Environment | Opinion

Brooklyn Baptiste: Tribal fishery programs show great success






Sockeye salmon run on the Columbia River. Photo from U.S. Forest Service

Brooklyn Baptiste, the chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, urges the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to respect tribal fishery programs:
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council will be coming to Idaho to hold public hearings at Fish and Game offices in Boise and Lewiston, respectively, on the proposed Fish and Wildlife amendments. This is an important opportunity for those who enjoy the bounty of Snake River salmon to tell the Northwest Power and Conservation Council that we want salmon, both hatchery and wild.

The region needs to rally behind our successes. A fish and wildlife program developed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council should support and add value to the Columbia Basin's successful projects, not hamper them by becoming a new regulatory framework.

The 2013 Columbia River fall chinook return was one for the ages. More than 1.2 million fall chinook made their way to the Columbia River, and among them, a significant run of Snake River chinook. The 2014 return is expected to be even higher and this trend may continue. But these gains can easily be swept away unless these mitigation programs continue to be based on locally developed guidelines that reflect sound scientific practices and respect the ground-breaking work being accomplished every day in tribal fisheries across the Northwest.

The tribes have shown that properly managed hatcheries can increase wild spawning populations, while also providing abundant salmon returns that benefit fisheries throughout the Pacific Northwest. I am asking the region to join the tribes in demanding abundant salmon returns, not scarcity in perpetuity.

Get the Story:
Brooklyn Baptiste: Program should support successful hatchery projects (The Idaho Statesman 6/24)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Don't mess with successes of Northwest treaty tribes (5/28)