pacific salmon represents a potential advocate for the healthy habitat, healthy rivers and access to spawning grounds wild salmon and steelhead need in order to thrive.

We know that the western states are full of salmon and steelhead champions, and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible through this tour.

If you can't join us in person, I hope you'll check back in regularly, and follow our journey online.