We will need to change some of our daily habits and the way we treat our land. Because the quality of our water and the habitat of our fish are affected by the fertilizers and lawn chemicals we apply, the oil residues our cars leave on roadways, and the amount of water we use, we will have to make certain lifestyle changes. As Clark County continues through the fish recovery process, specific recommendations and requirements for the changes we need to make will emerge.
Many rural residents who live on streams will have to reassess a long tradition of grazing, farming, and forestry practices that often include livestock grazing around stream banks, pesticide or fertilizer runoff, and agricultural use right up to the water's edge without a buffer of natural stream side vegetation. Clark County's salmon recovery effort will involve working cooperatively with landowners to restore critical fish habitat on their property. The county will look for ways to minimize economic hardships or other challenges landowners may encounter in the process.
Urban and suburban residents will also need to help create solutions for restoring fish habitat. The ongoing construction of new buildings in the county increases the potential for erosion as land is cleared. Development eventually results in more hard surfaces that cause runoff to flow directly into our waterways rather than being absorbed into the ground.
All of us need to get involved. Fortunately, there are many people representing different interests who are coming together on the issue of saving our salmon. Landowners, timber producers, sports fishermen, developers, environmentalists, and others are working with local, state, and federal governments to develop solutions.