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Nature

Nature Conservancy to Restore Salmon Run Destroyed by Cows

The Nature Conservancy announced this week that they have purchased ranchland in Shasta, California and hope to return Big Springs Creek to its former glory as a major salmon run.

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The organization noticed the creek’s consistent, glacier-fed flowing water supply should make it the perfect spawning area for the embattled Pacific salmon, but it wasn’t being properly cared for. Years later, they’ve purchased 4,136 acres of surrounding land and plan to fence off the creek to protect it.

Since the stream is glacier-fed, the waters should stay cool even throughout the summer. While other streams and tributaries warm in the face of climate change, scientists predict this stream could act as a safe haven for breeding salmon, which prefer cold waters.

Unfortunately, cows have trampled the banks of the stream, causing the channel to widen and water temperatures to rise. Additionally, the creek has been used for crop irrigation, further draining the water.

Via: SacBee

Photo Credit: Mary-Lynn on Flickr under Creative Commons license.




3 comments
  1. James

    I am certain that this stream can be rehabilitated without closing it off totaly to the public.Enviromental disastors take many forms.A water way,majestic mountain or a forest lost to the public ,is as great of a disastor as any fire,clear cut,toxic contanimation or species endangerment.The truth is that while it is possible for the public to love a natural treasure to death,proper management and care can prevent that from happening without closing another part of nature to the public.Also,when the public is barred from any and all enjoyment of a natural resource you can not then expect a great number of persons to be concernend with the care of that resource.I and my fiance for example do volunteer work for a local national park and for the national forest service.The fact that we are able to enjoy the surrounding………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    public lands personaly, is incentive to go the extra mile to care for these places.The idea of contributing in any meaningfull way to the care of something that I am legaly barred from even seeing first hand,somehow just does not appeal to me.Now do not get me wrong,I understand the importance of saving ecosystems regardless of location or personal use of those ecosystems,however it is a moral afront to bar the public from the blessings of nature meant for all to enjoy.

    In this case,this stream can be rehabilitated by simply planting vegitation where it has been lost,preventing further use of the stream as a watering hole by cattle,barring use of ATVS and all othe vehickles near the banks,regular trash removal and allowing nature to heal the worst of the damage done to the stream bed.”Periodic floods will eventualy restore the stream bed to a natural condition” I think that it is important to remember that there are some pristine rivers that are in fact used as watering holes by large cattle like creatures.Being that this is a salmon stream in the American west it is very likely that at one time bison , elk and other large herbivores frequented this stream in order to drink and escape the heat of the day.

  2. Michael

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are seriously depleted through damming their spawning areas in the 20th century.

    The cows arrived only shortly before that, causing far more erosion due to their near-year-round presence. Erosion causes siltation of streambeds, which suffocate the salmon eggs. Salmon redds (nests) require clean, cold water over gravel. Thus, if you have ever seen the muddying siltation caused by herds and atv use, you would understand.

    Any reopening of high, cold streams allows salmon to return and reproduce. Salmon suffer serious and fatal diseases when in water that is too warm.

    If the Nature Conservancy is doing this, it is on land which they purchased.

    Thus you do not need to raise hackles. Instead it might be wise to educate oneself; and go further: call a personal moratorium on eating of salmon, until they come back to the numbers which they had before the 1920s.

  3. Bob

    So what is the point of this story?

    Cows have done what cows do and does that mean that their is no solution?

    Are they going to do something about it or are they going to do nothing?

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