Friday, September 7, 2012

We Moved!


The Save Our Wild Salmon Blog is now housed internally, at or more specifically:

Join us over there!
-Bobby and the SOS Team 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's wants a seat at the table

Lisa Shroeder of Mother's Bistro
Recently we got word from Lisa Schroeder, chef and owner of Mother's Bistro & Bar in downtown Portland, that she sat down with staff from Senator Merkley's office earlier this month. Lisa, a huge supporter of wild salmon and steelhead restoration, talked about the need for new stakeholder talks in the Columbia-Snake Basin. She delivered a letter to Senator Merkley carrying this same message.

Read more over on the SOS Blog's new home. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Judge Redden Supports Dam Removal

Time for a Solutions Table 

Yesterday, via a video interview with Earthfix news, U.S. Judge James Redden endorsed lower Snake River dam removal to save wild salmon.

Judge Redden, who resigned from the long-running salmon case last November after more than a decade, is intimately familiar with both the law and the science around Snake River salmon restoration. His remarks are his strongest statement on federal salmon policy to date. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Party Time! Turning 20 in 2012

We're having a party, and you're invited!

In honor of our 20th anniversary, Keen footwear is hosting a party for us here in Portland. We'll have beverages, delicious food, DJ Jimbo spinning tunes, fabulous raffle items, and some truly inspirational guest speakers.

WHEN: Thursday, April 19
TIME: 6-9 PM
WHERE: KEEN headquarters, 926 NW 13th Ave #210 (upstairs), Portland, OR
FREE Admission

Please join us in celebrating 20 years uniting people for salmon, rivers, and jobs.

RSVP on Facebook.

Interested in volunteering? Contact

Special thanks to our sponsors! Keen Footwear, Lagunitas Brewing, Klean Kanteen, Osprey Packs, Patagonia, Mother's Bistro, Under Solen, Circa 33, Bishops Barbershop, Bob's Red Mill

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BPA stifling opportunities for salmon, wind, and jobs

image credit: Garrett Downen

You’ve likely noticed an increase in posts on our website and blog about wind energy, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and strange, Orwellian phrases like “oversupply management” and “power over-generation.” And you might be asking: what does this have to do with saving wild salmon?

Turns out: A LOT. Our efforts at restoring the lower Snake River for threatened salmon and steelhead populations, and improving salmon passage at Columbia River dams, have a lot of overlap with Northwest electricity, since the largest killer of fish is our hydroelectric dams. And it’s why our Coalition is proud to work alongside groups like the NW Energy Coalition, that are leading the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The truth is that saving salmon and developing innovative renewable power sources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency provide an opportunity to achieve mutually beneficial goals. More power generated by renewables means less power needed from the hydrosystem, which in turn means restored fish, more jobs, and cleaner energy for the Northwest. But the current policies of the Bonneville Power Administration run counter to this opportunity, and counter to important priorities of the Obama administration.

Too much hydropower?

We’re lucky in the Northwest to have abundant renewable power sources. In fact, last year we had so much snow that our rivers filled and huge amounts of water pushed through the 200+ hydroelectric dams of the Columbia and Snake River basins. We actually had TOO MUCH hydropower in the spring last year (this will likely be the case into the near future). So BPA regularly turned off wind farms’ access to the transmission grid over a 2-month period, depriving them of millions of dollars in revenue.

BPA framed this issue in the media as an oversupply problem – “too much wind” which the agency simply couldn’t keep up with. But the base problem was too much hydro, a predictable situation BPA had several years to plan for that it did not take good advantage of.

BPA blames fish.

BPA’s justification for cutting off wind energy last year was that it was "necessary" to protect endangered salmon. This is false. Salmon have higher survival when the river runs like a river; not surprisingly, their odds of surviving their downstream journey increase if they’re washed over the tops of dams rather than sucked through power turbines or physically collected and trucked or barged downstream. It’s true that too much water spilling over the tops of dams can create harmful gas levels in the water, but the science has long been clear that salmon largely benefit from additional spill. Indeed, our analysis showed that even the high levels of gas last spring and summer were a minor issue for migrating salmon.

That’s why SOS’s fishing and conservation groups are urging BPA to adopt policies that increase spill, thus helping both salmon and the wind industry. (read the full breakdown)

National media takes note - Congress begins to weigh in.

BPA’s decision to cut off wind and blame salmon has received national media attention. Recently, New York Times – Green Blog reporter Matthew Wald published an update on the issue.

Wald’s article highlights the disconnect between BPA’s proposals and the Obama administration’s clean energy priorities. The U.S. Department of Energy’s goal is to produce 20% of America’s electricity from wind power by 2030. BPA’s policy needlessly discourages wind industry growth essential to achieving that goal.

Members of Congress have also taken note. In early 2011, before BPA initiated their wind cut-off policy, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent a letter to BPA expressing concern over the policy and urging the agency to delay formal adoption and allow for alternative approaches.

Then in May of 2011, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "I strongly encourage DOE [Department of Energy] to work with BPA to consider all potential alternatives," Markey wrote in the letter. "I ask that BPA pursue options that may be available to avoid a situation that could severely limit current wind production and future development in the Pacific Northwest as well as set a negative precedent nationally for addressing future renewable energy integration challenges," Markey continued.

Markey’s comments make clear that BPA’s policies are deserving of this national attention and oversight.

Opportunity, not “Problem”

As mentioned, this issue isn’t going away. Odds are good we’ll again have too much power this spring. But the situation offers an opportunity – not a problem – for our regional and national leaders to take actions this year, and in the next 5-10 years, that benefit fish, clean energy, jobs, and ratepayers. We will continue to fight for better BPA policies that seize this opportunity, starting this spring.

Here’s a timeline of the last year to help illustrate what’s happened so far:

Winter 2010-11: Heavy snows pack our mountains.

Spring 2011: Snow pack begins melting, increasing water levels in NW rivers to very high levels.

February 18, 2011: BPA issues “Draft Record of Decision on Environmental Redispatch and Negative Pricing Policy,” the oddly-named proposal to shut down wind power in high water conditions.

May 12, 2011: Op-Ed by SOS executive director Pat Ford runs in the Seattle Times.

May 13, 2011: BPA issues final Record of Decision, thereby implementing the so-called “Environmental Redispatch” policy.

May 18, 2011: First wind farms curtailed as a result of the policy.

June 11, 2011: Wind industry members file official complaint with FERC against BPA.

July 10, 2011: Last of the curtailments of wind occur and wind farms resume normal operation.

July 18, 2011: SOS intervenes in the complaint to FERC on the side of salmon .

September 21, 2011: SOS releases report on the impact of dissolved gas on salmon following the curtailment policy and finds NO BIOLOGICAL BASIS for the policy.

December 7, 2011: FERC rules in favor of the wind industry and salmon.

February 7, 2012: BPA publicly presents a new draft protocol for 2012 in response to the ruling from FERC.

February 7 - February 21, 2012: Nearly 90 groups submit comments on BPA’s draft protocol, nearly all in opposition.

March 6, 2012: BPA formally submits its protocol to FERC, ignoring the vast majority of the comments submitted.

March 27, 2012: SOS files an official protest and comments with FERC, again citing the lack of biological basis for BPA’s curtailment policy, and instead proposing practical solutions that benefit both salmon and clean energy.

Trail Runner features The Great Salmon Run

Luke Nelson and Ty Draney in the Snake River Basin © Matt Irving
Trail Runner Magazine recently published a great feature article from endurance runner Luke Nelson, telling the story of his truly epic journey, along with fellow ultrarunner Ty Draney, through some of the best salmon habitat left in the world: the Snake River Basin.

How epic?  We're talking about a "two-day run of well over 120 miles of rugged terrain with a total elevation gain of about 20,000 feet" kind of epic.

Here's the intro:

The cold penetrates to my core. I am lying underneath my giant Forest Service map as a rogue thunderstorm bathes the canyon, an intense deluge that lasts about 30 minutes. Ty Draney, my good friend and ultrarunner extraordinaire, who is under the other map that we brought, sounds like he is getting some rest. I am incredibly envious that he is able to doze off, as I am shivering far too hard to coax my body into even a light sleep. The rain quickly passes, and I endure the shivering for another 10 to 15 minutes. Then I crack. I wake Ty and again we force our depleted bodies to move.

Several years before I found myself sleeping under an oversize map, I worked on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as a raft guide. That summer I often pondered what it would be like to travel through the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness along the river on the trail. I didn't run at the time, and it seemed impossible—80 miles of travel along the river followed by another 40 or so to get back to civilization. Yet the seed had been planted.

Read on over at Trail Runner

Friday, March 23, 2012

Men's Journal Features LSR Dam Removal

We highly recommend checking out the April issue of Men's Journal, which features an article by Kevin Gray examining the impact of the hydrosystem on salmon survival in the Columbia-Snake Basin.

Gray's piece points out that saving salmon is as much about saving local economies and jobs as it is about the fish themselves, saying that the four lower Snake River dams, "have resulted in the loss of approximately half of each year's outbound population, not to mention millions of dollars in revenue from once-thriving sport and commercial fishing industry small towns like Riggins [ID]."

He quotes Kerry Brennan, a 59-year-old fishing guide in Riggins who has spent his entire life on the river, "Dams are always thought of as progress and jobs. That's how they got them in in the first place. But now they're killing the fish, and they're killing towns like this. That ain't right."

No, Kerry, no it isn't. Especially not when taking the four lower Snake River dams out could result in the kind of economic development this region needs, through renewable energy, improved transportation infrastructure, and increases in wild fish supporting numerous industries.

Guides like Kerry deserve a say in the matter. That's why we're pushing for a stakeholder process that takes Kerry's opinion into account, as well as ratepayers, and commercial fishermen, and farmers, barge workers, tribes and all the other entities that have something major to lose if salmon go extinct (which, by the way, they're fast on their way towards becoming). Learn more about what we mean by a stakeholder process.

It's our last chance to save the salmon, and we need to move quickly before it's too late. JOIN US in asking for a solutions table.

Read the full article online, or pick up your copy in stores now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Court-Ordered Spill Helps Salmon Returns and Jobs

Salmon projections still not meeting federal government's own recovery levels despite "record returns" spin.

Deschutes River steelhead, courtesy of David Farris

Listen to the story "Hard to Catch, Harder to Count" from Public News Service.

Portland, OR — Last week, Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife released projection estimates for spring returns of adult salmon. The numbers, certain to be adjusted as the fish start returning, indicate the potential for a stronger return in the Columbia and Snake Rivers than was seen in 2011. Scientists and fish biologists attribute these returns to ocean conditions, as well as due to in-river conditions including increases in court-ordered spill at the federal dams to support fish migration.

Projections are a valuable tool in setting fisheries policies, but they are only estimates and are subject to frequent adjustment. In 2009 and 2010, actual fish returns were significantly lower than projections indicated.

Read more from the SOS Press Release.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HB 4101: Serious Issue, Bad Bill

The Columbia River Gorge looking upstream towards Crown Point. by Eric Guinther

Oregon recently avoided legislative disaster when House Bill 4101 was sent to the Rules Committee, where it currently lives. And hopefully, it stays there because HB 4101 is nothing but all sorts of bad news for salmon. While the bill addresses a very serious issue that deserves attention, it does so in a way that is unscientific, inequitable, premature, and frankly, unnecessary.

We outlined our arguments against HB 4101 in an official letter submitted last week. Here are some excerpted highlights:
Our coalition of more than 50 organizations and 4 million members and supporters nationwide believes this bill, as written, will harm our efforts to protect and restore salmon and the family-wage jobs they support in the Columbia-Snake River Basin.
The question of how best to address water resource issues in a changing climate is a serious matter and deserves serious attention. We applaud the Oregon Legislature and the Governor’s office for looking ahead on this matter and seeking solutions to the challenge of meeting Oregon’s water needs. We are concerned that HB 4101, however, does not do justice to this complex issue, and may set up a dynamic that risks pitting interests against each other instead of finding ways to work together to solve our collective water issues. […]

The questions surrounding our state’s invaluable water resources are complex and they must be addressed carefully, thoughtfully, and rationally. Indeed, we need to get ahead of these issues and manage them proactively. However, HB 4101 misses the mark for achieving the shared goal of smart, science-based, forward-looking water resource management that protects Oregon’s greatest assets.
Read the full text of the letter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paul Fish: Salmon Super Hero

Mountain Gear and President Paul Fish of Spokane, WA were honored recently at the 2012 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show as the Sustainable Retailer of the Year. SNEWS and Backpacker Magazine presented the award, which honors outdoor retailers that embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and serve as visionaries for the outdoor market and as leaders in the communities they serve.

Said Fish of the award, “We follow sustainable models at Mountain Gear because it’s the right thing to do. But this award also serves notice that these initiatives are good for business. The notion of sustainability is more than the rainwater we reclaim to water our grounds, it’s more than our compost pile and our garden. It extends to the business model, too. If we’re ethical and transparent we earn the trust of our employees, customers, vendors, and communities. That is sustainability.”

Read the full article about the award at this link.

Save Our wild Salmon has been honored to have Paul’s support for many years. Paul knows that a health environment means a healthy economy, and that wild salmon are critical for both. He’s carried this philosophy through his business model and is a true shining example of a sustainable business.

Congratulations to Paul Fish and Mountain Gear!

Mountain Gear was one of nearly 1,200 American businesses that signed our Salmon Mean Business letter calling on President Obama to try a new approach in NW salmon restoration. You can also read Paul’s recent guest blog for us about why salmon restoration is so critical for our economy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Showing NOAA Some Love for Valentine’s Day

We asked, and you delivered. After a call to action, Save Our wild Salmon supporters sent in nearly 1,200 Valentine’s Day cards for Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Several hundred of these were customized into unique limericks or heartfelt messages. Overwhelmed by the level of response we received, we wanted to share some of the love with you today by posting our top 10 favorites (some tough decisions here!). All of the valentine’s were printed and delivered to Dr. Lubchenco this morning along with some Portland, OR crafted chocolates to really show her how much we all care about restoring wild salmon to our rivers and about how important her support is on this critical issue.

Click here for the PNS radio story featuring some additional highlights.

Happy Valentine’s Day to ALL of you, Salmon-Supporters!


From Karen in Oregon:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

Salmon are red,
Rivers are blue,
Let's sit at a table
and talk this through!

We can make a good plan
To save our native stock
And speedy implementation
Would totally rock.

Much better than chocolate
Or a beautiful red rose
Is a healthy ecosystem
And adequate flows.

So let's get to work
And together we can
Resolve all the issues
And deliver that plan.


From Peter in Montana:

Dear Dr. Lubchenco,

Each June I stand at the overlook at Dagger Falls near the headwaters of the Middle Fork Salmon River and watch Chinook. Over and over again they leaps up the falls, only to be denied by the force of the water and come crashing back into the pool below. But they won't be denied. They try again and again until finally, they get it just right, and the desire in their body finds a way to arc through air and pounding water to reach the pool above. It's an impressive sight, made all the more impressive by the fact that these fish have already swam some 700 miles before they reach this spot. As you know, the numbers that make it are but the thinnest remnant of what used to fin these waters each year, providing nourishment for Shoshone, eagle, bear, even the lodge pole and spruce forests that line the bank. Unfortunately the state of salmon conservation in Idaho feels a bit like the salmon that keeps leaping and falling back into the pool below. Years of negotiations and effort have failed to find a way to successfully get past the political barriers and reach the pool above the falls. Yet that is where we need to go. For it is in the reaches and side streams above the falls that these salmon find the conditions needed to spawn. Only beyond the falls of political gridlock can we ensure the conditions necessary that these salmon will continue to make this incredible, nourishing journey for millennium to come. To get there, we need a solid working plan. Time is running out. Please ensure that our next leap is the successful one and that the millions of years of knowledge encoded in these fish will not die out on our watch.


From Glenyce in Washington:

Dear Dr. Lubchenco,

Salmon are red,
Rivers are blue,
Let's sit at a table
and talk this through!

My People cry
'cause the fish die
before they reach Home
to breed and survive!

Free flowing water,
clear, cool, and pure,
helps all God's creatures
live well in the future.

Our duty's clear,
to clean the mess,
preserve and protect,
Wild Salmon, the best!


From William in Nevada:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

Please help initiate a new dialogue among key stakeholders, including fisherman, farmers, and clean energy companies, to meet at a "solutions table' and use science and economics to consider all credible salmon restoration options, including removing the dams in the lower Snake River in eastern Washington.


From Susan in Washington:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

Salmon are red,
Rivers are blue,
Let's sit at a table
and talk this through!

Orcas are black & white,
Chinook salmon are yummy,
We need to make sure there's enough
to fill EVERY orca's tummy!


From Eric in Alaska:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

I have been in love with salmon trolling since my parents took me fishing on their small troller when I was five months old. It has been a wonderful romance for over 60 years. I have dedicated myself to conserving salmon since I read, "Return to the River," the life story of a Chinook salmon, when I was 10 years old. I have been the recipient of national awards from the US Forest Service and National Fisherman Magazine for my work helping conserve salmon. But, nothing I have done can compare to what you can do by taking aggressive leadership on the Columbia-Snake Basin. Please lead.


From Justin in Idaho:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

How much more money needs spend, data collected, or time wasted before we come to conclusion the river system we have created does not work for anyone. Salmon and Steelhead die by the millions before ever reaching the ocean. Sediment is plugging reservoirs and threatening the very communities and industries they were designed to protect. Agencies are playing tug of war with communities up and down Snake promising solutions and providing none. Please help be part of the solution and end the gridlock that is only prolonging the inevitable before extinction of our wild stocks ends it first.


From Matt in Colorado:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

There is no way to calculate the enormous value of salmon to our ecosystems and our economy. No resource extraction or dam/reservoir project will outweigh the benefits of conserving, enhancing, or restoring salmon habitat, regardless what the proponents of these projects say. My experiences with rivers and the ecosystems they feed have granted me immeasurable joy since childhood and eventually led me to my career. It makes me very sad to think that one day my children may not be able to experience rivers and fish the way I have. It is my obligation as a concerned citizen, future father, and professional to voice these concerns in hopes that you and our U.S. government make the right decisions regarding the future of salmon.


From Lisa in Kentucky:

Dear Dr. Lubchenco,

Salmon are red,
Rivers are blue,
Let's sit at a table
and talk this through!

We can work it out
to the benefit of all
if you'll take a few minutes
to heed our call!


From Scott in New Jersey:

Dear Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

No time like the present to secure a future for our salmon – restoring salmon & rivers is a boon to the economy for the jobs created in the local community. Please help get the dialogue going.

Thank you & Happy Valentine's Day!


The lovely, awesome Susan Holmes delivering your Valentine's Day messages to Dr. Lubchenco in DC today (photo by Lucy Cosgrove, age 5).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Toxic Oil Spill on the Lower Snake; What Next?

Last week, we heard some disturbing news about the lower Snake River, a critical migration route to some of the world’s best habitat for wild salmon and steelhead populations protected by the Endangered Species Act. Over 1,500 gallons of transformer oil (which is being tested for polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) has been spilling slowly out of Ice Harbor Dam, likely since last June. The leak went undiscovered until this past December.

The Environmental Protection Agency is now investigating what appears to be an obvious violation of the Clean Water Act.

(Bert Bowler of Snake River Salmon Solutions gave a recent interview about the oil spill - read or hear it HERE)

The news is disheartening for the conservationists, fishermen, businesses, and scientists that have long identified the removal of the lower Snake River dams as a critical component to achieving true salmon restoration in the Columbia and Snake River Basins. Economic and scientific analyses over the last ten years have highlighted the costs of aging infrastructure. And apparently, leaking transformer oil is not a new issue at all, but is a chronic problem about which the Army Corps of Engineers is well aware.

As they attempt fix the leaks (a difficult task considering the location and complexity of the powerhouse systems), this recent equipment failure raises real questions about the longevity of these structures and the real costs of maintenance going forward (Ice Harbor dam is rapidly approaching its 50th birthday).

Failed federal salmon policy in the Snake River Basin has cost American taxpayers and Northwest energy ratepayers literally billions of dollars. Recent reports point to a steady decline in barge transportation on the river in the last decade. The construction of a heavily subsidized barging corridor on the river was the primary reason for building the four dams in the first place. And now we also learn that the high-cost, low-value four lower Snake River dams are creating toxic oil spills.

When will it end?

It’s time for economics and science to win out over politics. Take Action Here. Please support our call for a new approach to Columbia Basin salmon restoration that could address, among other things, the growing problems we face as a result of steadily aging infrastructure.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sea Change for Port of Lewiston?

by Pat Ford, Executive Director and Sam Mace, Inland Northwest Director

A recent article in the Lewiston Tribune reveals that the waterway component of the Port of Lewiston – that part which relies on the lower Snake River dams – is in a decline that will be difficult to reverse. Waterway shipping of staple farm products and other goods is declining. This is mainly (but not totally) because the Port of Tacoma – to which products must be trucked or railed – is increasingly preferred by ocean shippers and customers to the Port of Portland, due to differences in the ease and cost of big boats getting to each.

This helps to explain the intensity with which the Port of Lewiston pursued Exxon’s tar sands mega-loads, despite the harm done to many of its neighbors upriver along Highway 12. The work of tribes, cities, businesses, and conservationists to stop those shipments appears to have paid off, however. Exxon has apparently taken the lower Snake waterway out of its plans, which is a good thing for Idaho and Montana, but a hard blow to the Port’s search for new waterway business.

The waterway’s other main problem looking forward is that maintenance and repair of the aging navigation facilities on the lower Snake, in a time of Congressional austerity, doesn’t make the cut in the Army Corps of Engineers’ numerical rating test that identifies priority projects. The two problems are related: declining use further hurts the rating.

But there is a further aspect that we who support removing the lower Snake dams see clearly. The lower Snake waterway and the Port of Lewiston are not identical. The Port also has trucking and rail functions, and those are stable or growing. We are told more of the Port’s business activity and employment now occurs in these two functions than in the waterway.

The Port of Lewiston and the people it serves and benefits can have a healthy future without the lower Snake waterway. Save Our wild Salmon supports that better future for the Port, and effective, affordable farm-to-market transportation for growers in eastern Washington and north-central Idaho. The lower Snake waterway is not essential to either, as real-world economics are confirming.

(There is further information about the Port and waterway on Bert Bowler’s salmon website: Click on “transportation” in the left menu.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mascot Love at Outdoor Retailer

by Bobby Hayden, National Rep @ Save Our Wild Salmon

Allie Bombach (L) and Sarah Menzies (R) of Red Reel video with Buster, Big Foot, Ice-P
What an awesome couple of days!

They love each other.
Gilly Lyons and I had some great meetings and check-ins at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market with some of our longtime friends at KEEN, Patagonia, Osprey Packs, Granite Gear, Petzl, Kelty, Black Diamond, Ruff Wear, Under Solen Media and many more! Also built on some new connections with Cloudveil, GSI Outdoors, Wilderness Press and others.

The Saturday happy hour hosted by Osprey Packs was a blast! It was great to hang with the Osprey folks along with the Alaska Wilderness League and Leave No Trace. Special thanks to Osprey, Timmy O'Neill and Red Reel Video for their help!  Stay tuned for an awesome video of mascots Buster, Bigfoot, and Ice-P from Red Reel in a few weeks.

Also special thanks to fearless big mountain backcountry skier Mark Kogelmann and his awesome dog Marlowe for opening their home to us and our gear.

Your moment of zen provided by Captain and Tennille:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Osprey Packs to host Buster, Ice-P, Bigfoot, and Timmy O'Neil at Outdoor Retailer

Our dear friends at Osprey Packs are hosting an awesome party to benefit Save Our Wild Salmon, Alaska Wilderness League, and Leave No Trace at this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

More about the party from Osprey:

"Enjoy a White Russian and keep the glass. Meet the girls in white dresses, boys in tutus and environmental mascots. Donate to Leave No Trace, Alaska Wilderness League and Save our Wild Salmon and win great prize packages."

And by mascots, they mean our very own Buster the Wild Snake River Sockeye Salmon, Ice-P the savvy spokesbear for the Alaska Wilderness League, and Bigfoot who lives the dream with Leave No Trace.  Of course there's also Timmy O'Neill, adventurer, comedian, drummer, super salmon friend and mascot to the world, who will be MC'ing the event.

Check out the cool flyer:

We're excited to ring in the new year with all of our allies in the Outdoor Retailer community!

If you happen to be in Salt Lake City this week, please stop on by.
We'll be live tweeting from the event - follow @savewildsalmon and #ORShow

“What Are YOU Wearing Today?” Happy Hour
When: 4 to 6pm, Saturday January 21, 2012
Where: Osprey Booth #5011 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in SLC

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Outside Sees Momentum for Dam Removal in 2012

Outside Magazine is as encouraged by recent dam removal projects in the Pacific Northwest as we are. Citing the recent river restoration projects on the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers, they list the four Lower Snake River dams as number six for their 2012 Editor’s Choice feature. The feature covers the editors “outdoor pleasures” and is “a mix of the good and the guilty- so we made a list.”

Pick of your copy of Outside’s February 2012 issue at news stands today! Or check out some of the other featured items at the website:

Thank you Outside Magazine for adding your voice to the ever-growing list of supporters for true wild salmon and steelhead restoration in the Columbia and Snake River basins.

Curious what you can do to help save wild salmon? CLICK HERE

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Patagonia’s Salmon Super Heroes

Yvon Chouinard, president and founder of Patagonia, has long been a champion for salmon and a proud advocate for removing dams, including the four lower Snake River dams. Understanding that salmon restoration is as much an economic consideration as a conservation one, Patagonia was one of the nearly 1,200 signers on the “Salmon Mean Business” letter sent to President Obama last August. Chouinard and his team at Patagonia are true salmon super heroes.

This month, we were thrilled to see that Chouinard chose to feature dam removal in Patagonia’s Mountain 2012 catalog. In the essay titled “Dammed if we don’t” (p. 18), Chouinard reflects on his love of wild rivers, and the need to remove the four lower Snake River dams in order to restore wild Pacific salmon populations:

“Four crucial dams to take out if we wish to restore wild Pacific salmon are on the lower Snake River – a tributary to the Columbia River and one of our planet’s mightiest salmon producers. Every fisheries biologist not in the pocket of the Bonneville Power Administration agrees that the dams must come down. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state and local governments in the area lack backbone and refuse to act on good science…”

Read the full essay.

Last September, Chouinard also attended the festivities in Port Angeles, Washington to celebrate the commencement of the Elwha River Restoration Project (which includes one of the largest dam removal projects in US history, now well under way). We were lucky to be invited to participate in a presentation with Chouinard at the annual Elwha River Science Symposium as featured guests. SOS Inland Northwest Director Sam Mace spoke about the need for a new approach to salmon policy on the Columbia/Snake; her comments connecting the Elwha River to the Snake River, and a few closing thoughts from Chouinard, are included in this short video:

Huge thanks to Patagonia!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Salmon…and bikinis?

by Amy Baird, SOS communications director

“Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” – Aaron Levenstein

I talk to a lot of people everyday about wild salmon restoration efforts on the Columbia and Snake Rivers here in the Pacific Northwest. Those people vary from elected leaders, to young entrepreneurs, to activists, to the friendly guy who runs the coffee shop up the street. I talk to a lot of committed conservationists, fish biologists, and even those who know little to nothing about salmon except how delicious they taste. It’s a subject with a complex history and political nuances that dwarfs even presidential campaigns. From my vantage point in dealing with business leaders, I realize just how much I take for granted the direct connection between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

That said, polling conducted over the last couple of decades reflects a need to increase public education about this issue. At a time when our economy is still struggling, unemployment still stubbornly high, and a living wage difficult to come by, recognizing that salmon restoration creates jobs is critical. Our environment and economy are very much tied to each other, not at odds. We can indeed restore salmon and create jobs via innovation in the transportation sector, development in renewable energy, increases in energy efficiency, and increasing access to fish that thousands of Northwest businesses, families, and communities are reliant upon.

Recent polling conducted by Earthfix/DHM reflects the need to provide information on the economics behind environmental protection. Many of the questions in the survey implied a contrast or even opposition between the economy and the environment, when we know the opposite is true (just look at the Sandy or Elwha River restoration projects). Survey results are entirely dependent on how a question is phrased.

At the end of the day, polling like this really reinforces why we need a new approach to salmon restoration on the Columbia/Snake Rivers. A collaborative process that addresses the science and economics behind salmon restoration and addresses the needs of ALL the stakeholders involved is possible, and has worked on other tough conflicts in which the environment and economy are closely intertwined. It’s time to make both our jobs, and our environment, our priority. Join me in asking our elected leaders to convene a solutions table for salmon: TAKE ACTION