This week the Tulalip Tribes prepared testimony to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council about how we need to turn the corner on restoring salmon habitat if we want to protect fisheries. Unfortunately, the testimony wasn’t read into the official record.
During his testimony, Tulalip Commissioner of Fisheries and Natural Resources Terry Williams said:
As we are all here, working to finalize a fisheries package that is so constrained by the lack of coho, I think it is important that we stop and acknowledge both the importance of and the disparate treatment we are giving to habitat loss as it relates to declining stocks and lost fisheries. In fact, nothing is more significant than the condition of our region’s habitat on the current status of our salmon. This reality, coupled with the predictions relative to climate change and population growth creates great urgency.
Tribes have always lived throughout the watersheds in western Washington and are leaders in the region’s salmon recovery effort. No other people know these watersheds as well and none have a greater stake in their future. The tribes believe that if salmon are to survive, we must begin to achieve real gains in habitat protection and restoration.