Long-term Challenges to Alaska’s Salmon and Salmon-Dependent Communities
November 2016 over 200 people attended this workshop focused on identifying and addressing long-term challenges to Alaska’s salmon and salmon-dependent communities (link to: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/conferences/2016/salmon-and-society/). The goal was to to bring together a wide range of people who care about salmon and salmon communities in Alaska to develop a common understanding of long-term challenges to both, and to serve as a kick-off event to the Center for Salmon and Society.
Two days of public discussion and presentations started the workshop, followed by a day of breakout sessions to develop action plans addressing key issues identified in the public workshop. Materials developed by these groups are available here (link to other page called ‘Workshop Materials’)
Motivation for the workshop
Alaskans and salmon have been inextricably linked for generations. Salmon are affected by humans through direct harvest and through ecosystem alteration. Salmon-dependent communities are supported by salmon harvests, whether subsistence, personal use, commercial, or sport. Many communities are dependent on salmon as a key source of food, a principal driver of the economy, and a cultural keystone species.
Although salmon populations and the ecosystems that support them are relatively healthy in Alaska compared to those in other regions, increasing population size, urbanization, and climate change are long-term current and future challenges. Salmon-dependent communities are affected by fluctuations in abundance and price, the gradual erosion of access to the resource, the high cost of living in these communities, and many other economic and social challenges. Thus, Alaska is at, or will soon be at, a crossroads for making decisions that will have lasting impacts on salmon and the communities linked to salmon.
Although Alaskan salmon populations and their supporting ecosystems are relatively healthy compared other regions of the world, long-term current and future challenges still exist. Increasing human population size, urbanization, and climate change all affect the unique salmon populations throughout the state. Salmon-dependent communities are affected by fluctuations in abundance and price of their catch, the gradual erosion of resource access, high cost of living in rural communities, and many other economic and social challenges. Alaska is at a crossroads for decision-making that will have lasting impacts on salmon and the communities linked to them. Therefore, we propose this multi-day objective forum for open dialogue among stakeholders to begin weighing tradeoffs of decisions facing Alaskans.
- University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
- Alaska Sea Grant
- Alaska's Salmon Habitat Partnerships
- Bristol Bay Habitat Land Trust
- National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
- The Salmon Project