September 13th, 2012
Salmon For All is pleased that the Coastal Conservation Association and other sport-fishing interests have decided to end their campaign in behalf of Measure 81. As Governor Kitzhaber, the Native Fish Society, the Columbia River Treaty Tribes and others have recognized, Measure 81 has never been about fish conservation and enhancement of Columbia River fish – it’s simply an allocation grab – and should never have been on the Oregon ballot. Indeed, Measure 81 would not be on the Oregon ballot but for the actions of one Washington State resident who contributed more than half-million dollars, or 89% if of the total costs, to pay for signature gathering for the measure.
We agree with the Governor that the Fish & Wildlife Commission is the proper venue for allocation and conservation issues. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s professional managers and scientists serving the Commission can examine innovative policy proposals to ensure that they’re both practical and achieve their intended goals. Commissioners are appointed to serve all Oregonians. The Commission is mandated by Oregon law to provide an equitable allocation of public resources. Salmon for All. as the public’s fishermen, trusts that the process initiated by Governor Kitzhaber will protect an equal allocation while evaluating the merits of his request. An open and transparent process is needed by the many parties that will be affected by any changes to Lower Columbia River policies. Like the Governor and sport-fishermen, Salmon for All will actively participate in the Commission process. We fully expect that equality and balance will be maintained, our livelihoods will be protected and all Oregonians will continue to fairly share the bounty of our common resource.