However, I am always buoyed when I see something that pretty much aligns perfectly with what I've been saying or trying to say all along. Thanks Salmon Community (i.e. Save Our Wild Salmon, Idaho Rivers United, et. al.) They just sent out a whole bunch of accurate information as to the situation with our wild salmonids of the Columbia/Snake and it is an accurate photograph of the situation while the federal agencies in charge of "recovery" paint an inaccurate picture of "record returns," which should be (barring modern day ignorance levels that are astounding in this age of information and apathy that is expected in this age of disconnect) be laughable on its face but somehow it isn't (astounding ignorance levels and expected apathy).
Salmon Nation, run-on sentences aside, I've posted up the numbers on the homepage that are in this great effort to get editors and reporters off their collective tushes and back refocusing the salmon narrative where it needs to be (real recovery, not government wind bags touting lies so you won't look behind the curtain). That used to be journalism's job, maybe they'll get back to it. Who knows?
Anyway, 137 other species rely on salmon for survival. You might not realize it, but you do as well. If I could explain this premise simply, imagine if you were reduced to one food source. Say, from now on you only get Pimento Cheese sandwiches. I bet you'd take care of the dairy cows and pimentos and wheat then.
The ole no one stood up when they came for the whoever bit comes to mind. Well, who is going to stand up for you when you don't have but one food source because you didn't care about all of the other species that went extinct in your lifetime. So I find myself appealing to your selfish self. Wild salmonid survival in the Columbia/Snake has as much to do with Mankind's survival as anything you have ever read about or concerned yourself with I promise you.
Scientists tell us that nature should have at least half of the world (land and water) conserved in order for biodiversity to be sustained. Therein lies all the arguments of land use and resource depletion. Whether your head is stuck in the sand on climate change is a moot point when you realize the carbon dioxide storage in the ocean has already reached levels that make it hard for shell growing organisms to grow shells. One huge food chain link in the ocean is already 35 percent smaller than they were in 1998 due to too much carbon dioxide in the ocean from fossil fuels.
The oceans have 40 percent less phytoplankton in them now than they did in 1950. This is a vital food source for salmon and there is 40 percent less of it in the world. Another food source of salmon are literally 35 percent smaller than they were 17 years ago.
We've destroyed the salmon's migratory habitat by damming up the Snake and Columbia rivers and we are destroying the ocean by making it too acidic for many of the food sources salmon depend upon. We spent the better part of the last half of the 19th century destroying the salmon's natal stream habitat through logging, mining, et. al. and we overfished salmon with reckless abandon.
We have other ways to make electricity and we don't have to ship things by water from Lewiston/Clarkston (we already ship more by rail than by water from there anyway). We should work toward breaching the four lower Snake River dams. We should start phasing out hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest because hatchery fish are a poor substitute and they compete for resources with wild salmon and steelhead in our rivers and ocean. We should remove our dependence on fossil fuels and move toward more sustainable and more friendly sources of energy. But I'll compromise with the slower on the uptake crowd, just breach the four lower Snake River dams and we'll monitor the wild salmon recovery
When are we going to stand up for salmon? Those federal agencies presiding over the extinction of wild salmon and steelhead aren't standing up for salmon. They purposely lie about record runs because salmon being endangered is a cash cow for their agencies. They have no interest in recovering our wild salmon and steelhead runs. They lose billions of dollars and a huge amount of the "work" they have to do. In other words, the wrong people are in charge of the recovery of salmon and we can't expect there to be any progress so long as this is the case.
There are people who know what needs to be done for wild salmon and steelhead to recover, unfortunately, all we can do is sue those federal agencies over and over again in court. Being right isn't the bulletproof vest people think it is.