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Issue 8

The Leader

August 2011

Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society

THE LEADER

Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society, Inc

Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society, Inc

THE LEADER

Brian O’Keefe P a gO’Keefe e1 Brian


Issue 8

August 2011

The Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society publishes “The Leader” for SSCS members and other conservationists. The Leader focus is on one or more community supported conservation efforts taking place in the historic range of Pacific salmon and steelhead trout. We encourage SSCS members and non-members to contribute photos and articles associated with these conservation projects. The August 2011 cover photo: “Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest runs of wild sockeye salmon – numbering over 40 million fish annually. These fish sustain everything from brown bears to bald eagles, rainbow trout (and the anglers pursuing them) to insect life, and a vibrant Native culture. Not incidentally, the economic value of the fishery is estimated to be roughly $450 million per year, supporting over 10,000 jobs. The fishery is at risk from the proposed Pebble Mine project, which would be located in the headwaters of two of Bristol Bay’s most productive river systems – the Nushagak and the Kvichak.” While the picture is taken in the Bristol Bay region, that exact river is not directly downstream of the proposed mine project. Thank you for sharing this amazing photo Brian O’Keefe and Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska.

The Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society logo was designed and produced by Alan Steeves (SSCS International Conservation Director) with assistance from Richard Mayer (SSCS Senior Marketing and Communication Advisor)

Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society, Inc. The Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society was established April 22, 2010 (Earthday) by dedicated conservationists to protect, conserve and restore our natural resources and outdoor heritage. (Scroll down to view content)

Our Legacy: Web of Life Unique to the Pacific Northwest From the mountaintops to the sea; the diversity of natural environments; the mountains, rain forests, high desert, scrublands, prairies, Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and the Columbia River as it weaves it’s way to the coastal areas, supports an incredible array of plants and animals and the bounty of the magnificent anadromous fishes. Wild steelhead and salmon are the icons of the way of life stretching back with the native peoples to the times of their ancestors and reaching into the future of our descendants. Our responsibility is to assure the web of life unique to North America's west coast remains P a gasea 2 healthy and abundant, for surely our stewardship is the greatest gift we can leave

THE LEADER


Issue 8

August 2011 In This Issue

Pacific salmon and steelhead trout smolts (without protective scales) are easy Protection of Chehalis River from impacts of proposed multi-purpose dam, steep slope logging and floodplain development

Protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska area rivers from impacts of proposed Pebble Mine (gold, copper, etc.)

targets for sea lice as these wild salmonids pass by Norwegian owned and managed Atlantic salmon farms located in British Columbia’s valuable marine waters

Restoration of Elwha River Pacific salmon and steelhead trout – Ongoing efforts to remove

Elwha and Glines Canyon dams are Page 3 THE LEADER anticipated by many


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August 2011

Farmed Atlantic Salmon Infectious Salmon Anemia: A Ticking Time Bomb? By Ray Grigg, Special to Courier-Islander The Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) is a ticking time bomb that could explode under BC's salmon farming industry and their open net-pens. If this industry has imported such a disease into the ecology of the Pacific Northwest via infected Atlantic salmon material, the results could be an ecological catastrophe. Whatever remains of the industry's besieged environmental reputation would be ruined, as would any vestige of confidence in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). But the real and lasting damage would be to Pacific wild salmon, together with the entire West Coast marine ecology and culture that depends on them. ISAv could dwarf sea lice as a scourge because it would be a persistent threat to the health of all wild salmon and herring - once established, the disease would be intractable and permanent. ISAv was first detected in Norwegian salmon farms in 1984. It existed previously in Norwegian rivers as a benign infection that did not kill salmon. However, in a change that biologists call a "stochastic event", it mutated to become lethal - probably in fish farms "because there is no reason for it to live lightly in fish destined for slaughter" (alexandramorton.typepad.com/). The lethal version was then carried with Atlantic salmon brood stock to salmon farm hatcheries where it was distributed by the industry throughout the North Atlantic and overseas to Canada and Chile - its arrival in Chile in 2007 nearly decimated the country's entire salmon farming industry. The first evidence of ISAv's arrival in Canada was in New Brunswick salmon farms in 1996. In 1998, the Friends of Clayoquot Sound were expressing concern about its arrival in BC. In January of 2009, David Suzuki, Chief Bob Chamberlin, Professor Larry Dill, Alexandra Morton and over 100 other concerned citizens wrote a letter to the Premier of British Columbia, requesting "that B.C. immediately prohibit the importation of live farm salmon material (all species of broodstock, milt and eggs) to protect BC from the spread of Infectious Salmon Anemia." In June 2009, Alexandra Morton wrote another letter of concern. "I am not hearing how the [salmon farming] industry can possibly safeguard British Columbia from contamination with their ISA virus. Infectious Salmon Anemia is a salmon virus that is spreading worldwide, wherever there are salmon farms." She highlighted her concern with the authoritative prediction of Professor Are Nylund, head of the Fish Diseases Group at the University of Bergen, Norway. He warned that, "based on 20 years of

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August 2011

experience, I can guarantee that if British Columbia continues to import salmon eggs from the eastern Atlantic, infectious salmon diseases, such as ISA, will arrive in Western Canada." The inevitable may now be the reality. At least two media outlets, The Tyee and Pacific Free Press, have reported the possibility that ISAv is in BC marine waters. The Globe & Mail (May 03/11) reported that "there are approximately 35 indications of the existence of ISA identified in [the Cohen Commission] records to date" and that these records contain "information showing provincial inspectors found signs of a disease, infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, had been detected in British Columbia." The salmon farming industry is certain that ISAv has not reached the West Coast because high mortality in its pens would be an obvious indicator. But such mortality would not occur with the difficult-to-detect non-lethal form of ISAv (Ibid.). And DFO, in concert with the industry's position, has repeatedly assured concerned British Columbians that regulations are in place to prevent ISAv from reaching the West Coast. Given DFO's overtly supportive relationship with the salmon farming industry, however, Morton decided to "ground truth" this assurance. She found "that at every location where they could have caught ISAv there was a gaping hole.... except where trade sanctions loomed, then the proper documentation surfaces" (Ibid.). If Plan A fails, will Plan B work? Even if ISAv is brought to the West Coast with farmed Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon are supposed to be immune to the disease - supposed to be. But as every biologist knows, and as ISAv has already demonstrated in Norway, such viral diseases are mutational acrobats. Wild Pacific species would be an irresistible opportunity that ISAv could reach simply by mutating. The result would be an unmitigated disaster for everything from ecology to culture associated with BC's iconic wild salmon. Morton writes that she has found Broughton Archipelago herring with the symptomatic ISAv bleeding around their fins but has been unable to get a laboratory to test the samples (Ibid.). Meanwhile, the Cohen Commission's inquiry grinds on. From August 25th to September 9th, 2011, it will examine the relationship between disappearing Fraser River Sockeye, West Coast salmon farming and the gauntlet of open net-pens that wild smolts have to pass on their out-migration to the sea. The salmon farming industry, meanwhile, has been doing its legal best to prevent the release of privileged information it has been forced to divulge to the Commission, arguing that this release to the public could cause them "reputational and economic damage". The public availability of such confidential information previously hidden from open environmental scrutiny, it contends, would create a "media circus". "Media circus" is the industry's term for losing control of a public relations agenda that for decades has been construing conspicuously damaging environmental practices as harmless. ISAv could blast that benign image out of West Coast waters. Indeed, a whole minefield of bombs are ticking under the industry's open net-pens. Editor’s note: The Leader will continue to report on the many positive and negative health and financial impacts associated with Atlantic salmon farms as we lead up to the SSCS-hosted International Atlantic Salmon Farm symposium, May 29 – 31, 2012 at the University of British Columbia.

People in a community who are closely connected to the local surroundings are often the first to notice environmental change. Increasingly, government scientists are acknowledging the importance of traditional knowledge and are starting to give it the recognition and weight it deserves.

THE LEADER

From: The Impacts of Salmon Farms on BC First Nations’ Traditional Food Sources

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August 2011

Elwha River Restoration The Elwha River dams will be removed, beginning this summer. Wild salmon and steelhead are expected to recover dramatically, but these guest columnists argue they must be allowed to without the presence of hatchery fish. By Will Atlas, Kurt Beardslee and Rich Simms Special to The Times STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES Hydroelectric generation at Elwha Dam has been shut down. The Elwha River's dams will be removed in September. WITH removal of the Elwha River dams scheduled to begin this summer, the river can demonstrate a new paradigm for sustainable salmon management based upon wild fish, rather than hatchery production. The dam removal will open up about 90 miles of protected river for spawning fish. Given the amount and quality of the habitat, biologists predict tens of thousands of wild salmon and steelhead could eventually return to the Elwha River above the dams within our children's lifetimes. The recovery will reach its full potential only if hatchery fish are removed from the Elwha. On the Elwha we have an opportunity to restore wild salmon and steelhead to a pristine river unlike any remaining in our state. Before dam construction in 1910, the river supported robust populations of steelhead and five different species of salmon, including some of the largest chinook ever documented. Given time and conservative harvest management, there is reason to believe that within a few decades we will see those magnificent fish return in similar numbers. Unfortunately, we are poised to squander what would otherwise be a tremendous opportunity.

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August 2011

Each year, Washington state releases hundreds of millions of juvenile salmon and steelhead from hatcheries to supplement sport and commercial fisheries. These releases are known to be harmful to wild stocks: interbreeding with wild fish, altering their genetic makeup and reducing the survival of their offspring; competing for space and resources; introducing disease; attracting predators; encouraging overfishing, to cite just a few deleterious impacts. Countless researchers have confirmed that hatchery programs are incompatible with healthy, abundant wild salmon and steelhead. The stated goal of the Elwha River dam removal is to restore healthy populations of wild salmon and steelhead to the watershed. Yet despite an overwhelming body of evidence confirming the harmful impacts of hatcheries, state, federal and tribal governments have agreed upon a plan that relies heavily on hatchery supplementation. Faced with the single greatest opportunity to restore wild salmon, they've opted for business as usual, perpetuating a failing paradigm of replacing native fish with a man-made alternative.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, long advocates for dam removal in the watershed, have built a huge, new hatchery which will be used to plant steelhead, chinook and other salmon species, threatening the future of wild fish in the basin. These fish, bred in captivity, are no longer able to produce self-

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August 2011

sustaining numbers of offspring when spawning in the wild. Consequently, large numbers of hatchery fish spawning in a river can greatly reduce the productivity of wild stocks. A five-year fishing moratorium is scheduled to take effect this year, yet managers have been adamant about continuing to release hatchery steelhead and salmon into the Elwha, despite the fact that none will be caught in sport or commercial fisheries. Instead, these nonnative fish will return to spawn with the few remaining wild fish that have managed to keep a tenuous foothold below the dams. For decades, hatchery salmon and steelhead have sustained tribal fisheries on the Elwha. Understandably, the tribe fears that without hatcheries they will no longer have opportunities to fish. While we believe strongly that the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe should have the opportunity to fish in accordance with their treaty rights, continuing to release nonnative hatchery fish in the Elwha throughout the recovery period is wrongheaded and counterproductive. The Elwha River restoration is an opportunity to see the capacity of wild salmon and steelhead to recover without costly, ineffective hatchery intervention. If we hope to restore the Elwha to its former glory, we must let wild fish recolonize the river naturally. For generations, the river sustained the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and, unlike many rivers in our region, the wild Elwha remains more than capable of giving life to its people and standing as a singular example of a world-class wild fish-restoration project, one that will ultimately allow wild salmon and steelhead to return to levels unthinkable in the 21st century. It's time we get out of the fishes' way. Will Atlas is chair of the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee; Kurt Beardslee is executive director of the Wild Fish Conservancy; Rich Simms is president of the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

Native plants are being raised near Port Angeles. These plants will be used to restore the banks along the Elwha River following removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams; the largest such restoration project in American history.

THE LEADER

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August 2011

Photo (stretched) courtesy of Natural Settings Digital Imaging and Design, and LightHawk

Chehalis River Protection and Restoration Herrera Beutler Bill Fights for Private Forest Land Jobs Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 12:48 pm Herrera Beutler Bill Fights for Private Forest Land Jobs By The Chronicle's Editorial Board

Private forest lands are big business in Washington state and specifically Southwest Washington. The lands create 110,300 jobs in the Evergreen State and contribute $4.9 billion to the United States economy. A recent decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court jeopardizes that segment of the economy. The Ninth Circuit of Appeals upheld a reclassification of forest roads. Under the ruling, the roads are treated the same as factories or industrial parking lots when it comes to pollution runoff. This is a reversal of the Clean Water Act passed 35 years ago. The new ruling requires private forest land owners to get a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit for their roads. This builds an unneeded extra regulation on private forest land owners, who already in Washington state are required to follow the Forests and Fish law, considered by some to be the most environmentally stringent in the nation. During these trying economic times, we don’t need more duplicate regulations that hinder business. Mike Draper, vice president, Western District, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, said the ruling if let stand “will bring forest management to a halt, negatively affect our members in Washington state, and destroy local economies without any contribution to environmental improvement.”

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However, you have to consider the source. The Ninth Circuit, with the highest percentage of judges appointed by Democratic presidents at 59 percent, is considered a bit “loony” in its rulings over the years. The Ninth Circuit showed its bent toward judicial activism and left-leaning politics when back in 2002 it ruled a public school district in California could not lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance due to the words “under God.” The decision was panned from all sides, including then-Democratic House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt who called the decision “poorly thought out.” Fortunately, we have sane representation in Congress. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas., has introduced a bipartisan-supported bill (co-introduced with U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.) that will eliminate the requirement for the extra permit. It shifts responsibility onto the states to regulate forest roads. A similar bill is being introduced in the U.S. Senate by both Republican and Democratic leaders. The legislation is supported by small business, labor and forest-related industry employers. Herrera Beutler said in listening to some private forest-related business owners, she has been told the ruling, if left intact, would be the final burden and be a reason to shut down their operations. Southwest Washington suffers from some of the highest unemployment levels in the nation. Herrera Beutler continues her efforts to fight to protect against unreasonable and damaging court rulings. This bill needs to become the law.

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Issue 8 August 2011 2011 SSCS Officers, Directors, Advisors Bruce Treichler

Ric Abbett

President and CEO

Joe Durham

Jim Wilcox

Secretary and Treasurer

Vice-president

Don Schluter

Dr. Alan Steeves

Terry Turner

SSCS – Conservation Directors

Richard Mayer

Senior Marketing and Communications Advisor

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Dr. Alexandra Morton

Senior Marine Fisheries Advisor

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Issue 8

August 2011 SSCS Valued Corporate Sponsors

101 Multimedia

Alpine Experience

British Columbia Federation of Fly Fishers

Flyfishers’ Arte & Publishing

LightHawk – Flying for the

Natural Settings – Digital

Environment

Imaging and Design

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Issue 8

August 2011

Bristol Bay, Alaska

Thank you for contacting me about the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response. As you may know, the Pebble Mine is a massive mineral exploration project proposed for Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. The project, under the jurisdiction of Alaska state regulators, has been quite controversial. While the Pebble Mine area is estimated to be one of the largest deposits of copper, gold, and molybdenum in the world, many fear that widespread pollution from the project will harm some of the largest salmon runs in the world. This could impact the area's multimillion dollar sport and commercial fishery and the subsistence fishing rights of regional native communities and tribes. To that end, you should know that I strongly support updating the antiquated Mining Law of 1872, and will push for stronger environmental protections to preserve our most sacred landscapes for future generations. Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on Pebble Mine, and please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance. Sincerely, Maria Cantwell United States Senator

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Issue 8

August 2011

Thank you for writing to me regarding the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. It was good to hear from you. As you may know, the proposed Pebble Mine would be used to extract gold and copper in southwest Alaska and would be located near the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed, home of the world's largest sockeye salmon runs. I am concerned that open-pit mining in this area could irreversibly harm the local ecology. Maintaining robust salmon fisheries in Alaska is very important to Washington's commercial fishing industry. In February 2011, due to concerns about habitat protection, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to conduct a review of the risks posed to the bay and the surrounding critical habitat. This review will assist the EPA in determining whether the mine proposal would negatively impact the Bristol Bay watershed. Throughout my Senate tenure, I have worked to preserve important habitat for fish and wildlife and protect our nation's wild places from unwarranted development. Should legislation come before the Senate to address the Pebble Mine, please know that I will keep your concerns in mind. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Thank you again for contacting me, and keep in touch. Sincerely, Patty Murray United States Senator

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Issue 8

August 2011

The Risks of the Pebble Mine Proposal

Proposed mining in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve Credit: Renewable Resources Coalition Roughly 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, and just north of Lake Iliamna, the Pebble Limited Partnership (commonly called the Pebble Partnership of Anglo American PLC and Northern Dynasty Minerals), intends to build the Pebble mine, consisting of what would be the largest open pit mine in North America, and an additional large underground block-cave mine. Owners hope to excavate billions of tons of raw ore, primarily seeking significant quantities of copper, gold and molybdenum, along with smaller yields of silver, palladium and rhenium. This pristine wilderness, which includes prime spawning habitat for the world's most productive wild sockeye fishery, would be devastated by the Pebble Mine...         

A overview of what's at risk (and fact sheet) Acid rock drainage and metal leaching at the Pebble Mine Fisheries impacts at the Pebble Mine Ecological risk to Bristol Bay wild salmon systems (The Nature Conservancy, October 2010) MAP: Proposed Mining in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve Bristol Bay's salmon ecology 101 Seismic risk at the Pebble Mine Waste disposal at the Pebble Mine Water-related impacts at the Pebble Mine

Mark your calendars - “Living with Western Washington Rivers” The Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society, along with event sponsors, will present the November 4, 2011 “Living with Western Washington Rivers” symposium at the Veterans’ Memorial Museum in Chehalis, Washington. The purpose of this important forum is to provide a forum for presentation of emerging policy and management goals, objectives, and information needs related to “Living with Western Washington Rivers” now and into the foreseeable future. Panel discussions will address: Watershed Services, Floodplain Development, Forest Practices, Transportation and Watershed Management. Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has been invited to serve as the event’s keynote speaker during lunch. Seating for this one day event will be limited to 100. This event will be broadcast live to those unable to attend it in person. It will also be available for future reference via a two-DVD set following the symposium.

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August 2011 Issue 8The Steelhead and Salm on Conservation Society Presents:

“Living with Western Washington Rivers” Friday, November 4, 2011 10:00AM – 5:00PM Veterans’ Memorial Museum Chehalis, Washington Keynote Speaker: Washington Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler Panel Discussions:  Watershed Services  Floodplain Development  Transportation  Forest Practices  Watershed Management A Ad dm miissssiio on n ((iin nc cllu ud de ess llu un nc ch h)):: $ $2 25 5..0 00 0 S Stte ee ellh he ea ad da an nd dS Sa allm mo on nC Co on nsse errvva attiio on nS So oc ciie ettyy th 3 33 32 22 21 10 04 4tthh A Avve eS SW W O Ollyym mp piia a,, W Wa a9 98 85 51 12 2 ((3 36 60 0)) 3 35 52 2--7 79 98 88 8

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S Stte ee ellh he ea ad dssa allm mo on n@ @yya ah ho oo o..c co om m

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Issue 8

August 2011

Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society Membership Application Please return your completed application and check to: SSCS Membership 3322 104th Avenue SW Olympia, WA, 98512

Your joining the Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society is truly appreciated. Your completed application for a membership will be evaluated by the SSCS Membership Chairman. You’ll be notified via an e-mail message regarding your SSCS membership status. Thank you for your interest in protecting and restoring the unique Pacific Northwest outdoors and our way of life.

Sponsored By: __________________________________________ Date Approved by SSCS: _________________________________ Your name: (print) __________________________________________________ Your address: (street)____________________________(city)________________ (state)__________(country) ________(postal code)____________ Your e-mail address:_________________________________________________ Your phone number:_________________________________________________ Membership Fee Structure – please select one: O Life: $1,000

Follow SSCS at:

Annual membership level: O Chinook: $500 O Steelhead: $100 O River Steward: $50 O Undergraduate: $35 O Student (12 – 18): $20 O Senior (62+): $20 O Commercial sponsor: $250

E-mail: SteelheadSalmon@yahoo.com Web: Http://NWSSCS.blogspot.com Skype: Steelhead.Salmon FaceBook: Steelhead Salmon Twitter: Steelhead.Salmon

What personal or professional skills will you contribute as a member of the Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society? O O O O O O O O

Process Restoration: forestland, floodplain, wetland Science: Fisheries, Wildlife, Soils, Hydrology, Geology. Economy Legal Membership development Communication Marketing Project Management Other _____________________

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The Leader - August 2011  

Key topics: Chehalis River basin flood risk management Farmed Atlantic Salmon Elwha River restoration Bristol Bay protection

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