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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Local, Community, Legislative & Tribal Leaders Praise Gov. Newsom’s First-Ever Salmon Strategy

SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Governor Newsom, along the banks of Prairie Creek and the Elk River, released the State’s first-ever strategy to restore populations of salmon amidst hotter and drier weather exacerbated by climate change.

Here’s what local, community, legislative, and Tribal leaders are saying…

California State Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire: “Salmon are some of the toughest and most resilient buggers on the planet. They’re an iconic species that have thrived in Golden State creeks and rivers for centuries. Yet, climate change, damming of our mighty rivers and historic water management policies are speeding up their collapse right in front of our eyes. We’re grateful to the Governor for his focus on this critical issue. Time is running out and this Blueprint is a roadmap that will help salmon survive and thrive in California for generations to come.”

Yurok Vice Chairman Frankie Myers: “I would like to thank Governor Newsom for developing a strategy to make salmon-bearing watersheds more resilient to climate change. Bold actions are urgently needed to restore California’s struggling fish stocks.”

Wiyot Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez: “The Governor’s Salmon Strategy is vital to the survival of our tribe, health of our people and continuation of the Wiyot Way of life. These types of partnerships are vital because they bring groups of local people together to build on the thousands of years expertise (Traditional Ecological Knowledge), and wholistic systems approach, and intergeneration foresight to projects. These community-based efforts bring in local businesses, local non-profits, tribal governments, educational institutions, local governments, and benefit the whole community. Some of the local benefits include job creation, training/teaching opportunities, and healthy recreation opportunities. For Wiyot people the benefits are preservation of Tribal Historic sites, protection of Sacred sites and the eco-cultural restoration of place. We live in relationship to the land and our culture and way of life is dependent on access to native plants, animals, rivers, and the ocean.”

Round Valley Indian Tribe Vice President Carlino Bettega: “As a result of the Governor’s vision and the efforts of his team, we are making progress on an agreement that will restore the Eel River and its fishery, which are critical to our survival and maintaining our way of life for future generations.”

California Trout Executive Director Curtis Knight: “The Governor’s strategy brings in many of the elements we think are effective to bring back salmon populations. Restoring habitat, removing fish passage barriers, and investing in technology and science are crucial to ensure these fish are around for future generations. We don’t have a moment to waste, and this approach, built on partnerships with tribes and many others, indicates the right level of urgency to address the crisis these native fish are facing.” 

California Trout Legal and Policy Director Redgie Collins: “I was thrilled to review the plan this morning. We are excited to see the overlap between CalTrout’s priorities and the Newsom Administration’s Salmon Strategy and we look forward to funding and implementing these efforts with the Governor’s support and leadership.”

Trout Unlimited’s California Director Brian Johnson: “Governor Newsom’s Salmon Strategy affirms the crucial importance of the dam removal and river restoration work Trout Unlimited has been doing in California’s salmon and steelhead waters for the past two decades, and the urgent need to expand this work. We applaud the Governor for his leadership on Klamath dam removal and for calling out the need to remove the dams on the Eel River. We look forward to working with the Governor, State, and federal resource agencies, and our Tribal Nation partners to reconnect and restore habitat and river flows, and to ensure healthy salmon and steelhead populations and fisheries in the face of climate change.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region Director Paul Souza: “We applaud the State’s leadership to save salmon in partnership with Tribes, the fishing community, and many other organizations. The need for this work is urgent, and we all must lean in together to save these species and set them on the track to recovery. We will do our part to support the State’s efforts every step of the way.”

NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region Regional Administrator Jennifer Quan : “Salmon play a vital part in California’s history, economy, and culture and we are proud partners with the state in protecting these valuable species. I applaud the State’s leadership for providing a strong, science-based blueprint and achievable set of actions to protect and restore these resilient fish as climate change unfolds, ensuring that California is and always will be a salmon state.”

The Nature Conservancy California Policy Director Liz Forsburg Pardi: “Restoring salmon runs amidst changing climate is not just an environmental imperative, but a societal necessity. We applaud Governor Newsom’s leadership and California’s Salmon Strategy for a Hotter, Drier Future. Guided by science like the California Environmental Flows Framework, which tells us how much water healthy rivers and fish need to thrive, and by collaborating with tribes, agencies, and conservation partners, we can build a legacy of protecting our ecosystems, cultures, and water resources for the future.”

Humboldt Redwood Company and Mendocino Redwood Company’s  Executive Vice President of Forestry Dennis Thibeault: “Conserving this keystone species will require a coordinated effort throughout its range in California, on both public and private lands. Governor Newsom’s new Salmon Strategy is a major step forward.”