Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fishing & Farming

This is a nice article on efforts to be able to do both well, while accommodating each, as reported by the Property & Environment Research Center.

An excerpt.

“Streams that once meandered across open valley floors, providing essential fish habitat, are now channelized by roads, railroads, and agricultural operations. This loss in tributary habitat is a limiting factor in efforts to recover declining fish populations in the Pacific Northwest.

“In the Entiat River Valley, a tributary of the Columbia River Basin, agricultural activities and transportation development simplified the riverine system and erased significant fish habitat. An environment essential to river system health and the survival of salmon and steelhead populations was gradually replaced; healthy cottonwoods and dense, overhanging shrubs gave way to fruit trees.

“For several generations, many farmers within the Entiat Valley enjoyed fishing for wild steelhead and salmon from the banks of their orchards. In fact, orchardists planted apple, pear, and cherry trees right up to the river bank, as this was the general practice. While farming continued in the Entiat Valley and throughout the Northwest, recognition was building that the fish in the Columbia River Basin were in precipitous decline. With this awareness came tension between salmon recovery efforts and farming operations. Despite such tensions, the Entiat Valley community endorsed salmon recovery efforts in their watershed.”