In 1996, Pacific Rivers developed certification guidelines that promote ecologically sustainable agricultural practices for the benefits of Pacific salmon and the clean water they need to survive. These practices (used by StreamCare, Pacific Rivers’ cooperative agricultural program) include such methods as planting riparian zones on streams, incorporating cover crop to control erosion, and applying sophisticated methods to control weeds and pests. Within the first year of inception, the cooperative had enough members to take the Salmon Safe logo to the shelves of over 60 natural food stores in Oregon and Washington.
By 1998, the Salmon Safe logo had expanded to 115 Fred Meyer stores and had recognition by Governor John Kitzhaber as “…the best example yet of the cooperative voluntary approach that is needed to prevent the extinction of wild salmon.” Over 10,000 acres of farmland were certified in important salmon watersheds in Willamette Valley vineyards, Skagit Valley orchards and dairy farms in southwest Washington. Items on the shelves included fruit and vegetables, dairy, juice, rice and wine.
Merchants, farmers and the public have all taken an enthusiastic approach to educating the public of ecologically sustainable agricultural practices. As the demands of managing Salmon Safe became higher, Dan Kent, (Pacific Rivers’ Marketing Director at that time), took the helm after finishing the MBA program at the University of Oregon.
Since then, the certification has extended to over 60 different wineries, countless varieties of farms including rice plantations, has hit the shelves of over 200 marketplaces, and is now making its mark on urban development with a peer-reviewed certification program that involves management practices that reduce storm water runoff and non-point source pollution. This building certification is helping to protect even the urban northwest salmon populations. Such developments include the Nike campus, Portland’s new South Waterfront community, and Portland State University. For a more detailed list, please visit http://www.salmonsafe.org.
Pacific Rivers is proud of the accomplishments that Salmon Safe has achieved and gratified to have established this successful organization. Visit Salmon Safe’s website to learn more and to see how you can get involved or become certified yourself.