Dear Friends of TU,
Last week, it was reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering approval of genetically engineered salmon for sale in America's grocery stores and restaurants. Wild salmon are a vital thread in the fabric of our American heritage. They literally connect mountains to the sea and farmers to fishermen. We do not need to alter the genetics of what might be the world's most perfect source of protein to sustain wild salmon or to feed people.
Wild salmon have borne the cost of our demand for timber, cheap electricity and food for more than a century. Although scores of salmon populations have been lost, this newsletter's Penobscot story underscores our progress toward recovery for Atlantic salmon in Maine as unneeded dams are removed and rivers restored.
As you will also read here, TU is partnering with Field & Stream magazine to highlight the need to protect salmon habitat such as the Copper-Salmon wilderness in Oregon and other public lands. Approximately $10 billion in habitat restoration investments are helping to return wild salmon to other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Increased irrigation efficiency and innovative water management is putting water back in overused rivers in California's wine country.
We know how to recover healthy, wild populations of salmon so that our children may fish for them in their home waters. That vision will be made unlikely if the FDA approves commercial production of genetically engineered salmon. Genetically modified salmon will not be contained. Aquaculture species, whether in freshwater or marine environments, have never been completely contained. They escape through water supplies, as a result of human error, or are intentionally released because of some perceived need.
In order to ensure a long-term future for wild salmon and steelhead, we need to protect and restore their habitat. TU will keep you informed of opportunities to comment on and influence the FDA rulemaking. Wild salmon have been a part of our heritage fora millennium. We do not need to alter their genetics - we only need to protect the places where wild salmon swim, today and forever.
Thanks for your support of TU. Please stay in touch.
Chris Wood, President and CEO
email@example.com | direct line: 703-284-9403
Progress for Atlantic Salmon on the Penobscot
Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued permits authorizing the Penobscot River Restoration Project in Maine, which includes the removal of the two lowest dams on the Penobscot River and construction of a bypass channel at a dam on a tributary. The project will improve access for salmon and 10 other species of sea-run fish to over 1,000 miles of upstream habitat. TU, other conservation groups, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, the dam owner and Maine and federal fisheries agencies have been working together to implement the project since signing a settlement agreement in 2004. Dam removal is expected to begin in 2012.
»See what the restoration will look like.
TU and Field & Stream Join Forces to Protect "Best Wild Places"
TU's Sportsmen's Conservation Project has joined forces with Field & Stream Magazine to highlight the "Best Wild Places." These Western landscapes are largely intact, remote places, but face varied threats from development, incursion or invasive species. Rich in value to hunters and anglers, they all feature excellent fish and game habitat.
Visit Field & Stream for feature stories, videos and photos about the tour.
Check out the "Best Wild Places" destinations.
Senate to Take Action on Climate Change
Congress is working on several pieces of environmental legislation in the final month before August recess. In late June, two important bills cleared committees in the House and Senate. One was the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, which would help to support TU's restoration programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed from New York to Virginia. The other was an amendment to a House bill that would repeal the oil and gas industry's exemption from the stormwater provisions of the Clean Water Act. Requiring effective control of stormwater runoff will help prevent sedimentation and other harmful impacts to rivers and streams. With only a few weeks left on the Senate calendar before the August recess, action may occur on energy legislation. We will work to make sure any energy and climate bill that the Senate takes up includes protections for natural resources from climate change impacts.
Bear Lake Bonnevilles Make Historic Move
Countless generations of Bonneville cutthroat trout have struggled to move from Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border and spawn in nearby tributaries. But, just this spring, after a TU project removed an old culvert on Fish Haven Creek, Bonneville cutthroat trout have been able to move up the stream to spawn for the first time in nearly 60 years. TU biologist Kirk Dahle reports that cutthroat between 18 and 30 inches weighing 6 to 8 pounds are swimming up the creek this spring.
»Watch video of some of the first fish to move up the creek.
»Learn more about the Bear River project.
»Read a Salt Lake City Tribune article about Bonnevilles in Bear Lake.
TU's Collection of 50th Anniversary Gear
Get your 50th anniversary hat, t-shirt, mug or tote bag before they disappear. TU's 50th Collection features many products custom made with the 50th special edition logo. With each purchase, TU gets 15 percent of the sale.
»Buy TU 50th Gear