|Chinook, or king, salmon are the largest in the Pacific. Photo: USGS|
Salmon are not exactly beautiful, but they are integral to the ecosystem of the Elwha that the NPS is trying to rebuild.
I find this a particularly interesting headline. Recently, books about human destruction of aquatic food sources, such as Paul Greenberg's Four Fish,and Mark Kurlansky's Cod and children's book World Without Fish, have sounded a dire warning: things are getting very bad. And this isn't necessarily wrong. But what this news story illuminates is that we aren't at the end of the line (pun intended) just yet. Instead of seeing aquatic resources as an either/or- either we fish them or we leave them alone- the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA are seeking ways to re calibrate the Organic Machines (check out Richard White's work on the Columbia River if you want to read some awesome history of human/river interactions) that have been built. The Elwha Dam removal is only one example of these efforts.