The Yurok Tribe’s efforts to revitalize the Klamath River’s once substantial salmon runs will be featured in a new exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
“Giants of Land and Sea,” which will premier Friday, focuses on Northern California’s natural history “where people and climate are shaping the future,” according to a tribal press release.
Yurok Tribal Council representative Joe James and Yurok Office of Self Governance Director Javier Kinney will participate in several opening events at the museum today, according to the press release.
“It is an honor to participate in this amazing project,” said James, who represents the tribe’s east district. “As Yurok people, we have an obligation to be strong stewards of the Klamath River, the lifeline of our tribe. This exhibit will help us raise awareness about what is being done to address the struggling salmon runs in our river.”
The Yurok Tribe’s portion of the California Academy of Sciences exhibit, titled Yurok Voices, consists of three videos with Yurok political leaders and fisheries biologists discussing the tribe’s efforts to revitalize the Klamath’s salmon runs, according to the press release. This exhibit comes as the river’s late summer and early fall chinook salmon runs have reached record lows in the past three years. Fewer fish returned to the river in 2016 and 2017 than any other time in modern history.
One “ecological success story” the California Academy of Sciences highlights is efforts by the Yurok Tribe and other neighboring tribes to remove four dams and reopen 250 miles of salmon spawning habitat, according to the press release.
Another primary theme is the Yurok Tribe’s reacquisition of a large tract of land in the Blue Creek watershed. Receiving assistance from the Western Rivers Conservancy, the tribe is working to turn Blue Creek, which has a history of industrial logging, into a stronghold for salmon, according to the press release.