Back the Salmon: Bypassing Dams to Restore Snake River Salmon
At one time, the Snake Rivers salmon runs were among the largest
in the world, but four dams in the lower river have nearly killed
them off. As part of their campaign to restore Snake River salmon,
the National Wildlife Federation and allied conservation groups
working in the Pacific Northwest needed to stir their members and
other conservation-minded people across the country to show support
for removing the dams. Letters needed to be written, calls made
and faxes sent to the administration, Congress, and other key decision-makers.
Yet very few people across the country knew much about the issue.
The National Wildlife Federation hired Green Fire to develop and
produce an advocacy-oriented program telling the story from an environmental
and ecological point of view, a perspective missing from most reporting
on the issue. The goal was to engage viewers in the story of Snake
River salmon, and to introduce them to the science, economic issues
and legends surrounding this Northwest icon and to garner
support for dam removal. The complex issue had to be distilled and
explained in a way that people could easily understand.
The National Wildlife Federation, its 200 affiliates and its partners
distributed more than 2,000 copies of the video nationally, and
screened the program for thousands of people. As a direct result,
thousands of people contacted Congress and the Administration and
asked them to work on this issue, including 10,000 who sent postcards.
The program continues to educate people nationwide and mobilize
support for removing the four lower Snake River dams.
video, more than any other resource, helped us to nationalize the
issue with the public, congress, and media. When we watch viewers
watching the video, it clearly moves them because it connects them
directly to the sounds and images of the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
The interviews bring so much credibility to the campaign. It's extremely
effective to have real people telling their story. This public support
has helped us to meet one of our major campaign goals to
increase visibility of the issue nationwide." Kathy
Crist, a national field organizer for the Columbia and Snake Rivers