the film
Commentaries and editorials

What's the Price of Extinction?

by Dan Hoyt
Portland Business Journal, June 9, 2003

To the editor:

In his guest opinion, Richard Shepard suggests that at least $10 billion has been spent saving salmon and wonders why we want to save the salmon ("Time to decide why we want to save the salmon," May 23). The reasons for saving salmon have filled numerous books. We need to save wild salmon to save ourselves. We will save the salmon by restoring and saving their habitat: the ocean, rivers, the tributaries, riparian areas and forests. That is, the areas we live, work and play.

As for the money, those facing monitory losses if real salmon recovery is instituted always overstate the money spent to date helping salmon. They do this by calculating the money not earned from power generation when dams spill water.

We have some of the cheapest energy in the nation and thus have sacrificed very little, while the salmon population has been decimated from annual runs of tens of millions to a few thousand. What we should be doing is adding the cost of lost wild salmon to the price of electricity. But of course that cost is incalculable--what is the price of extinction?

Related Pages:
Time to Decide Why We Want to Save the Salmon, 5/26/3
Anadromous Fish Business for Fish, 11/7/96

Dan Hoyt, Portland
What's the Price of Extinction?
Portland Business Journal, June 9, 2003

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation