This summer I spent nine days on the wild and beautiful Salmon River. The experience was like no other. Seeing the beauty of the valley and the crashing of waves on rapids like Whiplash and Vinegar reminded me of nature. On the river I saw families on vacation having a great time and I couldn’t help but think about how great it would be to go down this river with a family of my own someday. But, at the rate that the beautiful rivers of America are being dammed and polluted I may not be able to. The Salmon River is the largest in-state wild and scenic river in the lower 48 and you can still see the effects of damming and pollution. In the late 1800’s there were 30,000 Coho Salmon and over one million Sockeye returning to the Salmon River each year. Now? The Coho Salmon is extinct on the river, and only ten sockeye Salmon return each year in a population sustained mostly by fish hatcheries. 2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and this anniversary is a chance to bring awareness to its issues and work to change them. And if you’re like me and want your children and your children’s children to see these beautiful and wild rivers of America like I have been so fortunate to have experienced, then we as Americans need to get to work.
We need to get to work to protect rivers
Asa Turok | Salmon River, Idaho