Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Businesses and communities caring for salmon rivers and watersheds

"Now the most important right we have is the right to be responsible." 
These are the words of Gerrald Amus, Kitimat Village elder, from Patagonia's new video about the Skeena River, its salmon fisheries and the communities along it. Patagonia is an outdoor clothing company that's demonstrated business can be ethical, promote conservation and sustainability and be profitable at the same time. Now working with the First Nations of the Skeena, they're beginning a new venture—salmon products.

Port Orford Ocean Resource Team's 2011 Water Festival.  Ocean Resource Team photo.

By their nature, the salmon and steelhead fisheries, the watersheds and the communities of the Chetco River and Oregon's Wild Rivers Coast are different from those in British Columbia. But perhaps this beginning on the Skeena River can serve as added impetus for finding our own unique ways to preserve and restore the watersheds and wild fisheries of the Elk, Illinois, Chetco and Smith Rivers and grow healthy communities at the same time. See Patagonia's thought provoking video below and read about some of inspiring work that's already happening on the Wild Rivers Coast.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Prominent scientists speak for protecting Chetco River

Writing in the Oregonian Jack Williams and Mike Dombeck, two of the nation's most prominent fisheries scientists and conservationists, urge Congress to take advantage of the second chance that's been given the Wild and Scenic Chetco River and its wild salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout. They write:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chetco River Family Day May 12th

The Chetco River Watershed Council and the local Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited are sponsoring: Family Day on the Chetco River. Come and enjoy a day at Loeb State Park on Saturday May 12th, 2012 starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. Free hot dogs and soda will be served from 11:00 to 2:00 as well as free drift boat trips for the entire family. Life vests are provided for the drift boat trips.

Drift boats on the Chetco River.  Chetco River Watershed Council Photo
This event will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the health of the Chetco River and learn about the aquatic ecosystem and water quality measurements from biologists. Heavy rain will cancel the event. For additional information call (541) 661-1820.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Claim forfeiture: Saving a river, saving taxpayer money

This idyllic reach of  the upper  Chetco River below Mislatnah Creek will be permanently protected from mining if Congress passes the Chetco River Protection Act before July 2013. Ann Vileisis photo.
The recent forfeiture of nearly 20 miles of mining claims on the Wild and Scenic Chetco River means the effort to permanently protect this world-class salmon and steelhead river just got a whole lot easier. It also means there's a significant savings for the taxpayer with the potential for more. However, to take full advantage of this rare opportunity, Congress needs to pass the Chetco River Protection Act before July of next year. Learn how you can help.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Float" the beautiful Chetco River

The National Wild and Scenic Chetco River provides world-class salmon and steelhead fishing and exceptionally pure domestic water supplies for Brookings and Harbor. But it also offers it's own memorable brand of high quality recreational opportunities that are hard to find elsewhere. One reason is there are few entirely free flowing rivers with such a high percentage of their watershed in Wilderness or Roadless Area condition.

Motorized boats are prohibited on the Wild and Scenic  Chetco River for a high quality recreation experience

Another is the foresight of river planners and the public who supported the prohibition of motorized boats on the Wild and Scenic segments of the Chetco. We're reminded of how special this makes the Chetco by last year's video of Floating the Chetco River (below) and a commercial outfitter who counts efforts to protect the river and the public's enjoyment of it as a plus for his business and the world-class experience he can provide his clients. He writes: