Correcting our ways | Letter

Correcting our ways

I am angered, moved and remain hopeful by the Patagonia film, “Artifishal,” which takes an unflinching look at the heart-wrenching challenges to the survival of wild salmon. Wild salmon face an upstream battle from hydro power, pollution, habitat loss, over fishing, aquaculture, climate change and the hatchery system.

However, taking aim at the Lower Elwha hatchery is harsh and a bit sanctimonious when one considers that for over 100 years, tribes were stripped of their ancestral lands and livelihood by unwitting development of this corner of Washington.

I don’t think it’s fair to ask tribes to be the first in line to wait again for the recovery of wild salmon before fishing their tribal lands. It wasn’t until 1974 when federal judge George Boldt affirmed the right to fish to the tribes, and by then the hydroelectric dams on the Elwha had reduced fish returns to two percent of the pre-dam returns. To supplement the fish in the few miles of river below the Elwha Dam, the tribe built the Elwha Fish Hatchery in 1975. During removal of the dams a new hatchery was built to replace the aging one.

To target this tribal hatchery, and there are problems, puts undue blame on the tribes. Treaty rights matter and so does shared sacrifice. Immediately resident orcas need Chinook salmon. Commercial and sport fishing need to be restricted, and people need to take less of their share. Lawmakers need to make a greater commitment to the health of inland spawning habitat. Overtime, the hatchery system should be phased out.

The tribes, like the wild salmon, are victims of our over-consumption lifestyle. I welcome another film that takes an unflinching look at our arrogance and ignorance of nature. Patience and equity are needed as we correct our ways.

Cathy Ferbrache

Bothell

More in Letters to the Editor

Two solutions | Letter

Facts about the growing gap between the super rich and the vast… Continue reading

More community members weigh in on election | Letters

Thompson has positive ideas I write in support of Mason Thompson for… Continue reading

An unenforceable ban | Letter

As the advisory vote in Snohomish County regarding a fireworks ban approaches,… Continue reading

Community members weigh in on election | Letters

Sperry cares for Kenmore My husband and I are supporting Van Sperry… Continue reading

Thompson is ‘exceptionally well qualified’ | Letter

I am currently the presiding judge for Snohomish County District Court and… Continue reading

Thompson, a judge to be proud of | Letter

Judge Paul Thompson was an excellent choice for our governor to make… Continue reading

Okoloko is hard working and ethical | Letter

As a recently retired trial attorney after a long career in the… Continue reading

Duerr hardworking and engaged | Letter

Davina Duerr may be the most hard-working and engaged member who has… Continue reading

Vote for Okoloko | Letter

I support Judge Edirin Okoloko for the position of Superior Court judge.… Continue reading

Retain Okoloko as Superior Court judge | Letter

After a 23-year career as a Snohomish County judge, having served more… Continue reading

Vote for Thompson | Letter

Mason Thompson is the kind of civic leader that Bothell needs. He… Continue reading

Vote for Henderson | Letter

There’s a lot at stake for the Bothell City Council election this… Continue reading