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Oregon Chefs "Protect Salmon from Stream to Table"

May 9, 2007

The fight to protect and restore Pacific salmon is heating up in the kitchen this week. Oregon's leading chefs and restaurateurs are joining hundreds of others asking Congress for more definite action to save salmon in the region. Greg Higgins, chef and owner of Higgins Restaurant in Portland, says it's about protecting the region's economy, fishing communities and more.

“It's a species that we revere as a symbol of our region, but we also love to enjoy from a culinary standpoint. More importantly, it's also that "canary in a coal mine" that tells us whether we're succeeding in maintaining a balance with our environment.”

Congress is currently considering several bills that Higgins believes could make a difference including the Salmon Economic Analysis and Planning Act that would restore declining Columbia and Klamath fisheries.

“If we don't take care of it, we'll not only lose the benefits of having wild salmon to enjoy on our plates, we're also going to send a message that says we don't care about the quality of our water, of our river habitat for other wildlife and ourselves.”

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR