If we look at salmon populations around the world (e.g., the West Coast, New England, Europe), it’s clear that wild salmon cannot survive (let alone sustain a viable commercial fishery) without healthy habitat.
That’s why we at Taku River Reds™ are committed to being active stewards and defending the basic ingredients our wild salmon need to thrive: clean and cold water, free-flowing rivers, lakes and streams.
Unfortunately, Southeast Alaska's Transboundary Rivers and Tongass National Forest are currently under threat from increasing pressure to develop other resources such as minerals and timber. We are involved locally, nationally, and internationally to protect our salmon watersheds so that future generations can enjoy this irreplaceable gift that feeds our bodies and souls.
Learn more about these threats and join us in our efforts to defend our wild salmon.
Alaska's Transboundary Rivers
In Northwest British Columbia, a modern-day gold rush is underway that could threaten Southeast Alaska’s salmon, rivers, fishing and tourism jobs, and unique way of life. Spurred by weakened environmental and fishery regulations and the construction of a massive new power line, at least ten industrial mines are in some stage of advanced exploration, environmental review, permitting or operation in this region that is quickly becoming one of the largest mining districts in the world.
Most of these Canadian mineral projects in Northwest B.C. are located in transboundary watersheds of key salmon rivers—the Taku, Stikine and Unuk—that originate in B.C. and flow into Southeast Alaska. The Taku, Stikine and Unuk watersheds span almost 30,000 square miles, or an area roughly the size of Maine, and are the cultural and economic lifeblood of Southeast Alaska. The existing and proposed mines in these watersheds are likely to produce acid mine drainage and toxic heavy metals that could harm Southeast Alaska’s lucrative fishing and tourism industries, the traditional practices of Alaska Native tribes, and the way of life of Southeast Alaskans. These large-scale projects offer few, if any, economic benefits to the region.
Alaska's congressional delegation in addition to several dozen Alaska municipalities, tribes, commercial and sport fishing organizations, nonprofits, and businesses have called on the U.S. Department of State for action under the Boundary Waters Treaty to protect these pristine and sacred Transboundary Rivers. Nature knows no political boundaries, thus it is on these two nations to be responsible stewards and defend the health of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers on both sides of the border.
learn more, visit Salmon Beyond Borders.
The Tongass 77
While salmon populations in the Tongass National Forest are currently healthy and abundant, they face growing threats that could undermine their future productivity. These threats include potential large-scale development and resource extraction, as well as proposed hydroelectric dams and mines. Unfortunately, some of the Tongass' most productive and pristine salmon and trout watersheds remain vulnerable to these and other growing threats, casting uncertainty over the future sustainability of Southeast Alaska's fisheries.
Recently, scientists and local stakeholders identified over 70 watersheds in the Tongass that are scientifically deemed important to local wild salmon and trout populations. These watersheds - known as the Tongass 77 - have become the focal point of a collaborative campaign to secure permanent protection for these watersheds. Taku River Reds is working closely with these partners to help urge members of Congress to introduce legislation that would protect these salmon strongholds for future generations. We are also working to encourage the Forest Service to adopt a "fish first" policy, making salmon and trout populations a priority when making management decisions in the Tongass - America's Salmon Forest.