Science Inventory

A TWO CENTURY HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST SALMON: LESSONS LEARNED FOR ACHIEVING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Citation:

Lackey, R T. A TWO CENTURY HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST SALMON: LESSONS LEARNED FOR ACHIEVING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Presented at Annual Meeting of the North Pacific Int'l Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Skamania, Washington, Nov. 1-3, 2004.

Description:

Achieving ecological sustainability is a daunting challenge. In the Pacific Northwest one of the most highly visible public policy debates concerns the future of salmon populations. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, many wild salmon stocks have declined and some have disappeared. The decline was induced by an extensively studied and reasonably well-understood combination of causal agents. The public appears to support reversing the decline of wild salmon, yet, according to many experts, the long-term prognosis is poor for maintaining even today's level of wild runs. Careful evaluation of the history of the decline, coupled with a few largely indisputable scientific facts, yields several overarching lessons learned that are relevant to current efforts to achieve long-term ecological sustainability: (1) most rules of commerce and economic growth work against salmon recovery; (2) the current trajectory for the region's human population precludes some frequently stated recovery goals; (3) individual and collective life-style preferences demonstrate that recovery is less important than many advocates assert; and (4) increasing scarcity of key natural resources will constrain ecological options. These lessons learned collectively demonstrate that without substantial and pervasive changes in individual and collective lifestyles, the status of wild salmon through this century will likely continue the well-documented path of the past 150 years.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 11/01/2004
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 89961

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE