When I finished up my last book I asked Al what i should read next. He suggested I read book he just picked up but hasn’t had a chance to read yet, Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist's Search for Salmon Recovery by Jim Lichatowich.
Alvaro is studying marine biology at OSU and has a passion for the protection, restoration, and recovery of salmon. So I was excited to read the book and gain a better understanding of the history of salmon in the PNW. I love supporting him in his passion and having a better understanding of salmon will help in our many discussions.
Background // Jim is a biologist that worked for over 40 years with the ODFW and with various advisory panels throughout Oregon, California, and British Columbia. He has a wealth of knowledge and lots of personal experiences on the difficulties facing the recovery of the salmon.
Review // I really enjoyed this read. It really opened my eyes to how salmon is viewed by citizens in the PNW and how political it all is. At times I felt discouraged and saddened by the way it seemed the salmon are viewed. As a money making commodity. However in the final chapter he highlights and discusses how he thinks the salmon can be restored to their original runs. The changes that need to take place to ensure they are here for many generations to come. Many of his suggested changes don’t seem too far fetched or impossible. I’m excited to see what changes Al & others in his field are able to make.
Quotes // Below are some quotes that especially stood out to me:
“The Pacific Northwest is simply this: wherever the salmon can get to.” - Timothy Egan
“... history matters. It’s not just the long, evolutionary history that matters, but also the shorter-term history of our relationship to the place where we live and hate animals we share that place with”
“Whatever your belief about creation and the origins of life on Earth, that belief, unless it is completely overridden by the single-minded pursuit of profit, should include respect for nature’s gifts and a sense of wonder at the diversity of life that blankets our planet. Whatever drives your relationship with the natural world - whether you cut trees or build houses out of the wood, irrigate a farm or cook the food it produces, whether you push barges up a river or catch salmon, whether you convert sawdust to paper or use paper to write books - you are surrounded and sustained by nature’s gifts. The annual return of the salmon to the rivers of the Pacific Northwest is one of those gifts.”
“Our stories determine whether we will coevolve a sustainable relationship with natural resources such as salmon or whether we will destroy relationships and extirpate those resources. In that regard, it is important to remember that we don’t just tell stories -- stories about rivers and harnessing their power and stories about salmon factories. We tell these stories; but these stores also tell us. Stories dig deep and reveal the beliefs, assumptions, and myths that determine how we comprehend and interact with the world around us. If we pay attention to and approach our stories with an open mind, they will tell us important things about ourselves, things that are buried so deep inside us that they remain hidden...”