WSSNWild Salmon & Steelhead News is published monthly by the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition. Read on to learn about the Columbia-Snake River Basin’s endangered wild salmon and steelhead, the many benefits they deliver to people and ecosystems, and the extinction crisis they face today - unless we act! Find out how SOS is helping lead efforts to restore health, connectivity, and resilience to the rivers and streams these fish depend upon in the Columbia-Snake Basin and how you can get involved to help restore healthy, abundant, and harvestable populations and sustain more just and prosperous communities. To learn more and/or get involved, contact Martha Campos.

Table of Contents

1. Speak up for salmon: Urge your member of Congress to fund Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead restoration
2. Join these upcoming events - virtual and in-person!
3. Introducing NextGen Salmon Collective: Empowering Youth Advocacy for Columbia-Snake River Basin Restoration. 
4. Art makes advocacy stronger - more memorable. Enter NWAAE / SOS' 2024 poster competition!
5. SOS supports Upper Columbia River Tribes’ leadership to reintroduce salmon in blocked areas.
6. Get that GIVING feeling - to restore salmon and their rivers!
7. Salmon media round-up.

1. Speak up for salmon: Urge your member of Congress to fund Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead restoration.

TAKE ACTION: Call on Northwest members of Congress to secure funding to rebuild healthy, abundant salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia River Basin, including funding for critical projects in the Mid-Columbia River.

The Columbia River Basin Restoration Agreement was announced in December 2023 by the Biden Administration and the 'Six Sovereigns' (Four Tribes – the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, and Nez Perce Tribe – and two states, Oregon and Washington). In addition to creating the path to restore the lower Snake River and replace its dams’ services, this historic Agreement identifies a set of high-impact, high-priority projects to advance salmon recovery and protect and restore their habitats in the Snake and Columbia rivers and their tributaries in the Mid-Columbia River region.

Implementation of the U.S. Government's commitments in the Agreement will bring more than $1 billion in new federal investments to the Northwest over the next ten years to support salmon restoration, expand clean energy production, and modernize other critical services—including transportation, recreation, and irrigation—that are important to the region. These investments provide an opportunity to significantly advance salmon recovery in a manner that moves everyone forward together. These are an important first steps. Additional funding and new policy will be needed in the coming years to better meet the needs of salmon and rebuild healthy, abundant and fishable populations.

Right now, we have a window of opportunity to secure additional investments to help advance this historic Agreement.


 Back to Table of Contents 

2. Join these upcoming events - virtual and in-person! 

Thanks to everyone who has attended various events to build awareness and momentum to rebuild salmon and steelhead abundance in the Columbia-Snake Basin. Read on for reflections from recent events and to learn about upcoming events that you can attend virtually or in-person! 

A) An Evening of Music inspired by the poetry anthology of 'I Sing the Salmon Home'

Last month, Bushwick Book Club Seattle and Empty Bowl Press hosted an evening of original music inspired by the poetry anthology - I Sing The Salmon Home: Poems from Washington State (Empty Bowl Press, 2023), edited by Rena Priest. 

Save Our wild Salmon was honored to attend and host a table at the event. The evening was filled with amazing music that moved the audience to tears and laughter and spurred everyone to reflect on the special gift that salmon are and our connection to them. Great thanks to all the musicians who sang and played beautifully: Leah Walters, Shaun Crawford, Mark Ippolito, Alexis, Mägi Ensemble, LaVon Hardison, High Turnover, Christine Gunn, Jess Pillay, and Shelby Natasha. You can watch a recording of this special evening here:

Watch the event recording 

B) 'Snake River Dinner Hour' - March and April:

SOS and Snake River Dinner Hour partners thank you for participating in our recent webinars! We hope you will join us again on the May 14 Snake River Dinner Hour webinar: Salmon & Grain: How to keep our plates full, responsibly. RSVP here.

In the March Snake River Dinner Hour: Culture + Recreation + Ecology = benefits of a restored lower Snake River, we were honored to have the following guests share their thoughts and advice about plans now underway to restore the lower Snake River, including honoring and protecting Tribal cultural sites and relationships in their traditional lands, as well as investing in new outdoor recreational opportunities, ecosystem and habitat improvements in a manner that can deliver significant economic benefits locally and across the Northwest region.

  • Nakia Williamson, Cultural Resources Director of the Nez Perce Tribe
  • Kayeloni Scott, NW Communications Director, American Rivers
  • Lauren McCullough, Operations Manager at OARS Dories
  • Libby Tobey, Grand Salmon Expedition Member and Legislative Fellow at Idaho Conservation League
  • Trey Carskadon, Public Relations Director for O'Loughlin Trade Shows and President of NSIA.

Watch the March Webinar recording!

This month, we were grateful to hear from the following guests in the Snake River Dinner Hour: Clean energy + a restored lower Snake River = a more vibrant Northwest, about the ways we can effectively replace the four dams’ energy services in a manner that prioritizes tribal-led clean energy programs, improves the region's power system resilience and reliability, provides stability for communities, and recovers salmon and steelhead.

  • Alyssa Macy, CEO of Washington Conservation Action and Citizen of the Warm Springs Tribe, Oregon
  • Robert E. Morris, Power System Consultant, Lance Energy Chair at Montana Technological University, and technical advisor for the Nez Perce Tribe
  • Chantel Greene, Founder & CEO of Xexus Greene Energy, LLC., and Nez Perce Tribal member
  • Senator Rebecca Saldaña, Washington State Senate Deputy Majority Leader representing the 37th Legislative District

Watch the April Webinar recording!

We're incredibly thankful to our Snake River Dinner Hour guest speakers for their leadership and for informing us about actions and urgent next steps to restore a free-flowing lower Snake River.

Washington and Oregon Residents Action Alert - Contact your governor today! In association with the Dinner Hour, we're encouraging Washington and Oregon residents to contact Governors Inslee (WA) and Kotek (OR) to continue their strong leadership to rebuild salmon abundance, restore a free-flowing lower Snake River, and invest in reliable, affordable and fish-friendly energy in the region.

Join the next Snake River Dinner Hour webinar: Salmon & Grain: How to keep our plates full, responsibly on May 14 at 6:00-7:00 pm PT via Zoom!

Register Here!

'Snake River Dinner Hour' is brought to you by American Rivers, Washington Conservation Action, Idaho Conservation League, Sierra Club, and the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition.


C) COMING APRIL 24: Voices for the West: At the Intersection of Art and Activism (Virtual)

Creativity bears a unique power, capable of rendering our world in terms that can inspire movement. Today, in the face of twin climate and biodiversity crises, and ever-increasing threats to humans from environmental degradation, artists wield a powerful tool to bring about change by raising new awareness, engaging people at a deeper level, and inspiring action.

Join the Voices for the West: At the Intersection of Art and Activism webinar by Advocates for the West on April 24 to discuss the intersection of the arts and environmental activism with panelists:

Register here!

D) COMING MAY 7: NW Energy Coalition’s 'Clean & Affordable Energy Conference' (Boise, ID)

Don’t miss the Clean & Affordable Energy Conference, hosted by the NW Energy Coalition on May 7 in Boise, Idaho! Network with peers in the clean energy community and hear from experts on the pressing energy issues in our region. The conference’s panel discussions will cover a range of Northwest energy topics:

  • Affordable, reliable energy services and Columbia Basin salmon recovery
  • Ensuring new electricity markets and transmission upgrades benefit Northwest communities
  • Protecting customers and communities as the region decarbonizes

 Register to ATTEND

E) COMING JUNE: Book Release - 'Big River: Resilience and Renewal in the Columbia Basin'

Join us in celebrating the latest project from our partners at Braided River Publishing Big River: Resilience and Renewal in the Columbia Basin! This breathtaking book includes work by photographer David Moskowitz and writer Eileen Delehanty Pearkes. This book release and public event series in the Northwest will kick off in early June.

The Columbia River Basin spans 1,200 miles through seven states and one Canadian province, and includes the ancestral lands of many Indigenous Nations. Big River: Resilience and Renewal in the Columbia Basin explores the challenges and opportunities today around people, water, salmon, agriculture, energy, and climate demands with the need for a sustainable and living river.

SOS is thrilled to be a supporter of this upcoming book that deeply illuminates the natural history, hydrogeology, beauty, and human relationships in the Columbia River watershed, while also highlighting the challenges facing the region and the people working on sustainable solutions.

The book release of Big River is June 1, 2024! In the meantime, we hope you join us in perusing the Big River website to learn more about the book, view stunning photos from the book, save the dates for upcoming events, and more:

Big River: Resilience and Renewal in the Columbia Basin website

Book Supporters: Port Gamble Sklallam Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Tulalip Tribe, Wildsight, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, ArtsFund, The Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation, and The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation

Back to Table of Contents 

3. Introducing NextGen Salmon Collective: Empowering Youth Advocacy for Columbia-Snake River Basin Restoration. 

NextGen Salmon Collective’s new logo was designed by NWAAE artist Jillian Kelly.

Are you a young person eager to advocate for a healthier, more resilient and sustainable Columbia-Snake River Basin? Or perhaps you know a student who is passionate about environmental justice? Please share this opportunity with them!

Save Our wild Salmon is launching a youth-centered leadership network called the NextGen Salmon Collective. We're building on our commitment to support and empower a vibrant community of young advocates based in the Northwest to help defend and protect our region's endangered salmon and orcas. Our mission is to foster meaningful connections, provide educational resources, facilitate mentorship, and offer logistical support for youth-led initiatives.

The next generation of environmental stewards is already here, and we want to work with you to help safeguard the future of Columbia River Basin salmon and all the species that depend on them.

To kick off the NextGen Salmon Collective, Save Our wild Salmon is looking for up to three youth organizing interns to begin organizing this summer. This team-based, structured internship will support passionate and creative students to educate, inspire and mobilize peers to protect and restore healthy habitat and resilient rivers in the Columbia-Snake Basin.


Contact Abby at with questions!

Back to Table of Contents 

 4. Art makes advocacy stronger - more memorable. Enter NWAAE / SOS' 2024 poster competition! 

In a recent meeting of Northwest Artists Against Extinction (NWAAE), we talked about the “why” of 'artful advocacy'. Art can offer an alternative approach – a deeper invitation into the intersections of science, history, policy, and culture through the use of aesthetic and creative visuals and narratives. Through NWAAE, art is helping us to reach, in new and profound ways, the people and policymakers who are making important decisions affecting the health of our communities, land, waters - and our future.

In the past several years, exhibits and events we organized with, for example, University of Puget Sound and Patagonia Seattle, inspired a different kind of conversation between educators, scientists, students, tribal members, and others who were especially drawn in because of powerful art and inspiring visual artists and writers. More than a few times, while listening to poetry and/or immersed in an exhibit, people have been visibly moved to tears. These kinds of deep emotional experiences and learning can become anchored in one’s memory and body. These kinds of connections can inspire change and shift trajectories.

We all recognize that change can be hard. At the very least, change requires learning, energy, and effort. All too often in our world today, talk of change comes with messages of fear. At NWAAE, we believe in heartful connections centered on hope, respect, honor, and beauty, with the aim of inspiring individual transformation and a community-based movement toward a healthier, more equitable and sustainable future.

The collaborative, supportive, and coordinated work of SOS, NWAAE, and many individuals, organizations, and Nations are making a difference today. With Tribes in the lead, Pacific Northwest people and the Biden Administration are making historic progress today. Powerful decision-makers are leaning in unprecedented ways today to recover endangered salmon, right historic wrongs, and uphold our nation's promises to Northwest Tribes. Working together, we’re taking big steps forward – though we have a lot of hard work still ahead. Time is short and there is so much at stake.

Join us! If you are an artist or know a creative advocate and would like to be a part of the NWAAE collective to defend Northwest salmon and orca and restore the gifts they bring to our communities, there are still a few days left to submit poster artwork for the 2024 poster competition. Deadline is Earth Day, April 22nd.

Submit Your Artwork! 

Back to Table of Contents 

5. SOS supports Upper Columbia River Tribes’ leadership to reintroduce salmon in blocked areas. 

On March 18, Save Our wild Salmon sent a letter co-signed by 18 allied NGOs to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expressing our strong collective support for the ‘Phase Two Implementation Plan’ (P2IP) – the Tribal led initiative to restore passage and reintroduce salmon into upper reaches of the Columbia River watershed.

Last September, three Upper Columbia River Tribes – Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and Spokane Tribe of Indians – announced an historic agreement with the Biden Administration to restore passage and reintroduce salmon into ancestral habitats from which they have been excluded/extirpated since the construction of dams on the Columbia and Spokane Rivers in north-central Washington State.

When the Nine Mile, Little Falls, and Long Lake dams were completed in the early 1900's, they blocked salmon from returning up the Spokane River. Over the coming decades, the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams downstream on the mainstem Columbia River further entrenched barriers, severing an ancient migratory corridor and access to several thousand miles of highly productive river and stream habitat. This included the legendary “June Hogs” – huge chinook salmon that spawned in the uppermost reaches of this watershed. Building upon several decades of work by these Tribes, the September 2023 settlement agreement secured $200 million from the Bonneville Power Administration to be paid over 20 years to implement Phase 2 of a four-phase plan to restore salmon in the Upper Columbia Basin. For years, these Tribes have been assiduously working to bring back these fish that have been central to their cultures, diets, and economy since time immemorial.

We encourage you to watch this moving 10-minute film, Reconnecting Fish, Water, and People, produced recently by the Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT)—sharing how “they are restoring habitat and hope. The hope for a future where salmon, bull trout, and sturgeon, along with all the other native species that historically occupied the upper Columbia, return to healthy and harvestable levels.”


The Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT) takes a proactive, collaborative, and science-based approach to promoting fish, water, wildlife, diverse habitat, and Indian culture in the Northwest. UCUT provides a common voice for the region through the collaboration of five area tribes: the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and the Spokane Tribe of Indians. 

Back to Table of Contents  

 6. Get that GIVING feeling - to restore salmon and their rivers!

Early giving for GiveBIG 2024 is now open!

Save Our wild Salmon is participating in GiveBIG, Washington State's annual nonprofit giving campaign, which is running now through Wednesday, May 8! GiveBIG is an opportunity to participate with others in a movement of generosity, where people of good will come together to invest in our communities. By donating to SOS, you will help advance our work to protect and restore abundant, healthy, and harvestable salmon and steelhead populations to their rivers, streams, and marine waters in the Pacific Northwest.

Your generous support today will help us seize a critical moment of opportunity in 2024 - and leverage the very real momentum today that we've helped create - to advance our program work supporting the leadership of Northwest Tribes; educating, inspiring, and mobilizing citizens; collaborating with stakeholders; and engaging–and pushing on–key policymakers to develop and secure effective, durable solutions for salmon and steelhead, Southern Resident orcas, and our communities.

Thank you, as ever, for your advocacy and generosity in defense of Northwest salmon and the many gifts they offer.


Back to Table of Contents 

7. Salmon media round-up.

Here are a couple of recent stories about the urgency and opportunity today for salmon recovery and river restoration:



Back to Table of Contents 

Share This