Monday, October 26, 2009

Paddlers, salmon and sasquatch take action to stop climate change Kayakers Action in Portland from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

On Saturday, October 24, we joined hundreds of paddlers on the Willamette River in downtown Portland to to form a giant floating 350 as part of the largest global day of climate action ever. Paddlers in this River of Action event joined more than 5,200 rallies in more than 180 nations to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming, to bring attention to the number 350. Scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide (CO2) we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in Portland. The sunny, warm weather helped to keep us all in good spirits as we fought a strong current in the river channel to form the 350. But even with the current, we all came together to make it happen.

From Wend Magazine:
Getting over 200 paddlers to form a large “350″ on a river is no small task, and it took a combination of goodwill, direction from the organizers and photographers standing above us on the Burnside Bridge, excellent communication between all of the boats that were directing on the water and a dash of luck to make it all happen. But we were successful, and when the “ok” came from the bullhorn above, everyone raised their paddles in a communal hurrah. It feels good to take part in a global movement.

And here's another quick video from the good folks at KEEN:

GIGANTIC salmon props go to the Epicocity Project's Andy Maser for organizing this whole action and pulling people together to take action to save our planet, our river and our salmon. Nice work!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Salmon Community Joins River of Action to Stop Climate Change

Salmon need a lot of cold, clean water to survive, so we at Save Our Wild Salmon are always down to help fight climate change. On Saturday, October 24, we will join more than 100 paddlesports and endangered species enthusiasts to form a giant floating “350” on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Ore. Participants in this River of Action event will take to the river in kayaks, canoes and on standup paddleboards. The event—one of more than 4,000 rallies in more than 170 nations—is part of the International Day of Climate Action to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming.

On Saturday, people and organizations from around the world will take action aimed at bringing attention to the number 350. Scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide (CO2) the planet can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

A couple of months ago, Buster the Wild Salmon and Sassy the Sustainable Sasquatch took part in a test run of the floating 350 idea, and we're excited to get out on the water to take action on October 24!

"We urge folks in Portland to join the River of Action event, and others out of Portland to find an equally exciting event in your local community," said Pat Ford, Executive Director for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. "We need to come together today to show our elected leaders that we deserve, and demand, effective global warming policies. For our futures, for our children's futures, and for the species and the ecosystems that give us life, there is no other choice."

To find an action in your area, visit

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Give a Dam for Salmon

Today, at Salmon HQ in Portland, we're doing a bit of fall cleaning. Amongst the boxes we found this great poster from our friends at Patagonia...
The poster is from 2000, but the words still ring true:

For all the diversity they've given, sun and ocean have managed to bequeath us just one family of creature capable of journeying back and forth between the high altitudes of our continent's interior and the green ocean a thousand miles away — the celebrated wild salmon.

In 25 years, 4 Snake River dams have destroyed 90 percent of hte salmon, stalled the swiftest river of ists size on Earth and threatened the cultural heart of 500 generations of Indians supported by the Snake.

We are the last generation that will have a choice to do something to save the salmon, an epic icon.

Thanks for giving a dam for salmon, Patagonia!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Obama’s salmon plan repackages Bush’s failed effort

by Glen Spain

October 17th, 2009
Unlike as optimistically characterized by Steve Wright, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration, in his Oct. 10 guest viewpoint, “Right plan can save salmon and the hydroelectric dams,” the Northwest’s Columbia River salmon problems are far from over, and the battle to prevent their extinction is far from won.

On Sept. 14, the Obama administration delivered its own much anticipated salmon strategy for the Columbia and Snake rivers. Unfortunately, after a four-month review, Obama’s salmon team has merely adopted the previously rejected Bush administration salmon plan as its own, with only a few minor improvements.

Worst of all, the Bush-turned-Obama plan just embraces failed recovery goals of the past. Keeping expectations low, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco assures us the plan will “prevent further declines.” In other words, ratepayers and taxpayers all up and down the West Coast will remain on the hook for roughly $1 billion a year for at least the next 10 years to — at best — merely maintain Columbia Basin wild salmon at their already seriously imperiled levels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Salmon Rockstars taking it to the Hill!

It's another gorgeous D.C. day to save some salmon! This week, a group of salmon stakeholders have hit Capitol Hill to urge Members of Congress to support salmon solutions legislation.
Here's just a few snapshots to introduce you to the folks taking it to the House of Congress this week...
Northwest steelhead guide and The Sierra Club's Jeff Hickman, teamed up with Dave Bitts, a commercial fisherman from Eureka, Calif. and the president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

Taxpayers for Common Sense's Autumn Hanna, The Club's Jeff Hickman and Save Our Wild Salmon's (SOS) Gilly Lyons.

The Idaho crew representin'! SOS's Linnae Nelson, Idaho Rivers United's (IRU) Greg Stahl and Mayor Hannah Stauts of Stanley, Idaho.

IRU's Greg Stahl, SOS's Nicole Cordan, Mayor Hannah Stauts, The Club's Jeff Hickman and Trout Unlimited's New Jersey Council executive director.

Thanks to all of these folks for urging Congress for salmon solutions on the Columbia-Snake Rivers. You can help! Take ACTION today!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taking it to the House, and Senate!

Stakeholders from across the nation are taking to the halls of Congress to urge representatives to support the Salmon Solutions and Planning Act (SSPA; H.R. 3503).

Contact your Congressperson TODAY!

The Stakeholders:

Rick Ege, Jr. - Executive Director of New Jersey State Council of Trout Unlimited
Hannah Stauts -Mayor of Stanley, Idaho
Greg Stahl -Assistant Policy Director, Idaho Rivers United - Boise, Idaho
Dustin Aherin -President, Citizens for Progress - Lewiston, Idaho
Dave Bitts -President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations - McKinleyville, California
Jeff Hickman -Northwest regional hunter and angler organizer for the Sierra Club, based in Portland, Oregon

More in-depth information on the stakeholders CLICK HERE.

Update on Latest Meetings: Day 2

4:00pm - Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) with Celina Cunningham

3:00pm - Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) with member and Staci Wheeler

3:00pm - Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) with Janine Benner

2:00pm - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) with Todd Wolf

2:00pm - Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) with Jamie Girard

2:00pm - Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (TX) with Brenda Muniz

1:30 - Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) with Dana Richter

11:30am - Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)

11:30am - Rep. David Wu (D-OR)

11:00am - Rep. Michael McMahon (D-NY)

11:00am - Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

10:00am - Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)

10:00am - Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
He introduced the Salmon Solutions & Planning Act (H.R. 3503)!
Thank you Congressman McDermott!!!

9:30am - Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Day One

4:30pm - Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) with Eleen Trang
Dave Bitts, President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, along with Jeff Hickman and Emily Nuchols, met with the office of Congresswoman Lofgren, from the great state of California.

4pm - Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) with Elena Keydal
Two of Idaho's finest - Greg Stahl from Idaho Rivers United and Dustin Aherin of Citizens for Progress - sat down with Congressman Filner's office.

4pm - Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) with Nancy Sopko
Rick Ege and Linnae Nelson team up again to meet Congressman Adler's office.
Rep. Adler's district includes Ocean County, New Jersey, which supports a vibrant sportfishing industry. They know that fishing means business!

3:30pm - Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) with Jesse Young
Dustin Aherin and Jeff Hickman team up again, this time they met with Congressman Murphy's office to discuss the Salmon Solutions & Planning Act. They were interested in making sure we can recover salmon and save money in the long run. Dustin and Jeff answered with a confident "YES".

2:30pm - Rep. Christopher Carney (D-PA) with Sloan Giampa
Lewiston, Idaho community advocate and whitewater guru Dustin Aherin along with Jeff Hickman, Fly Fishing hero and Sierra Club Hunting & Fishing Organizer, met with Congressman Carney's office to discuss the Salmon Solutions & Planning Act. They were very interested in the work of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

2:30pm Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) with Cathy Collentine
Rick Ege, Jr., Executive Director of New Jersey State Council of Trout Unlimited, and Linnae Nelson from SOS sit down with Congressman Rothman's office to discuss H.R. 3503.

1pm EST - Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) with Tony Baker
Emily Nuchols from SOS and Dustin Aherin from Lewiston, Idaho's Citizens for Progress met with Congresswoman Sutton's office. Representative Sutton's region enjoys the benefits of a multi-billion dollar salmon and steelhead industry in the Great Lakes. Many of those fish stocks originated from Snake and Columbia River salmon runs.

1pm EST - Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) with Teresa Frison
Rep. McNerney's office sat down with Dave Bitts, President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and Linnae Nelson from SOS. Congressman McNerney is already a co-sponsor! Give his office a thank you call: (
202) 225-1947

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Find out more about the Salmon Lobby Week in DC.

More about the campaign to restore the Snake River and recover wild salmon and steelhead.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We need to ensure salmon recovery, not an “insurance policy”

by Bobby Hayden

On healthcare, the Obama administration’s current call for change is based on the notion that doing nothing means Americans will continue to pay the price – in both cost and quality of care. That we can all agree upon. Unfortunately this notion is not being applied in the Northwest to the administration’s new plan for Columbia and Snake River salmon. After roughly $10 billion in American taxpayer and Northwest energy ratepayer money spent on measures that have brought wild salmon and the salmon economy no closer to lasting recovery, it’s time for a new direction.

The federal government has called their latest plan for Columbia and Snake Rivers an “insurance policy” for salmon. While this new health care messaging is clever, the truth is the plan will continue the same system that has kept wild salmon on life-support for two decades. In their plan, NOAA Fisheries has included a suite of contingencies for salmon based on “significant decline triggers” (levels that would trigger action). Based on the numbers, however, salmon returns would have to get dangerously low for several years running before any initial actions are taken. And none of these initial actions include a substantive look at real changes to the biggest killers of juvenile salmon: the dams.

So basically, we know your arteries are clogged and your blood pressure is skyrocketing but we’ll just wait until you’re going into cardiac arrest before you go into surgery… for a knee replacement.

According to officials at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the agency in charge here), the plan will “prevent further declines.” Aspiring to prevent further declines? We already have thirteen populations of salmon and steelhead officially at risk of extinction under the Endangered Species Act. This plan, at its very best, promises only to stabilize the already severely depressed populations. There’s no game plan here to position these fish for actual recovery in the future, and that should be unacceptable to those of us who care about salmon, about smart public policy, and about sound science.

NOAA has announced that it will use the same exact jeopardy standard developed by the Bush administration. This meager benchmark could be met if only one additional fish returns to spawn compared with the previous year. Make no mistake: if upheld, this plan will weaken the Endangered Species Act and the result will set a clear – and harmful -- precedent across the country. The future of efforts nationwide to restore ecosystems and imperiled wildlife, and to hold the federal government and private industry accountable, is at stake.

But this isn’t just about the law; it’s about jobs too. By striving to only "prevent further declines," this plan will leave fishermen along the West Coast in dry dock, tackle and fly shops struggling or closing, and fishing guides out of work. Many other businesses in the Northwest, while not directly tied to salmon, will feel the hit as well. Fishing communities have already made big sacrifices and suffered tremendous job losses to compensate for the dams' deadly impacts in the Columbia-Snake Basin, and this "new" plan includes no promise of actions that could lead to the actual recovery of healthy, abundant, and fishable populations.

At best, the Obama administration’s plan protects the current status quo - depressed salmon populations threatened with extinction and a depressed salmon economy with communities struggling to get by. Rather than an “insurance policy” that only kicks in once salmon populations are in the ICU, how about ensuring healthy and abundant salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers for future generations? Our region’s communities deserve a way forward that gives salmon - and the salmon economy - a plan not for relapse, but real and lasting recovery.

The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, it’s partner groups, and thousands of advocates around the country will continue to encourage the establishment of a truly inclusive collaborative process that includes all the interests who have been involved in this debate for the last two decades. A science-driven stakeholder negotiation process represents our best opportunity to develop a cost-effective, biologically-sound salmon restoration plan that is durable, works for both salmon and people, saves money, and creates good family-wage jobs in areas like fishing, clean energy, and construction.

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Bobby Hayden is the Western Regional Representative for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. He splits time between Eugene and Portland, Oregon.