Beautiful Salmon, Idaho, is the first part of Salmon River country explored by western explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, a place where salmon and steelhead once returned by the tens of thousands every year. It’s one of the most beautiful pastoral communities in Idaho, but it has also suffered since construction of big dams on the lower Snake River downstream. Wild salmon now return at a fraction of their historic abundance, and the community has suffered their loss.
On June 9, Idaho Rivers United joined forces with Salmon residents to throw a party and bring further awareness about the loss of salmon and steelhead in Salmon River country. With critical help from Salmon resident Steve Young and the local band Eddy Up, the event drew between 30 and 40 people on a brisk spring Saturday afternoon.
“It was a great opportunity to reconnect with our roots, the people of Idaho,” said IRU Assistant Policy Director Greg Stahl. “Salmon recovery is about people and what people want for their communities, and this event reiterated what we already know. Salmon are an important economic, cultural and ecological resource for the people who live and work in Idaho’s beautiful river communities.”
Next month, IRU will return to Salmon to introduce author Steven Hawley, who will read from his book, Recovering a Lost River: Removing Dams, Rewilding Salmon, Revitalizing Communities, and talk about the politics, economics and biology of salmon recovery. The event will be held Tuesday, July 10, at the Odd Fellows Hall at 516 Main Street, next to the Odd Fellows Bakery, with doors open at 6:30 p.m. and Hawley’s presentation beginning at 7 p.m.