Billy Frank: Fishermen again being asked to sacrifice for salmon
"It wasn’t long ago that all salmon returning to western Washington were lumped together and managed as a whole. Only after the treaty tribes became co-managers in the 1970s did salmon management begin on a river-by-river basis using hard, accurate data.

Every single year since then we’ve been refining our fisheries management approach. Our goal is to return all salmon stocks to sustainable harvest levels because we believe that is the true measuring stick for salmon recovery.

I wonder what it would be like if habitat protection were managed to the same standard?

The state co-managers joined some tribes, such as Muckleshoot, Nisqually and Puyallup, in closing Coho fisheries this fall because returns were too low to support harvest.

No one suggested that we also tear out the rivers’ dikes or fix the other habitat problems that are the root cause of the low runs. We stop fishing, but habitat loss and damage goes on every hour of every day.

Why are fishermen always the first – and often only – people asked to sacrifice for the resource? Why must fishermen feel the pain for everyone else?"

Get the Story:
Being Frank: Harvest is held to a higher standard (Indian Country Today 11/17)