Northwest NEWS

May 29, 2000

Editorial

There will be nothing to protect

   When Lewis and Clark arrived in the Pacific Northwest 200 years ago, there were about 15-20 million salmon, but now, there are less then 500,000. One of the leading causes of death of the salmon is the increase of water temperature in our lakes, rivers, and streams due to the logging in the last two centuries.

   Salmon are extremely important to our environment, acting as important nutrients for organisms surrounding their habitat. They influence our culture, add to some people's spiritual beliefs, and are an important aspect of our economy in the Pacific Northwest.

   As of September 1999, one type of Sockeye, along with all types of Coho, was listed as endangered. Also, two types of Chinook and two types of Chum are threatened, according to the National Marine Fishery Service. Other salmon will soon follow in the same footsteps if we do not do something about it right now.

   What we can do is plant shrubs, trees, and plants by local streams, rivers, and lakes. You can contact your county's Wildlife Program and the Department of Natural Resources to find volunteer opportunities in your areas.

   We need to take ownership of our environment. We are responsible for protecting and preserving our natural resources. If we do nothing in the next fifty years, there will be nothing to protect!

Katie Marsh, Skyview Junior High