Patagonia campaign to save the Pacific Northwest's ecosystem
Sustainable clothing brand Patagonia have launched a new campaign to save the salmon that live in the Snake, America’s greatest salmon river.

The film and petition aim to convince the government to remove the four dams in southeast Washington in order to return the river to its natural state.

“The four dams in the Snake River in the upper reaches of the Columbia basin are a clear overshoot,” explains Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the US Interior in the clothing brand's film.

“They are, in my judgement, largely responsible for the destruction of the salmon runs that we used to see all the way up into the rocky mountains in Idaho.” Once one of the most important rivers for the spawning of salmon, the Snake produced half of the stock in the Columbia basin.

Since the implementation of the dams, changes in water current and temperature have confused migratory patterns and prevented access to thousands of miles of habitat.

Consequently every Snake River salmon stock is, at present, on the Endangered Species List or extinct, meaning that the Pacific Northwest spends an estimated billion dollars a year on salmon recovery.

One of the reasons that the removal of the final four dams has been delayed is their use as sources of sustainable energy, with their removal potentially resulting in a black hole in the local energy supply. However, opponents to the dams argue that – on top of the damage to salmon stocks – the dams are losing the national economy an estimated $150million a year to operate.

Elsewhere on Protein we’ve seen increasing numbers turn towards sustainable, long-term thinking, with Selfridges' ban on plastic bottles and bags, and Solar Paper’s mission to make green energy easier to use than ever before.