Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hustle & Fish at the PDX Sierra Club office

Do you love "breathtaking cinematography, high stakes adventure, gut busting humor, big fish, bears, sharks, wolves, extremely strange characters and tons of fish porn!?"

Well, then drop what you're doing this Thursday and make your way to the PDX Sierra Club office for a free screening of Hustle & Fish!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Snake River sockeye are pretty bad ass

Idaho's iconic "red fish" are nothing if not survivors. Consider this: Snake River sockeye swim more than 900 miles inland and climb more than 6,500 feet to their mountains spawning grounds in the Sawtooths of Idaho. That's a pretty epic journey in itself, but throw in the fact that they tackle eight dams on top of that, and that's pretty incredible.

Read more about their epic journey.

Take action to save our wild salmon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Washington Outdoor and Fishing Businesses Ask Senators Murray and Cantwell for Leadership on Columbia-Snake Salmon Recovery

SPOKANE, Wash. – Today more than 30 outdoor recreation and fishing businesses from the state of Washington wrote to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell thanking them for their work in protecting the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) and urging their leadership to restore wild Columbia-Snake salmon and steelhead. The businesses on the letter range from across the state, including Spokane, Sequim, Granger, Longview, Seattle, and Tacoma.

On September 15, the Obama administration, led by Commerce Secretary (and former Washington Governor) Gary Locke, will announce its decision on a federal plan for recovering Columbia-Snake salmon. Salmon advocates, fishermen, scientists, members of Congress and businesses across the nation have been calling for that decision to include a Northwest “solutions table” – a settlement process convened by the Obama administration and supported by the region’s lawmakers, such as Senators Murray and Cantwell – that will bring together stakeholders to work collaboratively to craft an effective solution to the Columbia-Snake salmon crisis. In a time of increased economic uncertainty, such a process would help provide a stable future for businesses and jobs that rely on Washington’s great outdoors and beautiful rivers.

“Our industry benefits from healthy rivers and fisheries for the outdoor recreation they provide our customers,” said Paul Fish, CEO of Mountain Gear in Spokane. “My company and employees benefit from the great recreation eastern Washington has to offer. Quality of life is a valuable economic asset. It allows our company to attract and keep skilled people. Restoring wild salmon and steelhead in the Snake River will make our region an even better place to live and recreate. That’s not just good for Mountain Gear’s bottom-line, it’s a boon to our region’s economy. It’s time Senators Murray and Cantwell joined other Northwest Senators to bring stakeholders together to find a solution that takes care of farmers, irrigators, ratepayers, and our industry as well.”

Other Northwest lawmakers are showing support for a solutions table that would include stakeholders from all over the region. Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, Republicans, and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, have indicated their support for a settlement process on the Columbia-Snake salmon crisis. Senators Murray and Cantwell represent a state that depends heavily on salmon for economic success, so Washington business leaders hope both Senators add their voices to others calling for a Northwest solutions table to restore Columbia-Snake salmon and sustain and produce future jobs in the outdoor and recreation fishing industries.

“Most of us see salmon and steelhead fishing as part of our birthright here in Washington State,” said Karen Wilken of Redington Tackle & Apparel Company based on Bainbridge Island. “But it is much more than a recreational activity – it supports jobs and businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. The fate of Redington and Sage and so many other companies in our industry is tied closely to the fate of Pacific salmon and steelhead. Finding solutions for endangered Columbia Basin salmon in ways that also benefit our Northwest communities is a really important piece of the puzzle for our region. We can do it, but we’re going to need leadership from ‘both Washingtons’ – here and in DC – in order to make it happen.”

For more information, please contact sam@wildsalmon.org.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obama administration poised to adopt flawed Bush salmon plan despite scientific, economic and legal failings

Fishing and conservation groups, clean energy advocates call for immediate status conference

PORTLAND, Ore., August 11th, 2009 — Today a broad coalition of businesses, clean energy advocates, and fishing and conservation groups filed for a status conference with District Court Judge James Redden, who is presiding over the case against a 2008 Bush administration salmon plan. Groups are joined by the State of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho.

This filing comes on the heels of Monday’s news that Judge Redden had granted the Obama administration’s request for a third extension of its review period for the 2008 Bush administration Columbia and Snake river salmon plan. The groups also released information indicating that the Obama administration appears headed toward adopting the Bush plan, which has been criticized by scientists and the courts, and runs counter to the advice of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), more than 70 members of Congress, three former Northwest governors, and more than 200 businesses and 110 scientists from across the nation.

Obama administration receives misleading information, reports, and guidance from Bonneville Power Administration and other federal agencies
In recent presentations to the Obama administration, and in an effort to lobby the administration to adopt the Bush salmon plan, Bonneville Power Administration regional officials and other regional agency executives provided misleading information regarding alternatives to the Bush administration salmon plan for the Columbia & Snake Rivers. More on the BPA, the Power Council, and the Freedom of Information.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wild Salmon & Steelhead News - Aug 2009

This is the start of a very important week for the endangered wild salmon and steelhead of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and the communities that rely on them. At the end of this week, on August 14, the Obama Administration will report to Federal Judge James Redden on their next moves for complying with the Endangered Species Act, and protecting and restoring Northwest wild salmon and steelhead.

This issue of WSSN is part-call-to-action and part-update:

A) CALL TO ACTION – Please contact Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke: With only a few days left before the Obama Administration announces how they will address the salmon crisis on the Snake River, please take a moment to contact Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Formerly the governor of Washington State, Locke now leads the Department of Commerce. NOAA-Fisheries is one of the agencies within the Commerce Department. This makes Sec. Locke NOAA-Fisheries Administrator Jane Lubchenco’s direct boss. It also means that Sec. Locke will have a lot of influence on the Federal Salmon Plan that emerges from the NOAA-Fisheries at the end of this week. He needs to hear from salmon and fishing advocates today!

Contact Secretary Locke HERE - America needs good science, good jobs, and healthy salmon runs!

Three months ago, attorneys for the new Administration asked the judge overseeing the litigation over Columbia and Snake River Salmon Plan for additional time to review the 2008 Bush-era Plan that it inherited earlier this year. The deadline for that review is this Friday.

At this point, it is not clear what path the new Administration will choose. Will it stick with the failed status quo of the past or bring people together to work on an effective, forward-looking science-based solution? We will have to wait until Friday to find out. They seem to have three basic options:

(1) It could submit the original plan to the court in its current form. But that seems unlikely, since Judge Redden made plain in a mid-May guidance letter that he would be very unlikely to approve of the 2008 Salmon Plan in its current form.

(2) It could submit the 2008 Plan to the court with revisions in an attempt to satisfy the judge. Salmon and fishing advocates are highly skeptical that such a move would succeed. The judge, in his mid-May letter, identified a number of substantial improvements that would be needed in order for him to find the plan lawful under the Endangered Species Act, including a look at lower Snake River dam removal. The deficiencies of the current plan are so profound that a major overhaul would be needed. Modest tweaks will be inadequate.

(3) Time for a Collaborative Stakeholder Process? The Administration could, in recognition of the plan’s severe inadequacies, decide instead to change course and undertake an approach that many – including newspaper editorial boards, three former governors, a growing number of senators and representatives in Congress, businesses and organizations - are calling for. The Administration should convene an inclusive, settlement process (involving e.g. fishermen, farmers, utilities and energy consumers, tribes, states) to work together to craft a legal, science-guided salmon plan that both restores endangered salmon and steelhead and ensures that local, affected communities benefit at the same time.

Lots of Counsel to the President
Just in the past week, President Obama and his salmon team have received lots of advice about what to do with the failed 2008 Plan that they inherited. Here are a series of links to review some this advice:

(1) Three former Northwest governors sent a letter to President Obama urging him to abandon a 2008 Bush administration biological opinion (BiOp) for the Columbia-Snake rivers, and pull stakeholders together to create a solutions settlement table. Read more on their letter to the President.

(2) Nationally-recognized lawyer and natural resources law professor Charles Wilkinson advised President Obama that, after many years of federal failure, sleight of hand, declining salmon populations, he needed to get this important decision right, including removal of the four lower Snake River dams.

(3) New York Times, Boston Globe, Buffalo News, and Eugene Register Guard Editorials in support of solutions and dam removal options:

(4) Kevin Richert, Editorial Page Editor for the Idaho Statesman, offers his perspective to the President – strongly encouraging a break from the past and the establishment of a Northwest stakeholder process.

Go HERE for more complete list of links to lots of the advice for the Obama Administration from scientists, organizations, businesses, United State Senators, and many others.