This summer while contemplating the record-low number of salmon and steelhead returning to Idaho, I started thinking about ways to relay just how disastrous and depressing the situation looks.
That's when I remembered the artwork pictured above. While it's not scientific IRU supporter and calligrapher Michael Jones did a great job of capturing how far out of balance things have become by contrasting a long, long line and a speck.
Jones uses a black line that circles back on itself to form an infinity symbol. That line represents six million years of salmon running the rivers of Idaho and overcoming a myriad of life-cycle challenges. He then uses an almost-invisible speck to represent 150 years of contemporary salmon returns: an era including over-fishing and, even more tragically, rampant dam construction.
For more than 25 years IRU has been protecting Idaho’s wild rivers and native species, and in particular Idaho’s salmon. Not only do we need the return of salmon, but 137 species rely on Pacific salmon in Idaho. We are at a crucial time in this fight and we need your help.
IRU continues to safeguard native species with continued pressure on federal agencies that manage salmon and dams. The protection and restoration of healthy salmon populations in the Salmon River basin represents unparalleled opportunity for the region to invest in our future economy, create jobs, improve our quality of life, improve the health of our environment and save an iconic keystone species.
Extinction is forever, dams aren't
Many of you are already members and supporters of Idaho Rivers United. Some of you might be new to the organization or have let your membership lapse. Regardless of your personal journey with Idaho's rivers and Idaho Rivers United, please join us for a special summer salmon campaign in which we're raising money specifically to help restore our endangered salmon.
You can set up a sustaining membership as a monthly or quarterly donation at idahorivers.org/donate or contact us at (208) 343-7481.
For the rivers, our fish, and our future.