OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Bush Adviser, Agencies, Other Groups to Hear Salmon Remedies at Portland Conference

01/17/2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A diverse group of fisheries scientists, policy analysts and salmon advocates will present their prescriptions for saving wild salmon in the Northwest during a Jan. 25 conference in Portland - and then get the public reaction from leaders of state and federal agencies, non-governmental groups, and Native American tribes.

Also speaking at "The Future of Wild Pacific Salmon Conference" will be James L. Connaughton, who chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality and serves as the senior environmental and natural resources adviser to President Bush.

The conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel Lloyd Center, is open to the public with pre-registration but is likely to sell out, conference organizers say.

"In a nutshell, what this conference is about is taking some of the prescriptions that came out of the Salmon 2100 Project and presenting them to some of the people down in the trenches to see if they would fly," said Denise Lach, an associate professor of sociology at Oregon State University and one of the conference coordinators. "It is a manner of ground-truthing."

William Ruckelshaus, who served as the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, will speak at noon. He also served as acting director of the FBI, and was Deputy Attorney General of the United States.

The Salmon 2100 Project was organized by the Center for Water and Environmental Sustainability at Oregon State and the EPA Research Laboratory on the OSU campus in Corvallis. The project sought realistic ideas for saving wild salmon, given social, fiscal and environmental realities.

Although prescriptive suggestions came from 33 salmon scientists, analysts and advocates, only a handful will present their ideas at the Portland conference. A book containing all of the prescriptions will be published later this spring.

"The ideas tend to be clustered in four different areas," Lach said. "One group believes the answer to saving wild salmon comes in the form of habitat protection; another sees institutional reform as the key. Some believe the science and technology in the answer, while others argue that we must change people's values.

"The most encouraging thing is that no one is saying that saving wild salmon is impossible," Lach added. "But there was agreement that current policies and practices need to be reviewed - and changed."

The five policy prescriptions that will be presented include:

  • "A Proactive Sanctuary Strategy to Anchor and Restore High-Priority Wild Salmon Ecosystems," by Guido Rahr III, president and CEO of The Wild Salmon Center, and Xan Augerot, director of science programs at the center;

     

  • "Follow the Money," by Larry Bailey, an author and farmer from Tonasket, Wash., involved in local salmon recovery efforts; and Michelle Boshard, a trained facilitator who has coordinated numerous watershed initiatives;

     

  • "Lifestyles and Ethical Values to Sustain Wild Salmon and Ourselves," by Jack Williams, chief scientist for Trout Unlimited; and Phil Pister, who spent 38 years as a biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game;

     

  • "Engineering the Future for Wild Pacific Salmon and Steelhead," by Ernest "Ernie" Brannon, who spent 20 years as chief research biologist for the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission;

     

  • "Climate and Development: Salmon Caught in the Squeeze," by Jim Martin, who recently retired after 30 years with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and spent six years as chief of fisheries, and three years as salmon adviser to then-Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

    Among the people who have accepted invitations to respond to the prescriptions are Steve Wright, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration; Mike Carrier, the Governor's Natural Resources Policy Director in Oregon; Billy Frank Jr., chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Jeff Koenings, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association; and Steve Appel, president of the Washington State Farm Bureau.

    Robert T. Lackey, a senior fisheries biologist at EPA and a courtesy professor in the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, will open the conference by talking about the future of wild salmon in the Northwest, and the ideas behind the Salmon 2100 Project. Lackey and OSU sociologists Lach and Sally Duncan coordinated the project and the Portland conference.

    More information on the conference, including the agenda and background information on the speakers, is available online at: http://outreach.forestry.oregonstate.edu/Salmon2100/conference.htm.