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Hypocrisy Kills Salmon 

Editor:

Missing from the "cascading crises facing Pacific salmon" in "Witnessing the Collapse" (Aug. 5) is any mention of, dare I say it, logging.

Wholesale industrial logging of watersheds produces thick groves of young, thirsty trees that dry up drainages and deprive them of water-cooling riparian shading, decimating the fragile salmonid evolutionary cycle. After the loggers leave, wildfires thrive. Without healthy forests, the planet bakes and the oceans acidify, de-oxygenate, warm and rise as glaciers melt, reducing fresh water supply, killing fish and eliminating nature's carbon capture and sequestration capacity.

Salmon are central to watershed health, exiting coastal rivers weighing ounces and returning two to four years later fattened on a protein-rich diet that gets delivered to growing trees, vegetation and critters. Bears and others deposit the remains of nitrogen-rich, post-spawned salmon cuisine to upslope trees, whose nourished roots and canopies then retain sediment that would otherwise cloud the waters of visual feeding salmon, and bury their redds.

Salmon, and we, suffer from the hypocrisy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Chuck Bonham and the water boards' blaming the lack of state and federal laws rather than their cowardly refusal to implement and enforce such laws as the basin plans and endangered species regulations that are designed to protect native aquatic residents. Their powers to regulate logging and protect salmon and our thirsty watersheds are separate from those of the impotent and corrupt state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

But these so-called regulators shrink before the power of industrial logging, blame convenient scape-droughts and exacerbate the water shortages. Whatever happened to blaming the seals, Native Americans and Japanese fishermen?

If we don't acknowledge all that we understand about the drought, especially because some big bad actors will squawk, we deprive our solutions of effectiveness.

Ken Miller, McKinleyvile

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