For Immediate Release: Friday, June 30, 2023
Lilly Wilson, Youth Engagement Assistant for University Outreach, Idaho Conservation League/Youth Salmon Protectors
Abby Urbanek, Communications Manager, Idaho Conservation League, (208) 345-6933 x 214
Patagonia releases film featuring Youth Salmon Protectors, fight to save the Northwest’s wild salmon and steelhead from extinction
BOISE, ID – A newly released Patagonia film features local Treasure Valley youth, documenting the fight of the Youth Salmon Protectors (YSP). YSP is a coalition of young people across the Pacific Northwest dedicated to breaching the four lower Snake River dams and replacing their services to save wild salmon, steelhead and orca, to honor Tribal treaties, and to restore the lower Snake River.
Created in Boise in 2021, YSP has grown to a coalition of over 2,000 people across the Northwest region. The film follows YSP leaders and members in their work advocating for the restoration of wild salmon and steelhead through lower Snake River dam removal.
Wild Snake River salmon and steelhead are critically endangered. These fish face multiple threats throughout their life journeys, none more significant than the impacts of hydroelectric dams built on the Snake and Columbia Rivers, which kill fish directly and indirectly by warming waters, slowing migration, increasing stress, and fostering invasive predators.
“Breaching the dams is not just about saving salmon, but safeguarding our entire ecosystem and the communities that rely on them,” said Lilly Wilson, YSP member and Youth Engagement Assistant for University Outreach with ICL. “Salmon are the lifeblood of the Snake River basin, and our work focuses on extending that message and continuing to build our community in order to save what matters most to all of us – our home.”
“Salmon weave together the fabric of our environment here in Idaho,” said Lily Saperston, YSP member and Youth Engagement Assistant for High School Outreach with ICL. “Their remarkable journey from freshwater to the ocean and back is a perfect example of how youth activism can feel – as salmon breach the dams, they embody the resilience and determination needed to overcome these obstacles. YSP and other activists embody this spirit, and are breaching our own type of dams as we move up the river of activism.”
“Advocating for an issue such as salmon recovery, especially as a youth activist, can often feel daunting and difficult,” continued Wilson. “With the unwavering support of partners like Patagonia, we are able to better spread our message and share the important work we have been doing. This film was able to capture the passion and amazing perspective that youth are able to bring to conservation, and the inspiring coalition of youth that have come together under this common goal.”
In celebration of the documentary release, YSP is hosting an event open for the public to come learn more about their work and the documentary. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Old Timers Shelter in Ann Morrison Park on July 25, 2023.