A powerful argument for why dam removal makes good scientific, economic, and environmental sense—and requires our urgent attention The Snake River, flowing through the Northwest, was once one of the world's greatest salmon rivers. As recently as a hundred years ago, it retained some of its historic bounty with seven million fish coming home to spawn there. Now, due to damming for hydroelectricity over the past fifty years, the salmon population has dropped close to extinction. Efforts at salmon recovery, through fish ladders, hatcheries, and even trucking them over the dams, have failed. Hawley argues that the solution for the Snake River lies in dam removal, pitting the power authority and Army Corps of Engineers against a collection of conservationists, farmers, commercial and recreational fishermen, and the Nez Perce tribe. He also demonstrates the interconnectedness of the river's health to Orca whales in Puget Sound, local economies, fresh water rights, and energy independence. This regional battle has garnered national interest, and is part of a widespread river-restoration movement that stretches from Maine's Kennebec to California's Klamath. In one instance, Butte Creek salmon rebounded from a paltry fourteen fish to twenty thousand within just a few years of rewilding their river, showing the incredible resiliency of nature when given the slightest chance. In this timely book, Hawley shows how river restoration, with dam removal as its centerpiece, is not only virtuous ecological practice, but a growing social and economic enterprise.
What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow
Author: B. Lynn Ingram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.
In the spring of 2007, National Geographic warned, "The oceans are in deep blue trouble. From the northernmost reaches of the Greenland Sea to the swirl of the Antarctic Circle, we are gutting our seas of fish." There were legitimate grounds for concern. After increasing more than fourfold between 1950 and 1994, the global wild fish catch reached a plateau and stagnated despite exponential growth in the fishing industry. As numerous scientific reports showed, many fish stocks around the world collapsed, creating a genuine global overfishing crisis. Making Seafood Sustainable analyzes the ramifications of overfishing for the United States by investigating how fishers, seafood processors, retailers, government officials, and others have worked together to respond to the crisis. Historian Mansel G. Blackford examines how these players took steps to make fishing in some American waters, especially in Alaskan waters, sustainable. Critical to these efforts, Blackford argues, has been government and industry collaboration in formulating and enforcing regulations. What can be learned from these successful experiences? Are they applicable elsewhere? What are the drawbacks? Making Seafood Sustainable addresses these questions and suggests that sustainable seafood management can be made to work. The economic and social costs incurred in achieving sustainable resource usage are significant, but there are ways to mitigate them. More broadly, this study illustrates ways to manage commonly held natural resources around the world—land, water, oil, and so on—in sustainable ways.
Today's natural resource managers must be able to navigate among the complicated interactions and conflicting interests of diverse stakeholders and decisionmakers. Technical and scientific knowledge, though necessary, are not sufficient. Science is merely one component in a multifaceted world of decision making. And while the demands of resource management have changed greatly, natural resource education and textbooks have not. Until now. Ecosystem Management represents a different kind of textbook for a different kind of course. It offers a new and exciting approach that engages students in active problem solving by using detailed landscape scenarios that reflect the complex issues and conflicting interests that face today's resource managers and scientists. Focusing on the application of the sciences of ecology and conservation biology to real-world concerns, it emphasizes the intricate ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional matrix in which natural resource management functions, and illustrates how to be more effective in that challenging arena. Each chapter is rich with exercises to help facilitate problem-based learning. The main text is supplemented by boxes and figures that provide examples, perspectives, definitions, summaries, and learning tools, along with a variety of essays written by practitioners with on-the-ground experience in applying the principles of ecosystem management. Accompanying the textbook is an instructor's manual that provides a detailed overview of the book and specific guidance on designing a course around it. Ecosystem Management grew out of a training course developed and presented by the authors for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at its National Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In 20 offerings to more than 600 natural resource professionals, the authors learned a great deal about what is needed to function successfully as a professional resource manager. The book offers important insights and a unique perspective dervied from that invaluable experience.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, cheap, and widely available, salmon is often listed as an essential part of any diet. A delicious and versatile fish, it can be used to make sashimi, cold smoked for lox, or shaped into a fishcake as an alternative to hamburgers. But while salmon is enjoyed all over the globe, it also swims at the center of controversy, with commercial fishing, global warming, and loss of freshwater habitats all threatening salmon populations and the ecological and health impacts of intense salmon farming under fire. In this beautifully illustrated book, Nicolaas Mink takes readers on a culinary journey from the coast of Alaska to the rivers of Scotland, tracing salmon’s history from the earliest known records to the present. He tells the story of how the salmon was transformed from an abundant fish found seasonally along coastal regions to a mass-produced canned food and a highly prized culinary delight. Exploring the nutritional benefits of this fish, he examines recent studies that show how these benefits diminish in farm-raised salmon. With many delicious recipes, Salmon is the perfect gift for every fish lover.
Russians and the North Pacific's Strange Beasts of the Sea, 1741-1867
Author: Ryan Tucker Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Russian Empire-already the largest on earth-expanded its dominion onto the ocean. Through a series of government-sponsored voyages of discovery and the establishment of a private fur trade, Russians crossed and re-crossed the Bering Strait and the North Pacific Ocean, establishing colonies in Kamchatka and Alaska and exporting marine mammal furs to Europe and China. In the process they radically transformed the North Pacific, causing environmental catastrophe. In one of the most hotly-contested imperial arenas of the day, the Russian empire organized a host of Siberian and Alaskan native peoples to rapaciously hunt for fur seals, sea otters, and other fur-bearing animals. The animals declined precipitously, and Steller's sea cow went extinct. This destruction captured the attention of natural historians who for the first time began to recognize the threat of species extinction. These experts drew upon Enlightenment and Romantic-era ideas about nature and imperialism but their ideas were refracted through Russian scientific culture and influenced by the region's unique ecology. Cosmopolitan scientific networks ensured the spread of their ideas throughout Europe. Heeding the advice of these scientific experts, Russian colonial governors began long-term management of marine mammal stocks and instituted some of the colonial world's most forward-thinking conservationist policies. Highlighting the importance of the North Pacific in Russian imperial and global environmental history, Empire of Extinction focuses on the development of ideas about the natural world in a crucial location far from what has been considered the center of progressive environmental attitudes.
The management of coastal and ocean fisheries is highly contentious. Industry interests focus on maximizing catches while conservationists and marine scientists have become increasingly concerned about dramatic declines in fish stocks and the health of ecosystems. Besides attempting to mediate among these interests, government agencies have pursued their own agendas, which have often lagged behind shifts in scientific understanding and public attitudes about the productivity of the oceans and uses of marine wildlife.From Abundance to Scarcity examines the historical evolution of U.S. fisheries policy and institutions from the late 19th century to the present day, with an emphasis on changes since World War II. Based on archival research and interviews with dozens of key players in marine policymaking, it traces the thinking, legislation, mandates, and people that have shaped the various agencies governing fisheries in the United States. The book: discusses the development of federal programs in marine biological sciences and the evolution of scientific understanding about marine wildlife populations describes the work of federal fisheries programs in promoting the interests of the fishing industry considers the response of agencies to factors such as dam-building and coastal development that have led to increased pollution and habitat loss examines the shifts in understanding and values that underlie major legislation including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the Sustainable Fisheries Act examines the evolving relationship between federal agencies, the fishing industry, communities, and nongovernmental conservation organizations, with an eye toward future management practice From Abundance to Scarcity sheds light on the sets of interests that have shaped U.S. fisheries policy, lending historical depth to current debates and providing a fuller understanding of current laws and regulations, and administrative structures and mechanisms. It offers an insightful overview for professionals involved with fisheries management or the fishing industry, conservationists working on marine issues, and students and scholars of marine policy and affairs, environmental policy and law, or public policy and administration.