Salmon Superheroes

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Yvon said that if something happened to the building while this crew was in it, salmon would be doomed. I couldn’t agree more. For me it was an honor just to sit with these people–my heroes in wild salmon conservation–for an entire day, while plotting how Patagonia Provisions can best contribute to the effort. This is the Patagonia Provisions Wild Salmon Advisory Team.

In many ways it was a historical meeting of the minds; scientists, advocates, fishermen, authors and a commercial fish company (Provisions) working together to ensure a future for wild salmon. I can’t think of another salmon purveyor that’s ever spent this much money and effort to convene a group like this, or one that would act on their recommendations.

Back row: Nick Gayeski (Wild Fish Conservancy), Mark Kurlansky (author of Cod), Matt Stoecker (DamNation, Stoecker Ecological), Dr. Jack Stanford (Flathead Lake Biological Station), Jim Lichatowich (author of Salmon Without Rivers), Keith Carpenter (Lummi Island Wild), Aaron Hill (Watershed Watch), Bruce Hill (Skeena Wild), Lisa Pike-Sheehy (Patagonia).

Front Row: Birgit Cameron (Patagonia Provisions), James Farag (Patagonia Provisions), Jill Dumain (Patagonia), Misty MacDuffee (Rain Coast Conservation), Dr. Carol Ann Woody (Fisheries Research Consulting) , Me (blinded by the California sunshine and star power around me), Kurt Beardslee (Wild Fish Conservancy), Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia).

Heavyweights all. And with this group meeting annually, the future of wild salmon looks better and brighter. I felt lucky to be a part of it, and even luckier to call these people friends.

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Skeena Protest Song

The Skeena River in British Columbia is one of the last great strongholds of wild salmon and steelhead on the Pacific coast. Unfortunately, it also happens to flow through some of the most resource-rich regions in the world, and makes a perfect conduit to Asian markets for tar sand oil from Alberta. The threats to this vital watershed are many and ongoing, but in light of Royal Dutch Shell’s withdrawal from the Sacred Headwaters earlier this year, and the recent eviction of Fortune Minerals from the same area by the Tahltan First Nations, thought I would post this video.

I met Rachel Van Zanten at a small party of enviros in Vancouver a few years ago. In addition to being a kick-ass slide guitarist and singer, she’s from the Skeena Country and has been working to protect her home waters. You can feel Rachel’s commitment in this song. Her video features some incredibly moving footage of the Tahltan elders’ heroic (and ultimately, successful) protest of Shell’s coalbed methane project in the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers.

Lots of inspiring work going on up there, led by First Nations and conservation groups like the Headwaters Initiative, Skeena Wild, Watershed Watch, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and others. If you fish the Skeena and want to see it survive, please click on the links above and find out how you can support the effort. But really, saving a world treasure like the Skeena should matter to us all.