We disagree with the guest editorial by Timothy Male [“U.S. is overspending to save salmon,” Opinion, March 18].
Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, along with the other members of the Washington state congressional delegation, should be commended for their ongoing support of salmon recovery.
Salmon are a critical component of Pacific Coast ecosystems and of our cultural heritage. They are a focus for recreation, and have supported rural communities stretching from Northern California to Alaska for generations.
Our federal government made promises to Northwest Indian tribes through treaties guaranteeing access to fish indefinitely, and rivers without fish amount to empty promises.
Addressing salmon recovery is both critically important and expensive work. ESA-listed salmon range across vast expanses of freshwater and marine habitats which must all be in functioning condition for the fish to thrive. Pacific salmon pass through major centers of population, experiencing land and water uses that complicate recovery efforts.
When we protect and restore salmon habitat, we also protect many other species that live along and utilize our waterways, including ESA-listed southern resident killer whales that depend on salmon for food. If salmon can’t make it here, then how can they survive? And, ultimately, how can we?
Norm Dicks, former Congressman and Jacques White, Executive Director of Long Live the Kings