Target: Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Goal: Stop the killing of thousands of double-crested cormorants on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.
Under a new federal plan, 11,000 double-crested cormorants that nest on an island in the Columbia River will be killed. The plan also calls for destroying 26,000 cormorant nests with oil. These cormorants are being killed because federal agencies claim that the birds are responsible for the decline in the Snake and Columbia Rivers’ endangered salmon population. But this plan does not address the real cause of the salmon decline: four outdated dams that cut off the salmons’ natural migratory route. Instead of addressing this problem, federal agencies are scapegoating cormorants.
Thousands of cormorants have already been killed to supposedly bring back the salmon population. According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents, in 2015 and 2016 the corps culled 7,086 adult cormorants and applied oil on 6,181 nests. If the new federal plan goes through, these numbers will get even higher.
Cormorants aren’t the only animals that have been killed to bring back the Snake and Columbia Rivers’ salmon population. In 2016, fifty-four sea lions that were seen eating salmon were put down. There have also been Caspian tern birds killed for eating salmon. While all of these animals are killed, the problem of the outdated dams is ignored.
If the federal plan is put into place, thousands of birds will soon be killed. Sign this petition to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rethink their harmful plan to cull cormorants, and instead, focus on removing the rivers’ dams.
Dear Lieutenant General Semonite,
Please do not implement your plan to kill 11,000 double-crested cormorants that nest on the Columbia River. This plan will needlessly kill thousands of birds, and it is not the most effective way to bring back the endangered salmon population. Instead of targeting predatory animals, you should focus on removing the outdated dams that block the salmon from going on their natural migratory route. These dams are the true cause of the dramatic decline in the salmon population.
Thousands of cormorants have already been killed in an attempt to bring back the salmon population, and many nests have been destroyed with oil. I urge you to stop culling these birds, and instead, please work on removing the outdated dams that have caused so many problems on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bob Peterson