Crafting a solution to move us all forward | Letter to the editor

Posted 4/7/21

As a leader of a local faith community, I believe that we need to join together to respond to the impending loss of our treasured salmon runs.

A long time ago in my faith tradition, as the story …

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Crafting a solution to move us all forward | Letter to the editor

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As a leader of a local faith community, I believe that we need to join together to respond to the impending loss of our treasured salmon runs.

A long time ago in my faith tradition, as the story goes, St. Anthony went to the seashore. After encountering resistance from human hearers of his message, he began to preach to the fishes. Miraculously, a great multitude of fish raised their heads out of the water, listened, and gave thanks to the Creator. Many centuries later, it’s time not to preach to the fishes, but to listen to them.

According to the 2020 State of Salmon in Watersheds report, we could be facing a future without salmon and the orcas that depend on them. They are crying out to us for action.

We have a moral obligation to nurture all life, to protect threatened species, and to honor treaties with Northwest Native nations.

We can act. Idaho’s Congressman Mike Simpson has delivered a proposal for salmon recovery and opportunity for the entire Northwest. We need to work together on a comprehensive plan to save salmon, honor treaty obligations to Native tribes, and benefit farmers, fishermen, local businesses, and electric ratepayers.

This new framework includes funding for lower Snake River dam removal and significant investments in farming, transportation, energy, and economic development infrastructure. It’s a critical starting point to recover salmon and orcas. Join me in asking our own Rep. Derek Kilmer and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to carefully consider this proposal, help improve it, and advance it in Congress.

We are so blessed in this beautiful place. We give thanks to our Creator, to the fish, and encourage all to commit to nurturing a healthy and just web of life. Working together, we can craft a solution that moves everyone forward together.

Rev. Paul Heins
PORT TOWNSEND

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