A display put up by the North Olympic Orca Pod at the State Capitol symbolizes the remaining Southern Resident orcas. The group also put up a “ghost fin” display to represent those that have died since 2005. (Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau, file)

A display put up by the North Olympic Orca Pod at the State Capitol symbolizes the remaining Southern Resident orcas. The group also put up a “ghost fin” display to represent those that have died since 2005. (Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau, file)

Snohomish woman ends fast that focused on plight of orcas

Lanni Johnson had urged elected leaders to embrace removing dams on Snake River as one solution.

OLYMPIA — Lanni Johnson of Snohomish on Wednesday concluded a 17-day fast that she undertook to bring greater attention to the plight of Southern Resident orcas.

A focus of her solo protest was on the lack of available food, chiefly salmon, for the killer whales. She called on elected state and federal officials to support removal of four dams on the lower Snake River to get more salmon to orcas and reduce the threat of any dying from starvation.

Johnson, 71, began her water-and-salt-only diet April 1. She spent several hours each day seated in a lawn chair either at the base of the steps on the Capitol’s north side or in the foyer of the domed structure.

The Seattle Times reported Saturday that budgets passed by the House and Senate so far contain no funding to continue the governor’s task force on orca recovery, and no agreement yet on funding the governor’s proposed panel to consider the effects of breaching the Lower Snake River dams.

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