Letters to editor

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Area residents and visitors will have a new outdoor gem in our area to appreciate. The North Fork of the Trask, and its Middle Fork tributary will soon gain federal designation as a Wild and Scenic river. It will become one of the few rivers with such a designation on Oregon’s NW coast.

We can thank Senators Wyden and Merkley for their vision, and making this possible, the culmination of a two year process to identify appropriate Oregon rivers and streams for the River Democracy Act of 2021.

The North Fork Trask is certainly wild and scenic, but it’s much more than that. It contains some of the best spawning habitat for native salmon and steelhead that exists in Oregon. Coho salmon are federally listed as endangered. The North Fork Trask and its tributaries can help restore these fish and other species as well. The spawning habitat, when protected, is that good.

Healthy fish runs are very important to our local economy and to our recreational pursuits. Protecting where fish reproduce makes total sense if we want more fish to follow. There is no better place than the North Fork Trask.

In these dark times, we are fortunate to have something positive happening in our backyard. If we can restore Coho salmon and improve other fish populations, it will truly be something our community can be proud of going forward. Thank you Oregon senators for your foresight. Future generations will benefit from your leadership on rivers and streams.

-Ron Byers, Tillamook

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