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Copper Salmon

Copper Salmon: A Call for Wilderness

Client & Objective:
The Elk River in Southwest Oregon is home to populations wild salmon and trout that are nearly extinct. The Friends of the Elk River, an all volunteer grassroots environmental organization, needed to build public support for its campaign to permanently protect the headwaters of Elk River, an area known as the Copper Salmon Roadless Area. Biologists said this effort was critical for restoring the salmon.

Green Fire produced a 10-minute video to help the organization convey the need for watershed protection and the community’s interest in this effort, and to build diverse support for the proposal. Green Fire worked with Friends of Elk River to identify the people who could help them protect the headwaters, and the target audience for this campaign. Green Fire also helped identify influential local community members who could help persuade others to join them in support of the watershed protection plan. Among them were a county commissioner who had not previously supported wilderness protection, a third-generation rancher known for her toughness, a teacher, a local business owner and a fisherman. All voiced strong support for protecting the watershed.

The ten-minute video program highlights influential community members speaking for the need to protect the Copper Salmon and conveys the urgent need for headwaters protection. As a direct result of the video, Friends of Elk River built a network of diverse supporters including county commissioners, chambers of commerce, congressional representatives, the Governor, key decision-makers and other local interest groups. Whenever Friends of Elk River shows the video program locally, community members see that their neighbors and community leaders also support the proposal. When shown at the state or national level, viewers see local conservative leaders supporting the proposal.

"In the end it’s going to be the video that protects the Copper Salmon Roadless area. Having the video to back me up really does the trick: the video is my main ammunition. I am at ease approaching adversaries and conservatives for their support of the campaign to protect the Copper Salmon roadless area — and they always either give their support or agree to remain neutral after seeing the video."
— Jim Rogers, Friends of the Elk River

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