Celebrating 20 years of healthy wild salmon rivers.
It takes three things to save a salmon river: safeguarding critical habitat, protecting wild fish from the impacts of overharvest and hatchery-bred fish, and supporting community efforts to defend local watersheds from future threats.
It isn’t easy to create lasting change, especially since salmon ecosystems can encompass vast areas between mountain headwaters and the ocean. But with help from our partners and supporters we’ve reached some very important milestones over the last twenty years.
1992 - 2012
Habitat is the most important long-term investment in salmon conservation, because once it has been lost it is very difficult to replace. WSC focuses on river systems where habitat is still vibrant and productive, and where our efforts can secure legal safeguards that will last forever.
Together with our partners we’ve protected over 820,000 acres of prime salmon habitat in twenty of the world’s most productive salmon rivers, including whole watersheds in the Russian Far East, sanctuaries for sea-run taimen in Japan, river corridors for steelhead on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and spawning and rearing habitat for wild Chinook salmon on Oregon’s North Coast. And some of our most exciting work is still ahead: WSC and its partners are advancing protections for thirteen watersheds encompassing over nine million acres of public lands on both sides of the Pacific Rim.
To succeed in safeguarding wild Pacific salmon, healthy habitats are not enough. It’s also vital to advance fishing practices that strike a balance between salmon conservation and a $3 billion-a-year commercial fishing industry. WSC has made sustainable salmon fisheries a major organizational priority and is leading strategic partnerships between private, government, and NGO stakeholders. We offer technical guidance to help fisheries become more sustainable and support market-based solutions such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco-label certification.
Wild Salmon Center engaged in the MSC certification process for all five of the North Pacific’s certified salmon fisheries in Russia, Alaska, and British Columbia, and is currently supporting MSC assessments of four additional fisheries in Russia and Japan. Direct results of our efforts in these countries include initiating new policies to protect wild salmon, modifying or terminating hatchery programs, and reopening hundreds of acres of prime spawning habitat for wild fish.
Ultimately, our local partners in each region of the Pacific Rim become the guardians of their home salmon rivers. To be effective stewards they need scientific information about the status of their watersheds, grants to support habitat protection and restoration, and the commitment of local government to make wild salmon conservation a priority. WSC has succeeded in working with government agencies and private foundations to direct technical and financial support to local groups in salmon strongholds across the North Pacific. Over the past twenty years we have led research and monitoring efforts in ten watersheds, published more than 40 scientific papers, and provided over $10 million in grants to support local conservation programs.
WSC also shares cutting-edge research and promotes dialogue to improve the management and conservation of wild salmon through its State of the Salmon (SoS) program. In 2003, SoS completed the first range-wide, map-based assessment for Pacific salmon. Since then SoS conferences and workshops have brought together more than 1,300 stakeholders and salmon experts to exchange their findings on wild salmon populations, threats to their sustainability, and strategic conservation solutions.
We are grateful to the donors and partners who have helped us achieve so much. Without them, none of this work would have been possible.
Please support Wild Salmon Center and help us make the next twenty years of conservation victories possible.