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SCIENCE, POLITICS, AND PACIFIC NORTHWEST SALMON RECOVERY
Lackey, R T. SCIENCE, POLITICS, AND PACIFIC NORTHWEST SALMON RECOVERY. Presented at Lecture at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR, July 16, 2002.
Throughout the Pacific Northwest, since 1850, all wild salmon runs have declined and some have disappeared. Billions of dollars have been spent in a so-far failed attempt to reverse the long-term decline. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars continue to be spent in various recovery programs. How can nearly everyone be in favor of restoring wild salmon, according to polling surveys, yet the long-term prognosis appears to be so grim? Fisheries biologists and other scientists can help craft recovery plans, but they are unable to offer any easy, painless approaches that will actually restore wild salmon runs. Restoring most wild salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest to anything resembling historic levels will be arduous and will entail substantial economic costs and social disruption. There are restoration options that are likely to be ecologically viable and appreciably less socially disruptive than current strategies, but these options also have more modest restoration objectives.