Mary Catharine Martin
Alaska is about to get thousands of miles of new salmon habitat — and how we manage that habitat will have long term implications for the salmon that find it. By the year 2100, melting glaciers will open up new watersheds containing thousands of miles of salmon habitat across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, according to an aptly titled scientific paper, “Glacier retreat creating new Pacific salmon habitat in western North America,” out recently in the journal Nature Communications.
Wild salmon. Clean water. Clean air. Carbon storage. Climate change mitigation. Tourism, commercial fisheries — and billions of dollars in economic benefit. Since 2018, the Alaska Sustainability Fisheries Trust (ASFT) has quietly published reports that upend managers’ historical ways of thinking about Southeast Alaska and the Tongass National Forest — and redefine priorities for management now and in the future.
"If we want to make 30x30 real and have it resonate with the public, we should protect places that the public cares about," said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. "Bristol Bay and the Tongass National Forest are two such places."
A new study has found that the answer to Alaska’s Chinook salmon decline lies not just in the ocean, but also in freshwater rivers and streams — and that climate change’s effects on Alaska’s freshwater systems are affecting king salmon.
Some fast food restaurants in the Lower 48 have stopped serving hamburgers. Meatpacking plants have shut down. Grocery stores are frequently sold out of flour and rice. But Americans can buy Alaskan seafood directly from the fishermen who caught it — and, in increasing numbers, that’s what they’re doing.
Alaskans are fortunate to be so close to natures beauty during this time of isolation, writes Mary Catharine Martin.
It was past midnight one night in August 2018 that the film crew and their Alaskan guides, out shooting for a Netflix documentary series called “Night on Earth,” found themselves sitting in the dark surrounded by wolves.
Scientists have, for the first time, estimated the value of the Tongass and Chugach National Forests to Alaska's commercial salmon industry.
A school of pink salmon swim upstream in a creek at Hartney Bay on the evening of July 22. Photo...
From the fish camps of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, to the gillnets of Bristol Bay, to the bear and angler-packed banks of Juneau’s Sweetheart Creek, salmon connect people to the land, the water, the seasons, and each other.
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