OLYMPIA–Registration is open for a virtual conference that will bring together more than 1,000 salmon recovery practitioners to share their work and the latest science with the goal of improving salmon recovery efforts in Washington.
The conference themed “Building a Movement” is offered every other year by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Recreation and Conservation Office, and the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. This year’s conference is April 28-30 and costs $30. Register for the virtual conference online.
Gov. Jay Inslee will give opening remarks. The conference also will feature other well-known speakers such as Washington’s Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck; Washington State Representative Debra Lekanoff; King County Executive Dow Constantine; David Troutt, chair of the Salmon Recovery Council; Carol Evans, chair of the Spokane Tribe of Indians; Rodney Cawston, chair of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; and Delano Saluskin, council chair for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.
“This conference is a great place for all of those involved in salmon recovery to share knowledge, learn best practices and get the latest information on emerging studies,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office. “People join us from all over the Pacific Northwest and learn from each other and get re-energized for this very important work. The people that attend are the people doing the on-the-ground work to recover the salmon that so many of the rest of us rely on for work, recreation, food and many other things. This conference is an incredible learning opportunity for everyone involved in salmon restoration.”
Many of the salmon populations in Washington are threatened with extinction and listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Concerted recovery efforts have been underway for more than 20 years but many of the salmon population still are struggling as they compete with urban development, pollution, climate change and predators.
The conference will feature 25 sessions covering a wide range of salmon recovery topics including projects, science, outreach and policy. The conference also will feature two short films, a deeper dive into case studies on the restoration of Hood Canal and the upper Columbia River, a celebration of the successful removal of the Elwha Dam and a talk by a former poet laureate of Washington.
“There’s a little bit of something for anyone interested in salmon recovery,” Cottingham said. “It’s inspiring to see so many people engaged in this important work. It gives me hope that we will be able to recover this important Northwest icon.”