I started my love affair with rivers at a very early age — spending every day possible splashing, swimming, boating or camping on wild waterways in the Inland Northwest.
My mother and I used to stand on the bridge above Spokane Falls and let the spray hit our face. And I’ll never forget the day she told me that salmon used to make it all the way to these falls — massive 100-pound “June hogs” — but I would never see those salmon in my lifetime. Grand Coulee dam, upon its completion, successfully cut off salmon populations from their upstream spawning grounds and stifled one of the most powerful rivers in the world.
From that moment, my passion for rivers and salmon snowballed to where we are today. It is why we’re working with the kick-ass folks of Save Our Wild Salmon, who have channeled their passion to one river — the Snake River that begins in the heart of the Tetons and flows through the rugged Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho to feed the mighty Columbia. This dedicated group is taking on the federal government to remove four dams, restore a free-flowing Snake River and recover the iconic Snake River salmon in the rugged Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.
And today, I read a post over on the Osprey blog from Craig Childs who is on the Rio Baker in Patagonia with the Rios Libres group working to protect the free-flowing river from proposed hydropower dams:
I don’t know why I want this river to run. I could not sit at a table with a microphone and explain it. I don’t know why the heart breaks when we have drawn and quartered yet another landscape, named it as ours, used it to fuel our every global ambition from paper clips to plastic cups. But god do I want this river to move, another dark thread binding the surface of this planet, another path uninterrupted.
That is exactly why we’re fighting so hard for free-flowing rivers. Because our heart demands it. Because we’re it. We’re the last generation who can save these rivers for our kids and grandkids. To the folks at Save Our Wild Salmon: Keep up the good fight. We’re with you every step of the way!