Stand Up for Idahoby Jon Kittell
Lewiston Tribune, February 18, 2020
As a fishing guide and a small business owner in Riggins, my income has been drastically affected by the downturn in our salmon and steelhead economy. The once-dependable money from guiding and our business is no longer dependable, forcing me to look elsewhere for income to support my family.
I recently joined a group of Idahoans traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet with our congressional delegation about our diminishing fish returns and the stress that puts on Idaho communities. Meeting with Rep. Mike Simpson was eye-opening and inspiring. His office is working on large-scale solutions to help bring fish and the money associated with them (the money that our economy depends on) back to our state. At the same time, his plans also address all the other interests and concerns involved in this complex issue. His office is willing to have the difficult conversations and face the difficult decisions that must be addressed so our children may experience fighting these mighty fish.
We are at a decision point. As a state, we can either unite behind our cultural heritage and stand up for our fish or we can sit quietly on the sidelines and watch our fish populations dwindle into extinction, taking with them rural Idaho communities. It is time for Idahoans to stand up for Idahoans, taking our future into our own hands. Let your representatives know that the time for action is now. Choosing to delay discussions will lead to the extinction of our salmon and steelhead.
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