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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

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Saving Wild Salmon

Pacific salmon are a defining element of the Pacific Northwest’s history, culture, economy, diet, and environment. Seven species of salmon and steelhead make epic journeys to complete their life cycle, migrating from freshwater rivers to Pacific feeding grounds, then returning to natal streams to spawn. Their ability to return to the streams where they hatched, and the sheer numbers of spawning fish when that season arrives, have captivated people for millennia. Salmon are a now focal species for restoring entire watersheds, ecosystems and cultures.

Many formerly abundant Pacific salmon runs have collapsed, under pressure from dams, water diversions, logging, gravel mining, overgrazing, urban development, pesticides and climate change. Twenty-eight distinct populations of Pacific salmon and steelhead are now federally protected as threatened or endangered species.

The Center is working to provide strong legal protections for declining West Coast salmon and steelhead populations and safeguard essential stream habitat. The Center was instrumental in establishing federal critical habitat protections and protective regulations for many listed salmon populations; we’re taking on water diversions and bad water policy in the San Francisco Bay Delta, Sacramento River, Klamath River and other important salmon streams, and have challenged logging plans, cattle grazing, gravel mining, pesticide use and other activities that degrade stream habitat for salmon. Now we’re confronting fish farms that threaten to spread devastating new diseases from fish feedlots to wild salmon.

Salmon photo courtesy FlickrCommons/DaveBezaire & SusiHavens-Bezaire