Wild Salmon Center Newsletter November, 2008
In this issue
- Advancing Sustainable Fisheries
- Board of Forestry Holds Off Boosting Logging Levels in State Forests
- Conservation Action Plan Workshop in Anchorage, Alaska
- IUCN Conference in Barcelona, Spain
- Logjam Extends Quinault Sockeye Spawning Area
- Water Rerouted to Benefit Chinook Salmon
- Kol Ecosystem Services Report Represents a New Direction for Salmon Conservation
- State of the Salmon Conference 2009
Key Stakeholders meet in Portland, Oregon
On November 12-13, 2008, the Wild Salmon Center organized and hosted the second annual Sustainable Fisheries coordination meeting with NGO and private sector partners, including World Wildlife Fund, Pacific Environment, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, amongst others. The purpose of this meeting was to identify and prioritize key barriers to sustainable salmon fisheries in the Russian Far East (RFE) and develop common strategies to address them. The meeting's participants discussed current sustainable fishery projects across the RFE, including Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessments and major seafood buyer's work for Russian salmon. Barriers to sustainable fisheries in the RFE, such as Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fisheries, administrative barriers, and hatchery impacts, were described and prioritized strategies developed.
The two-day meeting culminated in a brisk hike in the Columbia River Gorge and dinner at Bamboo Sushi, the new MSC certified sushi restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
The Sustainable Fisheries program at Wild Salmon Center is working to improve the long term sustainability and support of well managed fisheries in Western Pacific salmon strongholds, which produce up to half the world's wild Pacific salmon.
New data shows increased logging will harm salmon habitat
At their November 2008 meeting, the Oregon Board of Forestry decided to hold off on raising logging levels on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. New data presented by the Wild Salmon Center regarding salmon habitat on the Tillamook Forest played a part in their decision. The Wild Salmon Center presented data showing that increased logging in Salmon Anchor Habitat Areas would degrade watersheds and harm wild salmon habitat.
Additionally, new data from the Oregon Department of Forestry shows that the state is already logging at a level 30% higher than is considered sustainable for timber and the environment under the current plan. These data helped delay the Board of Forestry's decision on a proposal by some Oregon counties to raise more revenues by increasing logging on state forests.
"The data show that the state is already overcutting the forest," said Wild Salmon Center President Guido Rahr. "Additionally, our fish survey and mapping data shows increased harm to salmon habitat if logging increases."
Wild Salmon Center will work with partners and coastal communities to find alternate long-term solutions to county revenue needs.
Workshop brings together Russians and Americans in common conservation goals
Anchorage, Alaska -- In October Wild Salmon Center and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) collaborated for the second in a series of Conservation Action Plan (CAP) workshops. The primary goal was to train Wild Salmon Center staff (including members of the Conservation Planning team, Sakhalin Program, and Russian Program) and Russian Protected Area managers in CAP methods. Additional topics covered included oil pipeline management, ecotourism, and the successful implementation of CAP in working with the Nushagak Tribal Council. Taking advantage of being in one of the Pacific Rim's greatest salmon strongholds, participants enjoyed a site visit to a TNC project on the Mat-su basin, a trip to local salmon spawning grounds and an afternoon excursion to Wasilla (for some good salmon eats!)
Building off of years of collected experience, CAP and other Open Standards of Conservation are important tools in making conservation more effective. They also represent an open, documented method of project management so partners and other staff can understand the logic behind conservation decision making. A special thanks to TNC for helping organize this event and making it a success.
Conservationists come together in Barcelona, Spain
Over 8,000 attendees representing government officials and conservation NGOs met in Barcelona, Spain for the annual congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Presenters Michio Fukushima from Japan, Nataliya Klovach from Russia, Dr. Gordan Reeves (Visiting Scientist, WSC) and Dr. Pete Rand (WSC and State of the Salmon) from the U.S. provided a diverse perspective on salmon conservation. This years' conference was of particular importance as the first anadromous Pacific salmon species, sockeye, was added to the IUCN's Global Red List of Threatened Species.
The workshop "Salmon: Conserving the Population Mosaic," focused on what steps are needed to conserve this mosaic of diverse populations across a broad geography as threats continue to mount. Dr. Rand also introduced the beta version of a new on-line web application for describing the diverse mosaic of salmon populations. This application will provide a fresh, new perspective on the status of salmon across the Pacific Rim. A public launch of the web application is planned for this winter.
Sockeye habitat restoration maximized though partnerships
As a result of habitat degradation, the Alder Creek Side Channel represents one of only a few key spawning areas left in Washington's Upper Quinault River. In late October, the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) completed a highly successful pilot project in the channel using a series of engineered logjams to protect and restore a critical spawning habitat for sockeye (or blueback) salmon. The Queets/Quinault Rivers represent one of nine Salmon Strongholds endorsed by the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership, which helped leverage key project funding.
Initially, only nine logjams were budgeted, but the Quinault Indian Nation saw an opportunity to construct additional logjams while they had the materials, equipment and workforce in place. The Salmon Stronghold Partnership was able to provide the funds needed for four additional logjams, and thanks to the creative and diligent efforts put forth by QIN Nation staff (particularly Dave Bingamen, Bill Armstrong, Larry Gilbertson and James Sellars) and all their partners, the project was completed a year ahead of schedule, saving an estimated $130,000. Since project completion, in the just the last month, 200 spawners have been counted among the logjams.
North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership contributes to restoration of stream flow to Rudio Creek
This summer, an agreement was made between Oregon Water Trust and landowner Campbell Crossing Inc. to permanently restore summer flows to the lower two miles of Rudio Creek in Oregon's John Day Basin. The permanent restoration of 2.0 cfs of this cool water tributary of the North Fork John Day River will increase the quantity and quality of spawning and rearing habitat for native steelhead and spring Chinook.
Currently, Campbell Crossing draws water to irrigate 321 acres during the summer, which dries up the lower two miles of the creek, eliminating spawning habitat for steelhead and a cold water refuge for juvenile spring Chinook migrating up the North Fork. Water will now be drawn from below the mouth of the creek, allowing the water to first flow through the spawning grounds before being used to irrigate the land. Additionally, Campbell Crossing is working with the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District on important riparian enhancement measures fence building to exclude cattle from the creek and planting vegetation to stabilize banks and increase shade.
The North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership secured significant funds through the National Fish Habitat Action Plan for this incentive-based, non-regulatory project completed by Oregon Water Trust and Oregon Trout.
Report quantifies the human benefits of healthy salmon ecosystems
The Wild Salmon Center release of "The Value of the Kol River Salmon Refuge's Ecosystem Services" represents the culmination of more than six months of work in partnership with the University of Vermont Gund Institute. This study is the first attempt to approximate the total flow of ecosystem services in a healthy wild salmon ecosystem. This study was conducted in the Kol salmon refuge, a whole basin Protected Area in Kamchatka, Russia created by partners with the support of the Wild Salmon Center. The report asks the question: What is the economic value to society to preserve a pristine salmon ecosystem like the Kol River Salmon Refuge?
The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Russian Far East, is home to one of the most productive salmon strongholds on earth but it faces a number of threats from development of nonrenewable resources (e.g. minerals, oil and gas). This development path may provide short-term economic benefits, but may also sacrifice the long-term economic productivity of a salmon ecosystem. Ecosystem services, on the other hand, represent a collection of renewable resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems and can provide long-term economic benefits to human populations at local, regional and global scales. Benefits include market and non-market services such as clean water, biodiversity preservation, food production and recreation.
The Kol report and future studies will provide Wild Salmon Center and its Russian partners with the initial information for creating incentive-based mechanisms for salmon conservation such as payments for ecosystem services. By understanding the link between ecosystem services and human welfare, the range of benefits that these watersheds provide can be communicated to policymakers so they can make informed land management decisions. See the full report.
February 2-5, Vancouver, B.C.State of the Salmon's second international conference, "Bringing the Future into Focus," is the only conference dedicated to the conservation of Pacific salmon throughout their native range and is being held February 2-5 in Vancouver, B.C. Register Now!