August 24th, 2012
Visitors to the Salmon For All website will notice a new button prominently displayed on the main page, saying Help Us Defeat 81! Ballot Measure 81 is the Oregon gillnet ban on the November ballot, to be decided by the voters of Oregon, rather than by fishery managers. It is a bad measure in every way: overly broad, poorly written, and sweeping in its attempt to grab the fishery resource for the recreational fishery at the expense of Oregon consumers and lower Columbia River commercial fishing families. Ballot box biology is a bad idea, which is why Oregon voters have defeated previous attempts to ban the gillnet fishery by initiative petition in 1964 and 1992. Ballot Measure 8 in 1992 was soundly rejected by the voters of Oregon. Washington voters also have defeated similar measures twice, rejecting I-640 in 1995 and I-696 in 1999.
Known as the “Protect Our Salmon Act of 2012,” Ballot Measure 81 is sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, or CCA. The CCA would have you believe it is a conservation organization, but its history and tactics reveal otherwise. The national Coastal Conservation Association had its beginings as the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, founded in 1977 by wealthy Texas oilmen. Its first chairman was Walter Fondren III, the heir to the Humble Oil fortune, and an Exxon executive. Fondren remained the chairman of the national CCA for many years. Those who are interested in the subject are encouraged to read Wetland Riders by Robert Fritchey (New Moon Press, Golden Meadow, Louisiana, 1993). For a review, please see http://www.salmonforall.org/05.2009/cca-putting-the-con-in-conservation/. In it, Fritchey details the underhanded tactics used by the CCA in its extended campaign to limit or eliminate commercial fisheries across the Gulf Coast.
The link to Www.NoMeasure81.Com will take you to the No on Measure 81 campaign website, where you can find information on contributing to the battle to defeat Measure 81. If you depend on buying your salmon from the fish market, grocery store, or restaurant, Ballot Measure 81 is a bad idea for you. It will eliminate your access to locally sourced Columbia River salmon. If you treasure your taste of Columbia River spring Chinook, help us defeat Ballot measure 81 by contributing now. Measure 81 was put on the ballot by a wealthy, out-of-state multimillionaire. We don’t have a big bucks, high-roller financing our effort to protect your access to Columbia River salmon. But if we have enough grassroots support, we can prevail again, just as we have in the past. Together we are strong, and the truth is on our side. Approximately 94% of Oregonians are non-fishing consumers. Commercial fishermen fish for the consumers.
Some seem to think that now that Governor Kitzhaber has announced plans to move the gillnet fleet off the main stem and into off-channel terminal fisheries, all is lost. But, it most definitely is not. Governor Kitzhaber’s proposal is the “SAFE for Salmon” plan sponsored by the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, but rejected previously by the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission, and by the Oregon legislature, because it just didn’t make sense. It doesn’t jibe with the facts. The Governor’s proposal is a distraction from the real business at hand, which is defeating Ballot Measure 81. He can’t change the fact that Measure 81 is on the ballot. Defeating Measure 81 is Job No. 1. And you can help be a part of this effort.