- Laurele Fulkerson
Wild Salmon Center
Commerce Committee Reviews Legislation to Conserve Salmon StrongholdsPress Releases
Washington D.C., April 14, 2010
On Thursday, April 15, the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will consider legislation sponsored by its chairman, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and the entire West Coast delegation that addresses a missing component in current federal salmon policy—conservation of healthy wild salmon ecosystems.
As a complement to efforts to recover threatened and endangered populations, the Pacific Salmon Stronghold Conservation Act (S. 817) would direct federal resources toward conservation of watersheds with high wild salmon abundance, productivity, and diversity—"salmon strongholds." This legislation aims to restore a core tenet of conservation biology to federal salmon policy—protect the best. Scientists agree that conservation of healthy wild salmon populations and functioning watersheds is critical in light of climate change, development pressures, and other threats to wild salmon populations.
The hearing will feature panelists from a wide array of perspectives on salmon conservation and management, including Dr. Gordon Reeves, Research Fish Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station; Sara LaBorde, Assistant to the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Joe Childers, President of the United Fishermen of Alaska; and Guido Rahr, President of the Wild Salmon Center.
"Through Senator Cantwell's leadership, the U.S. will have a more comprehensive and strategic approach to protecting wild salmon populations," said Guido Rahr, President and CEO of the Wild Salmon Center. "This bill recognizes that while we must continue to invest in recovery, in the face of increasing development and climate change, it is critical to ensure that we also maintain watersheds that are currently functioning and productive."
Congressman Thompson (D-CA 1st) is lead sponsor of the House version of the bill, which currently has 43 cosponsors. The Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife held a favorable hearing on H.R. 2055 last year and is currently reviewing it for mark up.Rep. Thompson will provide a Congressional briefing on H.R. 2055 at the U.S. Capitol on April 21st. The briefing will coincide with a premiere of a short film on salmon strongholds, produced by the International League of Conservation Photographers, and remarks from salmon conservation leaders on salmon stronghold conservation across the North Pacific.