Fishermen, Salmon Stakeholders Take to Capitol Hill, Lobby for Snake River Salmon Recovery and River Restoration

On October 5, a group of salmon stakeholders from across the nation will take to the halls of Congress to urge representatives to support the Salmon Solutions and Planning Act (SSPA; H.R. 3503). The bill would provide Congress and federal agencies with up-to-date, thorough information about how best to protect and restore wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake River Basin.

Fish before the Capitol

“We’re talking about much more than a fish here, this is my job and thousands of others, it’s an iconic species and a way of life. The Obama administration missed the opportunity to take on this challenge and restore a river, recover healthy salmon and steelhead populations, and protect our jobs and salmon economy,” said Jeff Hickman, a Northwest steelhead guide and Regional Conservation Organizer for the Sierra Club. “Yeah, we’re disappointed, but we have hope and that’s why we’re here. There is strong support in the region for a bold solution to this crisis and we don’t have the time for more political side-stepping. We need to meet this challenge head on, and that starts with the studies and actions in this bill.” See Hickman’s message to President Obama about Snake River salmon recovery.

Hickman joined more than 115 outdoor and fishing business leaders in a letter asking Congress to act on legislation that will help bring about a durable resolution to the long-standing challenge of salmon recovery. Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company based in Ventura, Calif. spearheaded the letter.

“Conservation is a core priority for the outdoor industry, and wild salmon play an important role in the recreation economy. We simply can’t afford to lose them,” said Lisa Pike-Sheehy, Patagonia’s Director of Environmental Initiatives. “We need updated, comprehensive and unbiased information so we can evaluate, on a level playing field, all potential salmon recovery options, including lower Snake River dam removal. We applaud the members of Congress supporting this bill.” Patagonia has long supported restoring a free-flowing Snake River to recover salmon and recently featured Snake River sockeye in their Freedom to Roam Campaign.

The solutions legislation comes at an opportune time. Last month, the Obama administration adopted a flawed Bush administration Columbia-Snake salmon plan. While the fate of that plan is in the hands of a U.S. District Court judge, the salmon community is not waiting to push for Congressional solutions to protect and recover Snake River populations.

Salmon stakeholders will be in D.C. Monday, Oct. 5 to Wednesday, Oct. 7 and available for interviews.

Please contact Emily Nuchols, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 360.510.8696 if you would like to speak with a spokesperson listed below:

Dustin Aherin:
President of Citizens for Progress,
from Lewiston, ID

Dave Bitts:
Veteran Commercial Fisherman & President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, from McKinleyville, CA (near Eureka)

Rick Ege:
Executive Director of the New Jersey State Council of Trout Unlimited, from Budd Lake, NJ

Jeff Hickman:
Northwest Steelhead Fishing Guide and Hunter/Angler Outreach Organizer for the Sierra Club, from Portland, OR

Greg Stahl:
Assistant Policy Director of Idaho Rivers United, from Boise, ID

Hannah Stauts:
Mayor of Stanley and the youngest mayor in America at the time of her election two years ago, from Stanley, ID