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Commentaries and editorials

Save the Salmon

by Rebecca Miles
Lewiston Tribune, November 13, 2017

Rebecca Miles, executive director of the Nez Perce Tribe, didn’t sign on to the Columbia Basin Fish Accords because they failed to address what her tribe believes is the main obstacle to salmon recovery: dams.
(photo Joseph Tierney) Our Columbia-Snake wild steelhead and salmon are sounding the alarm this year, and we would do well to listen. Returns of this iconic species to our rivers were as low as they've been in decades.

Recovering wild salmon is about so much more than saving a fish. Our entire ecosystem, culture and Northwest economy are built on the back of salmon.

For the Nez Perce, my people, it goes deeper than that. Our way of life is inextricably linked with these fish -- they have been a vital and irreplaceable piece of our lives and culture for tens of thousands of years.

The United States promised my people we would be guaranteed this way of life in exchange for millions and millions of acres of land.

Thanks to the Lewiston Tribune for your recent story and editorial on this issue. It's not news to us that we need a bold new direction if we are to restore wild salmon.

Of this, we, along with stakeholders throughout the basin, biologists, economists and the courts agree: This system cries out for a new and bold approach.

Lower Snake River dam removal is at the heart of any real and lasting recovery effort. We have alternatives for transportation and for energy, but we don't have alternatives for wild salmon.

It is time for hydro to share in its conservation burden. It's long past time we have the courage to do what it takes to save them - and ourselves - in the process.

Related Pages:
Diminishing Fish Returns are Sparking Renewed Calls for Taking Out the Dams by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 10/22/17


Rebecca Miles, Lapwai ID
Save the Salmon
Lewiston Tribune, November 13, 2017

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