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.