Friday, March 6, 2009

Tell the Oregonian we need real solutions for wild salmon!

This morning, just hours before U.S. District Court Judge James Redden held a hearing on the legality of the federal government's (a rollover from the Bush administration) federal salmon plan for the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the Oregonian published an editorial touting the historic collaboration occurring in the Northwest on salmon recovery.

Please read the editorial and send a letter to the editor:

Judge Redden is expected to rule a month from now. The Bush administration's plan before the Judge is remarkably similar to previous plans that have been ruled illegal in court. While the Oregonian paints a very rosy picture of the federal government's efforts, their conclusion is premature and says nothing about the other stakeholders, including commercial and sport fishermen, who were not invited to the collaboration table. This plan would take us several steps backward.

The Oregonian states that "the real and lasting legacy will be all those former adversaries in the long Northwest fish wars who have finally come together to save Columbia salmon." Members of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition couldn't agree more. The Northwest wants to look to a future that gives us restored salmon populations but we have yet to create the kind of broad dialogue that will get us there. To bank on an illegal and scientifically bankrupt plan held over from the Bush Administration's reckless salmon policy is misguided.

While the upcoming court decision will likely guide the fate of these fish and the communities they serve, the Northwest desperately needs it's political leaders to craft a table of stakeholders representing all parties that have a real stake in the future of these salmon and the salmon economy. It's time to make real changes that invest taxpayer dollars wisely, lead to the restoration of healthy, abundant salmon populations in the Columbia-Snake Basin, builds an energy infrastructure that is truly clean, and restores a Snake River that works for everyone.

Please take a moment and write a letter to the editor today.

The Oregonian:

Note: The Oregonian only accepts letters that are 150 words or less.
Another way to let your voice be heard is to submit a comment online below the editorial:

Some tips on writing a letter to the editor:

Please remind the Oregonian:

- Many stakeholders advocating for change remain shut out of the process of building a plan that works - the deck has been stacked and a dialogue about what must be done to recover Columbia & Snake River salmon has been stunted. Thousands of good jobs in communities across the Northwest are dependent on Columbia & Snake River salmon. These stakeholders must have a voice. More on this subject:

- In addition, residents of communities that have historically be against any change on the Snake River have become very concerned about the growing flood risk and growing costs of keeping the four lower Snake River dams. More on this subject:

- Much of the science has been shut out as well. For years, hundreds of federal, state, tribal and independent scientists have concluded that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the best and perhaps only means to protect these fish from extinction and recover healthy populations. If we serious about looking at all available options for recovering these fish, why isn't this option considered in the Bush Administration?s plan? More on this subject:

- Over $8 billion dollars has been spent on salmon recovery measures that haven't led to recovery. Runs of wild salmon in the Columbia & Snake Rivers teeter near the levels at which many were listed under the Endangered Species Act. It's time to invest our federal dollars in a plan that actually addresses the key problems with salmon declines in a way that can revitalize local communities and promotes key priorities by creating jobs and building clean energy.

-Tens of thousands of families, businesses, and organizations from across the country support real and lasting solutions to the salmon crisis that include the removal of the four lower Snake River dams and in creates family-wage jobs, invests in our fishing and farming communities, and encourages the development of truly clean energy resources.

Please contact if you have any questions or need help writing a letter.

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