In the midst of rightful concern over the plight of the Gulf, consuming conversations about the latest Supreme Court nominee, and the daily soap opera that has become our economy it's easy to become overwhelmed. Information fatigue is real; each of us can only care so much, and only has so much attention to spare after the job, the family and daily chores are taken care of. It's precisely why we feel the need to bring you this news from our friends at Save Our Wild Salmon. They're in the midst of a campaign that could determine the fate of the Endangered Species Act. At a time when so much attention is immediate and aimed at putting out fires today, lending a hand to a group that's looking out – and fighting for – a precious piece of our future can provide a much-needed tonic of hope.
“What is at stake here goes far beyond the issue of salmon recovery. To me, it raises the question of whether we have the courage and the will to reconcile the growing contradiction between the world we say we want to leave our children and the one we are actually creating through the decisions we make today. And it calls into question our capacity to take explicit and intentional action to shape our own future rather than to simply react to circumstances, allowing by default our future to become a matter of chance. It’s time to fight for salmon. It’s time to fight for us. It’s time to fight for our future.” — John Kitzhaber, former governor of Oregon, currently running for a third term
On the heels of the catastrophic oil spill that is crushing wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration is poised to make a decision this week that could change the fate of endangered species in this country. On Thursday, May 20, the Administration will release a federal salmon plan that will do one of two things for endangered wildlife: protect the Endangered Species Act, or weaken it. A decision to weaken the ESA for the West’s iconic Columbia and Snake River salmon could send an ecological ripple across the country — affecting every endangered species in the nation.
And the situation doesn’t look good. Instead of charting its own path, the administration is working off an illegal Bush administration plan for endangered salmon.
[Salmon moving upstream. Photo: © University of Washington, Thomas Quinn]
The Columbia-Snake Rivers may not be in your own backyard, but the effects of this decision certainly will be. Take action today to save salmon and protect America’s endangered species. These fish are fighting right now to survive — tackling a gauntlet of dams, escaping predators and climbing higher than any salmon on Earth. They’re doing their part. Now let’s do ours.
Because they return to the biggest, highest and best-protected habitat in America, endangered Snake River salmon are considered the West’s best chance to save salmon for future generations in an environment threatened by climate change. These cold, crisp waters spanning three Western states — Washington, Oregon and Idaho, will remain cold under warming climates, protecting these one-of-a-kind salmon with a one-of-a-kind habitat. Making the wrong decision on these rivers would effectively dam (pun intended) these salmon to extinction.
The Columbia-Snake Rivers may not be in your own backyard, but the effects of this decision certainly will be. Take action today to save salmon and protect America’s endangered species.
These fish are fighting right now to survive — tackling a gauntlet of dams, escaping predators and climbing higher than any salmon on Earth. They’re doing their part. Now let’s do ours.
“Federal Defendants have spent the better part of the last decade treading water, and avoiding their obligations under the Endangered Species Act… We simply cannot afford to waste another decade.” — U.S. District Court Judge James Redden to Counsel of Record in National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service May 15, 2009.
[The high cold mountains at the heart of the Columbia/Snake watershed
provide a last redoubt for imperiled salmon. Photo: © Matt Leidecker]
Watch author David James Duncan explain what makes the salmon of the Columbia/Snake watershed the "world champion" migratory fish species.
Friends of Save Our Wild Salmon urge you to make your voice heard before May 20th.