CORVALLIS, Ore. – For more than 40 years, Jim Lichatowich worked with Pacific salmon as a researcher, resource manager and scientific adviser, and he has seen first-hand the decline of Northwest salmon populations during that time.
In a new book published by the Oregon State University Press, Lichatowich outlines a plan for salmon recovery based on the lessons he has learned during his long career.
His book, “Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist’s Search for Salmon Recovery,” points out many misconceptions about salmon that have hampered management and limited recovery programs. These programs will continue to fail, he argues, as long as they look at salmon as “products” and ignore their essential relationship with the environment.
Among his suggestions for reforming salmon management and recovery:
- Holding salmon managers and administrators accountable;
- Requiring agencies to do more “institutional learning”;
- Not relying on shifting baselines of data;
- Undertaking hatchery reform;
- Returning to place-based salmon management.
John Larison, author of “The Complete Steelheader,” praised the OSU Press book written by Lichatowich. “Part science, part anthropology, part philosophy, this is a revelatory book and essential reading for anyone hoping to understand salmon in the Northwest,” Larison said.
Lichatowich served for years on the Independent Scientific Advisory board for the Columbia River restoration program, as well as on Oregon’s Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team and other science groups in British Columbia and California. He is author of the award-winning book, “Salmon without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis.”
In his newest book, Lichatowich writes: “We enthusiastically accepted the gift of salmon, but failed to treat it with the respect it deserves. We failed to meet our obligation to return the gift in the way that only humans can. We failed to return the gift of salmon with the gift of stewardship.”
Lichatowich is a graduate of OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. He will return to his alma mater in January to present a seminar on his work.
“Salmon, People, and Place” is available in bookstores, online at http://osupress.oregonstate.edu, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-621-2736.