Stop Harmful Salmon Policies Now!

Here is an action to do for the salmon (sample letter to send below–click on link to take action).
For the past four years, Federal Judge James Redden has required spilling water over federal dams in the Columbia Basin between April and August to aid the annual juvenile salmon migration to the Pacific Ocean. This year, in its first opportunity at “adaptive management” without court-ordered spill, the Obama administration officials are managing adaptively to benefit hydrosystem revenues at the expense of salmon.
This is the wrong decision, not supported by science, bad for jobs and the economy, and it sends another troubling signal about this administration’s direction on salmon recovery.
That is why the Obama administration and Members of Congress need to continue to hear from people across the country that they want a real and comprehensive salmon plan that recovers salmon, restores jobs, and invests in a clean energy economy.
Below is the sample letter:
Subject: Salmon-dependent communities need change they can believe in!
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
I am writing to you today to express my deep concern about two important decisions that you and others within the Obama Administration are expected to make in the next several weeks. Both decisions – one concerns crucial protections for juvenile salmon during their migration to the Pacific Ocean this spring, and the other regards the Administration appointment for the Northwest Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries – will affect our nation’s ability to protect and restore endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Decision #1: Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead Need Full Spill in 2010: Despite widespread support from federal, state, and independent scientists for a full spill program this year, you are proposing to significantly curtail spill during the 2010 spring migration. In the absence of significant restoration actions, such as lower Snake River dam removal, spill remains an essential near-term tool for ensuring that young sa lmon arrive safely at the ocean to eventually return as adults several years from now.
Numerous scientific studies have found that the court-ordered spill since 2006 has contributed significantly to the recent higher returns of wild and hatchery salmon and steelhead to the Columbia and Snake rivers. This has in turn provided a much-needed boost for the region’s fishing communities. However, NOAA’s current spill-cutting proposal, if implemented, will send a troubling signal about how it plans to ‘adaptively manage’ federal dams and salmon recovery in the Columbia Basin. It will also unravel the progress we’ve made over the past few years, jeopardizing both salmon returns and fishing jobs at a time when the Northwest can least afford it. Cutting spring spill is a high-risk idea that simply doesn’t make scientific or economic sense.
Decision #2: Endangered Salmon Need an Honest Broker in NOAA Fisheries’ NW Office: Fifteen months after the inauguration of Pres ident Obama, I am one of millions of salmon and fishing advocates who are eager and ready for the appointment of NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Regional Administrator. The person who fills this position will play a pivotal role in the future of wild salmon in the Columbia Basin, and as such, she or he must be a highly capable leader who is committed to relying on the best available science, and who can bring together diverse interests to find common ground and develop effective solutions to one of our nation’s most vexing natural resource challenges. Unfortunately, several of your leading candidates, have a long history of defending the failed status quo.
Imperiled salmon and steelhead and struggling fishing communities cannot afford a continuation of the status quo. Northwest businesses and communities, as well as citizens across the country, are ready to end the uncertainty and gridlock of the past two decades and move forward with a science-driven federal salmon plan that works for all stakeholders – and that leads to real salmon abundance. I urge you to appoint a Northwest regional administrator who can help us chart this path, not one that will further divide the region.
These two pending decisions are key to addressing the challenges that confront endangered salmon and affected communities in the Northwest and across the West Coast. Now is the time to make a clean break with the Bush Administration’s anti-salmon policies. I hope you will commit instead to a new approach driven by the best science, stakeholder involvement, and the goal of restoring wild salmon to healthy, fishable levels.
I urge you to withdraw NOAA’s spill reduction proposal and implement a full spill program in 2010. And please fill the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Regional Administrator position with a capable leader who will bring people together to craft a lawful, science-based plan that will restore salmon to abundance. Thank you.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Senator Jeff Merkley (if you live in Oregon)
Senator Jim Risch (if you live in Idaho)
Senator Maria Cantwell (if you live in Washington)
Senator Mike Crapo (if you live in Idaho)
Senator Patty Murray (if you live in Washington)
Senator Ron Wyden (if you live in Oregon)