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Art moving hearts and minds into action in the Northwest

Thank you for your support for Northwest Artists Against Extinction, a project of Save Our wild Salmon, and our sustained advocacy for the Snake River, Northwest native fish and the many benefits they bring to our region and nation.

The second year of Northwest Artists Against Extinction has brought growth, deepened relationships, expanded to new communities and re-energized our work on behalf of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead and Southern Resident orcas.

Read on to learn about a number of key milestones in ‘salmon country’ this year, NWAAE happenings in 2023, and a brief look into next year. We hope you will continue to support our work in 2024.

Joseph Bogaard and Eileen Klatt at the An Evening of Art, Poetry and StorytellingJoseph Bogaard and Eileen Klatt at the An Evening of Art, Poetry and Storytelling

2023 Key Milestones in ‘Salmon Country’

Tribes, and conservation, and fishing advocates have made historic progress this year to protect and restore wild fish and their rivers:

  • The proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed was formally rejected by EPA in Feb. - protecting one of the world’s great salmon fisheries.
  • The Klamath River on the California-Oregon border is now being restored! Copco 2 Dam was removed in Sept; three more will be removed in 2024.
  • A decade after removal of its two dams, the Elwha River on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula welcomed home more than 7,000 adult coho salmon this season – allowing the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to hold its first fishery in more than a century.

This year has brought historic advancements in the Columbia River Basin:

  • President Biden issued a first-ever Memorandum to establish as a national priority “restoring healthy and abundant salmon, steelhead and other native fish in the Columbia Basin”. Importantly, this Presidential Memo includes a directive that federal agencies contribute to a whole-of-government approach to recover salmon.
  • The Biden Administration also announced an agreement with upper Columbia River Tribes in September committing $200M to restore passage and reintroduce salmon above Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
  • Lower Snake River dam removal: After 2+ years of settlement discussions, we anticipate hearing soon from Northwest Tribes, states, the federal government, and conservation/fishing plaintiffs about additional, specific, time-bound ‘commitments and actions’ to recover imperiled fish in the Columbia Basin that include an urgent path forward to restore the lower Snake River and replace the dams’ services!

Sign up for Wild Salmon and Steelhead News to be the first to know of announcements.

McKenna Abby TablingMcKenna Abby tabling

Some of Nwaae’s Top Accomplishments in 2023

  • 2 Honor: People and Salmon (and Orca) University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, and Patagonia, Seattle, WA
  • 54 artworks featured in the University of Puget Sound exhibit. Students and educators of all ages–elementary school to Ph.D.s used the gallery to evoke contemplative inspiration in classes, discussions and symposiums.
  • 1, full-house, Evening of Art, Poetry and Storytelling, co-hosted with Patagonia Seattle, Wandering Aengus Press and Empty Bowl Press
  • 5 articles in local news featuring Northwest Artists Against Extinction
  • 5 communities across the Northwest participated in the ‘Salmon Lifelines’ project
  • 16 new artist partners (Lisa Allison Blohm, Melissa Cole, Sarah Koten, Megan Mack, Paige Pettibon, Nalisha Estrellas Rangel, Elise Richman, Dave McCoy, Matt DeLorme, Austin Picinich, Gabriel Newton, Marla Smith, Duncan Berry, Cyaltsa Finkbonner, Alyssa Eckert, Steve Nagode)
  • Supported a 7 day Indigenous-led journey of ‘All Our Relations’ Snake River Campaign