I was happy to read the recent commentary by Amy Gulick (“Our cultural survival is tied to salmon’s survival,” The Herald, May 14). We need to do all we can to restore our Washington salmon populations which have declined greatly over the past century. In addition to protecting intact habitat and upper watersheds that have not been developed or polluted as part of national parks, wilderness areas or Wild and Scenic Rivers, we also need to continue to do the expensive and hard restoration work in the lower watersheds.
One major restoration action that would make a difference is removing the four Snake River dams to free up habitat that has been locked up for more than 60 years. Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee have committed to providing a comprehensive solution for the Columbia and Snake River salmon by July of this year. Critical to that decision, they are developing a draft report that identifies how to replace the services of the four lower Snake River dams if they are removed for salmon restoration and asking for comments later this month.
On behalf of local Tribes, Washington-based commercial fishermen, local anglers, leading chefs and all of us that know the importance of what Amy Gulick calls “the salmon way,” we can do more than simply rely on Alaska salmon; we can restore habitat for Washington salmon.