Friday, June 3, 2011

Running the Gauntlet in San Francisco

Last night, a wonderful coalition of businesses and organizations and individuals teamed up to host Jim Norton and his very popular new film Salmon: Running the Gauntlet – one of the latest in the award-winning PBS Nature film series.

(From left to right) Jb, Zeke Grader, Jon Rosenfield, Jim Norton

The Aquarium of the Bay on San Francisco’s waterfront teamed up with the Save Our Wild Salmon, Earthjustice, and The Bay Institute to host the event. The room was packed – standing room only. More than 125 people attended. We started with a reception featuring delicious appetizers – smoked salmon and cheeses - served up by Kenny Belov of “2 X Sea”. Kenny is the co-owner of a very successful restaurant has developed a wide reputation as a purveyor of and articulate advocate for sustainable fisheries and seafood. Beer was generously donated by Sierra Nevada Brewing out of Chico, CA.

Kenny Belov of Two X Sea provided some great food.

Jim briefly introduced his film to kick off our program and set the stage for a lengthy Q and A session between the audience and a panel of local experts afterward.

Salmon – Running the Gauntlet was very well received. Released in early May, Running the Gauntlet has been one of the most well-watched episodes of the PBS film series, and is currently the most popular episode among the twelve most recent, based on an online poll that PBS started earlier this month. You can vote right here.

After the film we jumped immediately into Q and A. In addition to Jim, panelists included: Zeke Grader of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), Paul Johnson, owner of the Monterey Fish Market, Jon Rosenfield Ph.D of The Bay Institute, and John McManus of Earthjustice. The questions ranged across the coast and across topics: the state of the fishing economy, the politics in Congress, salmon science and litigation, the Snake River dams, the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and the San Francisco Bay Delta.

Everyone was particularly interested in how we get to “yes” - how can we bring stakeholders together (faster since these processes seem to drag out at times) and solve these salmon population crises while bringing people together and meeting community needs. They were also pretty excited about the growing number of success stories – dam removals and river restorations that really are starting to accumulate across the coast – the removal of numerous dams on the Rogue in southern Oregon, Marmot dam removal on the Sandy River outside Portland, Oregon, the impending removal of the two Elwha River dams on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, and the anticipated removal of four dams on the Klamath straddling the Oregon-California borders.

Special thanks also to American Sportfishing Association and SalmonAid for their help to promote the event.

Last, but certainly not least - our appreciation goes out to Patagonia for their generous donation of outdoor clothing that we used as door prizes at the end of the event. Patagonia is a leader in the industry - supporting wildlands conservation efforts, and healthy rivers, healthy salmon and healthy communities.

All in all another great event. Thanks especially to Jim Norton and all our fantastic partners and sponsors for helping make this event a huge success - and thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting salmon recovery, healthy rivers, and our West Coast fishing economy!

Joseph Bogaard -

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