Mouth of Hoh River (with aerial support from LightHawk)

Mouth of Hoh River (with aerial support from LightHawk)


North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership

In 2006, a diverse consortium of public and private partners representing federal, state, tribal, and NGO stakeholders convened to describe and advance a broad conservation strategy to secure the health of wild salmon strongholds as a complement to, and foundation for, ongoing recovery efforts.  In 2009, this consortium formally established by Charter the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership and adopted a mission “to identify and protect the healthiest remaining ecosystems in North America to ensure the long-term survival of salmon, steelhead and the many species that depend on them.”

Following completion of its Charter, the Stronghold Partnership developed its Strategic Plan, which began to define a "stronghold approach" and establish the major goals of the initiative, including:

  • scientific identification of a network of salmon strongholds;
  • support for the development and implementation of innovative, prevention-based strategies to protect strongholds and their wild populations; and
  • the reduction and elimination of  factors currently limiting the viability of wild salmon in strongholds, with an emphasis on supporting programmatic initiatives to address broad, systemic forces giving rise to those limiting factors. 

Until the Pacific Salmon Stronghold Conservation Act is passed, the Stronghold Partnership Board's core functions are to formally recognize the strongholds, and advance the initiative through participation in state-based stronghold partnerships.

As established by Charter in 2009, the Stronghold Partnership Board includes the following:

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)
  • Northwest Power Conservation Council (NWPCC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • US Forest Service (USFS)
  • Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC)
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG)
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
  • Washington Governor's Salmon Recovery Office (GSRO)
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
  • Oregon Governor's Natural Resources Office (NRO)
  • Idaho Office of Species Conservation (IOSC)
  • California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG)
  • Trout Unlimited (TU)
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Wild Salmon Center (WSC)

Canadian partners have also begun to adopt the stronghold initiative, recognizing the Harrison River as Canada's first pilot stronghold. Partners to the Harrison have been recognized as ex officio Board members.