Winnemem Wintu Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief Caleen Sisk-Franco published an opinion piece in the Redding Record-Searchlight today stating that the Tribe supports local ranchers and sees them as allies in Central Valley salmon recovery.
Read the full piece: “Caleen Sisk-Franco: Salmon Restoration Should Help Ranchers, Not Hurt Them“.
We have many stories about the thick salmon runs that once spawned in the McCloud River; we remember how the land and the water used to be when the salmon were here; we more than anyone know what will be lost if all of our salmon are lost.
Many of the ranchers on Cow Creek have held their family land for a few generations, and I imagine they heard yarns from their grandpas and great-grandpas about the salmon runs that used to charge through their land.
Their oral history might not stretch as far back as ours, but I bet a love for salmon exists in the hearts of many of those ranchers. That is why my tribe would like to work with them as salmon allies.
Caleen wrote the piece in response to an Oct. 11 story – “Ranchers wary over fish barrier count on Cow Creek” – about a recent meeting between U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Cow Creek ranchers, who are worried about the agency’s effort to survey salmon barriers on the waterway they depend on for irrigation.
Though we are investigating other swimway options, one way we believe our migrating McCloud River salmon could get around Shasta Dam is via Cow, Little Cow and Dry Creeks. See the map below: