New report paves way for collaborative salmon solutions

The people of the Pacific Northwest are ready to roll up their sleeves and work on collaborative solutions to recover their endangered wild salmon, according to a report released this week.

The report, called a Long-Term Recovery Situation Assessment, was a year in the making and was the result of more than 200 interviews conducted with stakeholders on all sides of the salmon issue. It was published by researchers from Washington and Oregon.

“This report confirms that Idahoans and others in the Northwest are ready to collaborate in pursuit of durable solutions to the numerous challenges surrounding salmon recovery,” said IRU Salmon Program Manager Greg Stahl. “From energy production to transportation and water use, the challenges and opportunities are numerous.”

Idaho Rivers United and its allies are calling on elected leaders to work with federal agencies and regional stakeholders to convene and lead such a collaborative effort. 

“An authentic, transparent collaborative stakeholder process can end the harmful uncertainty facing river-dependent and salmon-dependent businesses and communities,” Stahl said. “But it can also end uncertainty for energy producers, shipping interests, tribes and fishermen. This report reflects a broad, region-wide desire to chart a new course that ends two decades of ambiguity and works toward actual, sustainable solutions—for everybody involved.”

The report, authored by The William D. Ruckelshouse Center and Oregon Concensus, was commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency charged with drafting a salmon recovery plan.