I often post about running or walking projects
. Because they're interesting, and I've done a couple of my own. But let's be honest: whether it's Karl Meltzer's
record on the Appalachian Trail, or my (much slower) run across California
, ultimately we're doing it for fun. It's not like we're delivering medicine to a sick child, or a message to the other side of enemy lines, or exploring a wilderness. Ultimately, these little projects are all just for grins. Here's one that's not for grins.
Image above from PBS. Image below, Skaagi by Bill Reid. Image from fishcreekalaska.com
This year, for the first time ever, the Yurok Nation
in far northern California voluntarily called off its salmon season this year because the fishery was so depleted? That might not seem like such a big deal, but if you're Yurok, it's about as big a deal as there is. If I said this was as if hunting season and and a trip to the holy land rolled into one, in terms of its cultural centrality, that might not be far off. For them, protecting the salmon is very much the same as protecting their lands, and if you've ever been there (think the Requa area, near Prairie Creek Redwoods) it's easy to see why it inspires such patriotism. It's some of the most ruggedly beautiful land anywhere on this planet.
The Yurok lands are not the only place people have seen a collapse of the salmon fisheries. Consequently a group of native people has been walking from Seattle to San Francisco (yes, now, in the rain) to try to bring awareness to this problem, in the aptly named Longest Walk to Save the Salmon. There's a radio interview here
. Their Gofundme page explains as follows:
On our journey, we will also be addressing common issues and threats facing Native communities in the Pacific Northwest such as; sovereignty, pipelines, saving sacred sites, keeping our rivers in balance and harmony, equality and justice. We will present this to community leaders, politicians so we can work together to find solutions. We will also be stopping to honor and heal our Veterans, with visits to VA hospitals in Seattle and San Francisco. Helping our Mother Earth, we shall pick up roadside trash.
Consider donating to support them
As I type, they're planning on arriving in SF tomorrow November 22. You can read about their walk and see pictures here
. (Below: the Klamath River. From klamathrenewal.org)