Wild Salmon Center Newsletter November 2006
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The past couple of months have seen very exciting developments for salmon in the North Pacific. The Wild Salmon Center's efforts, particularly with key partners in Russia, have produced important results that could have broad, long-term impacts for salmon, watersheds and people.
The Wild Salmon Center was featured Oct. 15 in a front-page story in the New York Times. WSC Program Director Andrei Klimenko and WSC Board member Dr. Jack Stanford spent nearly a week with Times reporter C.J. Chivers, visiting the Kol and Utkohlok biostations, meeting with scientists and providing international media a first-hand look at the rivers of western Kamchatka.
Early this year, Governor Mashkovtsev of Kamchatka officially designated 544,000 acres of the Kol River Basin as a salmon protected area. This headwaters-to-ocean area may be the largest salmon protected region ever created, and was greeted as a major milestone in our effort to protect salmon and their habitat for future generations.
Since then, we have been working with the Kamchatkan government to expand this win. This summer, officials agreed to create five more salmon protected river basins. The total land to be protected for salmon in Kamchatka has grown to more than 6,000,000 ruacres – nearly three times the size of Yellowstone National Park. This area includes some of the most important salmon producing rivers in the North Pacific.
The rivers tentatively proposed for protection include most of WSC's major conservation priorities in Kamchatka: the Zhupanova, Opala, Krutogorova, Oblukovina and Kolpakova rivers. Since these salmon protected areas will be among the most significant created anywhere in the last 20 years, ruthis effort will require the support of the international community and significant resources.
We look forward to helping our Russian partners create this network of salmon protected areas throughout the peninsula, and using this experience as a template for creating a larger network of salmon-protected rivers throughout the North Pacific.
We'll keep you posted on all these developments. Together, we can protect these vital rivers for the benefit of future generations!
Guido Rahr, President and CEO