SAVE OREGON COASTAL COHO

The Native Fish Society and Pacific Rivers Council are asking for your help to rebuild strong, healthy coho runs and habitats Oregon just released its draft recovery plan for wild coastal coho salmon, but the plan falls short of what the coho need to survive. Oregon's plan is a step in the right direction; however, the voluntary efforts called for simply are not enough to recover the wild coho. The State must guarantee enforceable habitat protections and sufficient funding to truly recover wild salmon. We're asking you to speak out to prevent the extinction of wild coho and restore once thriving coastal communities. Let your voice be heard! Tell Gov. Kulongoski and the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) that the salmon need mandatory protections and guaranteed funding for recovery. Relying only on voluntary efforts and the same land-use policies that continue to damage Oregon's watersheds won't bring back the coho. Wild coho are important because they represent our heritage, they provide communities with jobs, they provide nutrients to sustain the aquatic ecosystem, and they represent an important biological heritage that is ours to pass on to our children. As one biologist told me, coho are important to steelhead production because they run deep into our watersheds and provide the nutrients that enrich streams for wild steelhead productivity. ***Comments must be submitted by November 17*** A sample letter is provided at the bottom of this message. Your personal letter or email is important for it tells the government that real people are concerned and care about the future of wild coho salmon. Why Coho Salmon Need Your Help Oregon's coho recovery plan falls short in several areas: • Fails to cite specific actions for salmon recovery. The plan's goal is measurable recovery, but does not set out how this will get done; • Relies heavily on Oregon's current land use policies to restore the coho, when it was these same rules that messed up coho habitat in the first place; • Wrongly asserts that right now coho are currently sustainable, when the science shows that this is highly uncertain; and • Overly relies on voluntary efforts, eliminating oversight by state fish and wildlife agencies. • The plan fails to set standards for enrichment of streams for salmonid productivity. Immediate efforts to conserve and restore Oregon coast coho populations and their habitats are needed, and now is the time to speak up if you care about Northwest salmon. Here's How: Email the Governor and ODFW. Ask that Oregon's coho recovery plan include: • Mandatory protections both for coho and their habitat. Voluntary efforts are an important part of long-term recovery, but right now enforceable habitat protections are necessary to bring coho back from the brink of extinction. • Guaranteed funding to support the state's efforts to recover wild coho. Without adequate funding, effective recovery efforts cannot be accomplished. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski & ODFW need to know that you support strong protection for coho salmon and their habitat. We only have 45 days to comment on this plan, so please contact the Governor & ODFW today and ask them to give coho salmon the protection they deserve. Here is the sample comment letter. You can cut and paste this directly into an e-mail (cohoplan@state.or. us) or print it out and mail it in. Include "Attention: Coho Plan comments" in your subject line. Oregon Governor Kulongoski Commissioner Marla Rae, Chair Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 3406 Cherry Ave. NE Salem, OR 97303 cohoplan@state.or.us RE: Oregon Coast Coho Conservation Plan Dear Governor Kulongoski and ODFW Commissioner Rae: I support immediate efforts to conserve and restore Oregon coast coho populations and their habitats. Oregon's draft plan is a step in the right direction because it calls for restoration of these salmon populations and sets out specific measurable criteria that must be achieved. However, the actions prescribed to meet the coho recovery goals are inadequate. I ask that Oregon's coho recovery plan include: 1. Mandatory protections both for coho and their habitat. The State must guarantee enforceable habitat protections and sufficient funding to truly recover wild salmon. The draft coho plan suffers from a flawed central assumption that Oregon's current land use policies will protect coho populations and their habitat from further decline and degradation. Voluntary efforts are an important part of long-term recovery, but right now enforceable habitat protections are necessary to bring coho back from the brink of extinction. 2. Guaranteed funding to support the state's efforts to recover wild coho. Without adequate funding, effective recovery efforts cannot be accomplished. 3. Specific actions for salmon recovery. The plan's goal is measurable recovery, but does not set out how this will get done. 4. A low-risk recovery approach. The plan's assertion that the coho populations are currently sustainable is not supported by the best available scientific data and is premature. This places a substantial risk of error on imperiled coho populations that can't afford any errors right now. In order to best protect wild coho, the recovery plan not only needs to address the above issues but also provide enough real and immediate habitat protections to ensure the species' survival now so that the long- term goal of recovery will be achieved in the future. The coho deserve more than business as usual. Sincerely, [your name and signature here] Take Action! Contact Governor Kulongoski & ODFW Today! Together we can restore wild coho! To find out what else you can do go to the Pacific Rivers Council website www.pacrivers.org where additional information is available for you to use.