New project spotlights Snake River salmon’s
‘one of a kind’ status
NW Energy Coalition partner Save Our Wild Salmon (SOS) has begun a campaign to spotlight the astonishing story of endangered Snake River salmon and the race to save them.
The “One of a Kind” project illuminates an absolute miracle of nature: Snake River salmon travel more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their mountain spawning grounds — the largest, coldest and wildest habitat left in the contiguous United States and the highest salmon spawning habitats on Earth. No other salmon species on this planet goes higher and farther.
Since their habitat is a virtual “Noah’s Ark” for salmon, these fish are the most likely to survive the onrush of climate change. If we can restore the lower Snake River and reconnect these salmon with their ancestral waters, they can survive and thrive. And they are best positioned to re-seed the rest of the Columbia-Snake River Basin and ensure that future human generations have an opportunity to experience these amazing fish.
Unfortunately, the four lower Snake River dams are a major cause of mortality for Snake River salmon and they choke off access to the wild and high-altitude spawning grounds. As shown in NW Energy Coalition’s Bright Future report in 2009 and confirmed this year in the Sixth Northwest Power and Conservation Plan, the energy from these dams can be easily and affordably replaced with energy efficiency and new renewables. Power rates might increase slightly (regardless of dam removal), but customers’ bills would still go down due to extremely cheap and readily available efficiency measures, according to analysis by the Northwest region’s official power planning agency.
To further highlight Snake River salmon, SOS has teamed up with adventure filmmakers EP Films and the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) to produce compelling visual accounts of these one-of-a-kind fish and their unique habitat. A teaser for the forthcoming EP film and many of iLCP photographer Neil Osborne’s stunning photos are on the SOS website: wildsalmon.org.
The One of a Kind project makes a persuasive case for the need to save endangered Snake River salmon. It’s not too late. We – this generation –will decide whether these one-of-a-kind creatures continue to exist for our children and for generations beyond.
Rhett Lawrence, Save Our Wild Salmon