In 2008, Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative grantees jointly achieved extraordinary results, increasing watershed habitat protection, improving salmon aquaculture and harvest management practices, and working to establish an ecosystem-based management framework to guide conservation and management decision-making.
Examples of demonstrated grantee successes in 2008 include the following:
Watershed Habitat Protection
- Working with representatives of the the timber, commercial fishing, environmental, and Alaska Native communities, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Audubon Alaska, Trout Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy helped craft the outline of a potential proposal for resolving long-standing conflicts over land and resource use in the Tongass National Forest. If implemented, the proposal would significantly increase protection for important areas of the Tongass, while also meeting the interests of other regional stakeholders.
- By working to foster decision-making processes that empower communities to make rational choices about potential development projects—providing information about social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits—Foundation granteeshelped inform resolutions by First Nations and community leaders calling for an end to coal-bed methane development in the “Sacred Headwaters” region of Northern British Columbia. In response, the British Columbia government legislated a development moratorium in this sensitive habitat area at the birthplace of three major salmon producing rivers, the Skeena, Stikine, and Nass. Pembina Institute, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, Friends of Wild Salmon, ForestEthics, Driftwood Foundation and Tides Canada Foundation all helped create this opportunity to develop improved processes safeguarding the rivers’ physical ability to produce salmon.
Mitigating the Negative Impacts of Salmon Aquaculture
- Responding to unified and forceful opposition from Northern First Nations and communities, British Columbia’s Provincial government announced in 2008 an official moratorium on the expansion of fish farm tenures in the North Coast region. Wild Salmon Ecosystem Initiative grantees, including Friends of Wild Salmon and T Buck Suzuki Foundation, assisted communities to act in a strategically coordinated manner to achieve this important outcome.
Guiding Conservation and Management Decisions
- Efforts by Foundation grantees helped secure independent scientific and economic analyses of the Skeena salmon fishery, with endorsement by the British Columbia provincial and Canadian federal agencies in 2007. In 2008, the resulting reports were released and an associated community-based participant process initiated, thanks to past and continued work by grantees including the Pacific Salmon Foundation, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and Headwaters Initiative. For key stakeholders and government decision-makers, the reports offer credible and useful guidance for fisheries management.
Congratulations to all our grantees on their important achievements in 2008. Together with other stakeholders across the Northern Pacific Rim, these organizations are playing a critical and collaborative role in ensuring that salmon ecosystems remain healthy and continue to produce abundant and diverse wild salmon.