To the People of the Pacific Northwest:
Three generations ago, when the Columbia River and its many tributaries ran free to the sea and fish and wildlife were plentiful, the people of our region were presented an unmatched opportunity. To the credit of their vision, skill and courage, they harnessed this mighty river system into a seemingly boundless supply of low-cost electricity. Thanks to their foresight, we have all benefited immensely.
But this achievement, like all great achievements, had a price. The development of the Columbia River System’s hydroelectric projects dramatically changed the natural fish and wildlife habitat, especially that of the prized Pacific salmon and steelhead. The fish runs were nearly destroyed, and it falls to this generation to rebuild the natural resources that flourished before we came.
The fish and wildlife program is an important step in this rebuilding. To use our region’s rivers as a continuing source of renewable energy while implementing this program requires a new sense of purpose. By tapping the ingenuity and commitment of our citizens, we can rebuild our damaged fishery and wildlife habitat. It is with this renewed sense of stewardship for our natural resource heritage that we have developed this program.