Anglers rely greatly on the work of groups like American Rivers, and when American Rivers releases their Anglers Fund Conservation Update, anglers pay close attention.
The most recent Anglers Fund Conservation Update from American Rivers highlights a great deal of progress as well as challenges ahead.
The report first looks at the Elwha River – a river known by many as a former salmon stronghold in Washington and the cause of a great deal of activism (recall the ELWHA BE FREE dam painting in DamNation). As many are aware, dam removal has occurred on the Elwha, and the outcome is something to be excited about. American Rivers notes that coho salmon have returned to the river, and “Biologists project that the river will support 400,000 steelhead and salmon now that the dams are out, which shows how quickly and completely rivers and fisheries can recover.”
For those who are hoping for further progress on the West Coast, American Rivers notes the great news in California and Oregon, as four Klamath River dams are set to go down by 2020. (Sounds far off but is right around the corner.) And American Rivers points out that there are additional wins throughout the country for dam removal advocates.
And while much of the 6-page update notes good news, there are some challenges ahead. Of note, American Rivers is actively pressuring the state of Montana to reject a copper mine on the Smith River that could wreak havoc on a treasured western river. In addition, American Rivers is working to “investigate the feasibility of removing the existing Intake Diversion Dam to aid in the recovery of endangered pallid sturgeon and a host of other native fish species that have been partially blocked by this barrier for more than a century.” Let’s get behind both of these important efforts.
The Venturing Angler is grateful for the work of American Rivers and applaud their role in the successes in the report. And we look forward to what’s ahead.