Taku Watershed an Opportunity for Conservation

Mark Angelo and Guido Rahr’s article on the Taku watershed in Wednesday’s Vancouver Sun begins with the simple assertion that “wild salmon need wild rivers to thrive.” However, when mining, logging, and agriculture companies are involved, this idea sadly seems to get put on the back burner. And this is a fact which concerns conserationists, since it is these very activities which destroy salmon habitat – which leads in turn to the devastatingly small runs we’ve been seeing in the past few years.

The Taku watershed, possibly the last truly wild salmon habitat in Northern British Columbia, may be one of our last hopes of actually preserving wild salmon habitat rather than doing damage control after the fact. As Angelo and Rahr state,

The alternative would be to, once again, witness habitat loss coupled with a declining fishery and the expenditure of millions of dollars toward elusive solutions to bring back a vestige of what we gave away.

With the Taku, we still have a chance to get it right. No expenditures are needed and no work is required to capitalize on one of North America’s best salmon conservation opportunities… [read full article]

The provincial government is now in talks with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation to develop a plan which attempts to balance conservation and industry, but conservationists on both sides of the border want the area to remain wild. As they argue, “the needs of wild salmon, so integral to the region’s ecological, economic and cultural health, must be considered foremost, and safeguarded.”

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