October 10, 2003
Welcome to Salmon Nation. It is a land stretching from the frozen tundra of Alaska to the decidedly unfrozen shores of California. It includes Idaho, Washington and Oregon and, in Canada, the Yukon Territory and British Columbia. It is a nation, we are told, that has one thing in common: salmon. We'll bet you didn't know. The Salmon Nation is the brainchild of the environmental group Ecotrust, and while it is easy to see that salmon exist up and down the West Coast, it's not as easy to see what the point of Salmon Nation is.
Unless, that is, you believe that Salmon are the mascots for environmentalism — sort of a spotted owl with fins — and that the ag community and others will continue to be barraged by lawsuits arguing on behalf of salmon over all else.
Hopefully, that's not the case with Salmon Nat ion, which has been making its debut on T-shirts and hats in recent weeks.
Here are our hopes for Salmon Nation:
Will these precepts be part of the new Salmon Nation constitution? It's hard to say right now, but if they are, you will find many in "Ag Nation" lining up for citizenship cards in Salmon Nation.
If not, then we're just talking about a new name for the same old program.
One thing is for sure. Salmon Nation has a huge budget. Americans and Canadians have spent billions and billions of dollars revitalizing salmon runs, protecting streams and building and operating hatcheries.
In fact every time we turn on a light switch or pay a local, state or federal tax, we're donating to Salmon Nation.
Editorial board members develop Capital Press editorials. The board members are Elaine Shein, Carl Sampson and Roy Leidahl.