Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. It’s August which means it’s time to take advantage of the last weeks of summer, and what better way than getting in the water? This month we’re all about swimming holes, waterfalls, ocean breaks and waterways of all kinds. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
This week we’re bringing you a few excerpts from great water related articles around the web to beef up your reading list. Enjoy!
For all its obscurity, the Lower Pecos flows through one of the loveliest and most pristine landscapes in America. Spring-fed and limestone-bottomed, the river has a clarity matched only by its wild tropical color schemes, which would remind you of a Corona beer commercial except that the colors are far more varied. It is both a whitewater river, with dozens of rapids from Class I through Class IV, and a giant aquarium—jammed with spotted gar, catfish, perch, bluegill, and carp—where you can watch a largemouth bass wheel, rise, and hit your fly. The country around it is a sort of museum of Native American history, home to one of the greatest concentrations of ancient rock art in America.
And so it is surprising that, out beyond the 100th meridian, where vast commercial cultures have arisen to service affluent Americans desperate for a run down big, remote, mythic rivers, no one knows the Lower Pecos. Our predicament in the rapids is relatively simple, in one sense: we’re the only ones here.
-“The Lost River of Divine Reincarnation,” Outside Magazine
It’s no secret that we love wild salmon. We love ’em in the rivers, in the ocean and… on our plate. So, we’re definitely motivated to do what we can to save these iconic creatures. We’ve been supporting the folks at Save Our Wild Salmon (SOS) for years. The group has aimed their efforts at removing four outdated dams on the lower Snake River. Something we’re proud to support.
This week, SOS is teaming up with the Felt Soul Media for a fish fest of epic proportions in Portland, Ore. on April 14. If you’re anywhere near there, you don’t want to miss out…
If you can’t make it, take action here today!
POWER IN THE PRISTINE PREMIER
Saturday, January 15: Great Hall, Doors at 9a.m.
Patagonia, one of the last untouched places on the planet is under attack. Big business seeks to choke two of the region’s most pristine rivers with dams and plans to decimate unique forest ecosystems to build the longest powerline in the world. Led by pro athlete, Timmy O’Neill and writer, Craig Childs, Team Rios Libres journeys from the source of the Baker River to the sea and learns why we must act now to Keep Patagonia Wild.
Join Osprey Packs and James Q. Martin for pack giveaways and an update on the Rios Libres campaign to keep Patagonia’s rivers wild.
CELEBRATE WILD SALMON PREMIERE PARTY
Saturday, January 15: The National Hotel, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Connecting ocean and forest in the Great Bear Rainforest and tackling an epic migration from Alaska to Idaho’s mountains, salmon are an integral piece of our cultures, ecosystems, food security and global economies. But to save them, we have to protect their habitat and restore migration corridors.
Join the filmmakers of The Greatest Migration and SPOIL for a beer and take action to protect wild salmon and the people, places and wildlife that depend upon them. Sierra Nevada brews, photo projections from iLCP and gear giveaways from Patagonia and Osprey Packs!
Make sure to catch The Greatest Migration and SPOIL on the big screen too! See full Wild & Scenic Film Festival schedule here.
More than 900 miles.
That’s how far Snake River salmon swim to reach their spawning grounds. Not only that, they climb 7,000 feet in elevation too. All to return home and continue the cycle of life, a process that’s imperative given their classification as an endangered species.
But because the federal government has refused to take the steps necessary to ensure their protection, those 900 miles are a never-ending fight for survival.
Later this fall, in conjunction with EP, Save Our Wild Salmon will be releasing a film that follows the journey of the critically endangered Snake River salmon, as these fish who migrate farther inland and higher than any other fish on Earth, making their way from the waters of southeast Alaska to the cold, wild rivers of Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley.
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Does drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge worry you? Then you’ll be terrified by Pebble.
Take the second largest gold/copper/molybdenum deposit in the world. Stick it above the largest salmon runs in the world. That’s the Pebble deposit. Pebble in the wrong spot.
Sometimes you’ve got to get on the ground. Get dirty, muddy and immerse yourself in a story…
That’s exactly what International League of Conservation Photographers’ photographer Neil Osborne did to tell the story of Snake River salmon. Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers like Neil with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.
Snake River salmon swim more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds — the highest salmon spawning habitat on the planet , and the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States. These one of a kind salmon travel farther and higher than any other salmon on Earth.
So how do you make people care? And get them to act? Give them beautiful and provocative images to tell the story.
Save Our Wild Salmon and the International League of Conservation Photographers have joined forces to tell the story of the Snake River’s one of a kind salmon and the place they call home.
The Salmon River is the longest undammed river in the continental United States. But it wasn’t always that way.
In 1910 Sunbeam dam was erected on the Salmon above its confluence with the Yankee Fork. The dam was built to supply cheap power to gold mining operations along the Yankee Fork. The dam supplied power to stamp mills and dredges for just over a year before the mining operation went bankrupt and closed.
A historical marker adjacent to the river claims that the Idaho Department of Fish & Game contracted demolition of the dam in 1934. However, locals know a different story. Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus wrote in his memoir, “A party or parties unknown ran a dynamite-laden raft into Sunbeam Dam. The dam blocked the annual salmon run. The party or parties unknown were never caught, a fairly unusual circumstance in this thinly populated country. But history was against them.”
Crumbling remains of the dam still cross half the canyon while the river flows freely against the southern bank. Many people consider these remnants a blight on an otherwise pristine river but every time I see the corpse of Sunbeam Dam I smile. The ruins serve as a reminder that Idaho’s salmon are more precious than gold. They’re priceless.
Any Idahoan will tell you that the Salmon River and its namesake salmon runs are two of the things that make Idaho special. I grew up playing and fishing along the banks of the Salmon and now I work for an organization called Idaho Rivers United protecting and restoring Idaho’s rivers and native fish.
I like the story of Sunbeam dam because it offers a lesson from our history and vision forward to the future.
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Here at Osprey Packs, we love our wild salmon! And that’s why we’ve been a long-time partner with Save Our Wild Salmon, a group working to recover wild salmon on the Snake River. Well, this week they need some help!
The Obama administration is poised to make a decision this week that could change the fate of endangered species in this country. On May 20, the Administration will release a federal salmon plan that will do one of two things for endangered wildlife: protect the Endangered Species Act, or weaken it. A decision to weaken the ESA for the West’s iconic Columbia and Snake River salmon could send an ecological ripple across the country — affecting every endangered species in the nation.
And the situation doesn’t look good. Instead of charting its own path, the administration is working off an illegal Bush administration plan for endangered salmon.
Because they return to the biggest, highest and best-protected habitat in America, endangered Snake River salmon are slated as the West’s best chance to save salmon for future generations in an environment threatened by climate change. These cold, crisp waters of spanning three Western states — Washington, Oregon and Idaho, will remain cold under warming climates, protecting these one-of-a-kind salmon with a one-of-a-kind habitat. Making the wrong decision on these rivers would effectively dam (pun fully intended) these salmon to extinction.
The Columbia-Snake Rivers may not be in your own backyard, but the effects of this decision certainly will be.
PHOTOS courtesy Matt Leidecker