Friday, August 19, 2011

Work Party for a Portland Gem

Participants in Portland's 2011 Backyard Collective

Members of the Save Our Wild Salmon crew were on hand for this year's Backyard Collective hosted by the Conservation AllianceThe Backyard Collectives provide a great way for member companies of the Alliance and Alliance grantee organizations to link up and give back to their local communities.

This year we were in Portland's Forest Park.  At over 5000 acres, with 70 miles of trails, 170 species of native fauna, 100 species of native flora, and all within 5 minutes from downtown, Forest Park is truly a local gem. We split up into teams and headed into the park to work alongside staff and volunteers from the Forest Park Conservancy and staff from the City of Portland.  The name of the game today was trail maintenance and restoration: pulling invasives, hauling rocks, shoveling gravel, digging dirt, re-sculpting the slope.

All in all it was a rewarding and productive day.  And we got to hang with some great folks from participating companies:  Keen, Columbia, REI, Merrell, Nau, Horny Toad, Icebreaker, Patagonia, Stanley

Volunteers from Merrell and Nau

Rhett and Jeff borrow dirt to rebuild the trail.  Thanks, Earth.

Serena Bishop from Conservation Alliance and Stephen Hatfield from Forest Park Conservancy
share some thoughts and give thanks.  Nice work everyone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Patagonia spreads the word

From the Cleanest Line:

Here at Patagonia, we have two or three holy grails of conservation. One is the permanent protection of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wild Refuge and another the restoration of the legendary salmon runs in the Columbia and Snake River Basin.

With the recent federal court ruling on the latest Obama administration's salmon plan, we asked Steven Hawley, journalist, author (Recovering a Lost River), salmon expert and self- proclaimed river rat for his take on the federal court decision. Here’s Steven, with a fish story that’s about a lot more than fish. 

Read Steve Hawley's post at Patagonia's Cleanest Line.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Salmon Mean Celebration!

And photo-ops with fans (we love you too Icebreaker).

This year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was a blast.  We got a chance to meet with many of our business allies face to face and thank them for their ongoing support.  And we attended the Conservation Alliance Breakfast; this year's guest was Shelton Johnson, author and ranger with National Parks Service.  Hear the podcast of his great speech.

What's more, this was our first public opportunity to share (and celebrate!) the news of Judge Redden's ruling in favor of salmon and Northwest communities.  At the show we were able to garner a bunch of signers on the 2011 Salmon Mean Business letter to President Obama and Congress.  All total, the letter signers span 34 states and include commercial and recreational fishing businesses; outdoor retailers and equipment makers; food, farm, restaurant and tourism businesses; and clean energy businesses. 

The highlight of the show for us: the fabulous salmon happy hour hosted by our great new friends at Alite Designs, Light and Motion, and Boreas Gear. We were very proud to serve wild smoked salmon from Jensen's Smokehouse

Check out the highlights below!

Cleverness from Alite

Max and Jessica of Light and Motion 

Bobby serves up some of Jensen's super-delicious wild smoked salmon. 

Buster (Tae from Alite) discusses long-term recovery options for Snake River salmon.

Buster announces winners of the rad raffle.
Buster's never-ending thirst for solutions.

Thanks so much to the Conservation Alliance, the Outdoor Industry Association, and everyone at OR! See you in the winter!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1000+ US businesses raise their voice for solutions

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nearly 1,200 American businesses have asked President Obama for decisive change in the government’s failed policy to restore endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.  

The request comes in the form of a national letter, following U.S. District Judge James Redden ruling on August 2, 2011 finding the administration’s current salmon plan illegal.  

The letter signers from across 34 states include commercial and recreational fishing businesses; outdoor retailers and equipment makers; food, farm, restaurant and tourism businesses; and clean energy businesses.

Recent media on the national business letter:
Register Guard - Businesses unite for salmon 
Public News Service - NW Businesses to Obama: More Salmon = More Jobs
Juneau Empire - Faulty Columbia Basin salmon plan bad for salmon and jobs

Voices from national business leaders:

“Salmon recovery is a catalyst for job creation and growth in hundreds of outdoor and recreation-based companies, on the west coast and nationwide. The more than 175 outdoor companies of The Conservation Alliance all need healthy habitats and watersheds for their customers to enjoy the products they make and sell, but federal salmon policy is not producing them.  We need President Obama to change this.  It makes no sense to keep spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars on a salmon policy that costs jobs instead of growing them.” 
- John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance

“Wild salmon are a cornerstone for food and restaurant businesses.  Customers expect fresh, nutritious, and sustainable salmon, which federal policies are not producing right now.  If President Obama changes them, food jobs and healthy eating will both benefit.”
- Barton Seaver, chef and National Geographic Fellow

“For those of us lucky to live in the Northwest, sportfishing is literally our second paycheck.  NSIA and many of our businesses signed the business letter to President Obama and Congress because, frankly there is too much at stake.  ESA Listed Columbia River salmon constrain fisheries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, as well as the Ocean fisheries from N. California to Alaska and off the Coast of Canada.  These fisheries are worth hundreds of millions annually, making this Salmon policy a jobs issue that deeply impacts a diverse set of industries.  We are sick of salmon plans that do not meet the scientific or legal red face test, and we want a new approach to salmon policy NOW.” 
- Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA).  

“Commercial fishing businesses, and many other related industry jobs up and down the west coast will keep shrinking or shut down if the government’s 20-year failure to restore endangered Columbia/Snake salmon doesn’t change. We ask President Obama to hear our case, hear the court, and then change his salmon policy so salmon-based jobs stop shrinking and start growing.”
- Zeke Grader, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations 

Also, check out the Salmon Stories video testimonial series from Idaho River United.  Here's an example:  Chris Swersey from Silver Cloud Expeditions of Salmon, Idaho.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Attention Businesses: Join the call for real solutions in Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Federal Judge James Redden has rejected the Obama Administration's $10 billion Salmon and Steelhead Plan for the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The message is clear: the government's old efforts have failed, and it’s time for a science-driven, collaborative approach.

We are working with business leaders and allies in a coordinated response in support of the Judge’s ruling. Thousands of jobs in numerous industries hang in the balance. You can help.

Please stand with businesses from across the country by adding your business to the national letter, requesting that President Obama change failure to success in Columbia and Snake River salmon recovery. 


Wild Pacific salmon and steelhead are among America’s greatest natural resources. Once the most productive salmon landscape on the planet, the Columbia Basin’s fisheries have suffered dramatic declines in the last several decades now reaching barely 1% of historic levels. The Judge's ruling marks the third rejected plan from three administrations - Clinton, Bush, and now Obama - as illegal for similar reasons: failing to provide imperiled salmon and steelhead with a real shot at survival – and ultimately, recovery.

The best way to achieve a successful, practical, science-based, job-creating solution in the Columbia and Snake Rivers is through a multi-stakeholder collaboration.  The Obama administration has a critical opportunity to protect this valuable natural resource while creating thousands of new jobs over the short- and long-term in a variety of sectors, including commercial and recreational fishing, outdoor recreation, natural foods and food service, clean energy infrastructure, tourism.

We ask you to join a diverse coalition of wild salmon advocates and sign the national letter directed to President Obama, with ‘carbon-copies’ to Congress. The deadline is Monday, August 8th.

Please contact Joseph Bogaard at or 206.286.4455 x103 to request additional information.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Watershed Moment

Snake River © Matt Leidecker 

Salmon and communities have just won a tremendous victory! 


Federal Judge James Redden has rejected the Obama Administration's $10 billion Salmon and Steelhead Plan for the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Since 2001, three plans from three administrations - Clinton, Bush, and now Obama - have been ruled illegal for similar reasons: failing to provide imperiled salmon and steelhead with a real shot at survival – and ultimately, recovery. The message is clear: the government's old efforts have failed, and we need a new approach.

Salmon and fishing advocates, the state of Oregon, and the Nez Perce and Spokane Tribes who opposed the administration's plan are cheering this crucial ruling and stand ready to move forward. The court’s decision presents a tremendous opportunity for the businesses, fishermen, and citizens who have been working for years to restore healthy wild salmon and steelhead populations, invest in clean energy alternatives, and save taxpayer dollars.

The real work, however, is just beginning.

The Obama Administration along with members of Congress must work with affected stakeholders to chart a new course for wild salmon and salmon-dependent communities that provides solutions based on good science and economics.  We anticipate that this court ruling - and the Endangered Species Act - will continue to come under attack from some anti-salmon members of the U.S. Congress. Therefore it's all the more important for the administration to engage now.

Send a message to President Obama and key members of his administration.