Endangered Columbia River Basin Salmon Connect Communities Across Northwest, New Proposal Offers Opportunity to Recover Them
SEATTLE — The release of a media-rich, interactive storymap, Salmon Migration: A journey that connects us all, highlights the iconic wildlife event that brings together diverse Northwest communities, from the Pacific Coast to central Idaho. Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead are essential for Northwest tribes, local economies, and the region’s way of life — yet they’re running out of time. The Salmon Migration storymap is a timely addition to a national conversation ignited by U.S. Representative Mike Simpson’s (R-Idaho) recent proposal for the Columbia Basin Fund, a jobs and infrastructure framework that offers a strong starting point to save the Northwest’s valuable fisheries and river-dependent communities by restoring a free-flowing lower Snake River.
“The endangered salmon of the Columbia and Snake Rivers sustain a fragile ecosystem, diverse communities and the Northwest’s economic prosperity. The Columbia Basin Fund is a bold step in the right direction, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch the greatest river restoration and salmon recovery effort in history,” said Sarah Bates, acting regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Northern Rockies, Prairies, and Pacific Region.
Traveling across the region, the Salmon Migration storymap weaves together personal stories and insights from communities and generations connected by the Columbia River, from teenage conservationists in Boise, ID, to seasoned commercial fishermen on the Pacific coast. The storymap takes viewers on a journey of discovery and prompts an important question for us all: Can we transform the interconnected challenges of energy, agriculture and salmon into a stronger, more resilient Northwest?
“If we follow the migration of these magnificent fish, we can fully understand why the Northwest needs a comprehensive solution that restores salmon. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson answered our calls with a blueprint for the largest river and salmon restoration effort in history that also creates jobs and strengthens the energy and agriculture sectors,” said Chris Hager, executive director of Association of Northwest Steelheaders. "We applaud his dedication and look to our regional delegates to engage with Simpson’s proposal to bring urgent innovative solutions to this issue.”
The Salmon Migration storymap is a guide to understanding the many ways Northwest salmon runs have shaped our lives, communities and the region. The Columbia River Basin framework and recent media reports highlight the interconnected challenges—and opportunities—of a region-wide salmon recovery effort:
View the interactive Salmon Migration story map here to learn more about the salmon that are the lifeforce of the Columbia and Snake River systems.
Read the National Wildlife Federation’s statement on the release of the Rep. Simpson’s Columbia Basin Fund here.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.