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.