Wild Salmon Center
|Northern Pacific Rim|
The Wild Salmon Center (WSC) is an international conservation organization that works to protect wild salmon, steelhead, char, trout and the ecosystems on which these species depend. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, United States, the WSC works with communities, businesses, governments, and other non-profits to protect and preserve healthy salmon ecosystems in the North Pacific. WSC programs range in location from Russia, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, and California.
The WSC was founded as a non-profit by Pete Soverel and Tom Pero in 1992, and was run entirely by volunteers during its first five years. Originally the WSC received funding for research and conservation through organizing angling trips to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. These expeditions were a joint venture between the WSC and Moscow State University. In 1998, WSC hired Guido Rahr as Executive Director, formerly with the conservation organization Oregon Trout, where he developed an approach to salmon conservation that focused on proactive protection of the strongest remaining populations (stronghold strategy). The organization expanded rapidly between 1999 and 2010, as the budget of the Wild Salmon Center increased from $631,000 to $8 million respectively. A new organization called The Conservation Angler was created in 2003 to take over the ecotourism programs, allowing the WSC to focus solely on science and conservation. One of the WSC programs, State of the Salmon, a science-based program created in 2003 in collaboration with Ecotrust, uses data to track the health and trends of wild salmon populations. This data is then analyzed, and used to inform salmon management and conservation throughout the Pacific Rim.
Adopted in 1999, the WSC has been focused on a proactive "salmon stronghold" conservation strategy as a regional and international approach to salmon conservation. Salmon strongholds refer to river ecosystems that contain the most abundant and biologically diverse populations of wild salmon. Select areas on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island, and the Russian Far East mainland, as well as key watersheds in the lower 48 US States, British Columbia, Bristol Bay and much of Alaska are considered salmon strongholds . As part of its efforts to protect habitat in Oregon, the Wild Salmon Center is a member of the North Coast State Forest Coalition. In identifying and then protecting salmon strongholds, the WSC aims to conserve healthy salmon stocks before they decline and ensure sustainable fish populations survive for the long term.
Wild Salmon Center has developed scientific research, habitat protection and fisheries improvement projects in dozens of rivers in Japan, the Russian Far East, Alaska, British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest, raising over $50 million in grants, establishing eight new conservation organizations, and protecting eight million acres of habitat including public lands management designations and eight new large scale habitat reserves on key salmon rivers across the Pacific Rim. Wild Salmon Center has published books, scientific articles, and assessments of the status of different salmon species.
- Salmon Strongholds. http://www.wildsalmoncenter.org/programs/index.php/
- Chivers, CJ. The New York Times. "Salmon Find a Surprising..." October 15, 2006
- "About Us" http://www.wildsalmoncenter.org/about/index.php accessed on: 05/05/11
- Stanford: Graduate School of Business. "The Wild Salmon Center" May 28, 2003
- State of the Salmon. accessed on: 05/15/2011
- The Oregonian. 'Wild Salmon Center wants to Redirect..." September 7, 2008.
- Oceanography. "Salmon Strongholds" September 2010 Vol. 23/3 P.14
- Programs. Wild Salmon Center: accessed on: 05/16/2011