Photos courtesy of Regina Chichizola
This Wednesday runners from the Run4Salmon on the Sacramento River watersheds and runners from the Klamath River Salmon run joined together to run together on the first ever Trinity Connection run for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s Run Salmon. The runners followed the route of the Trinity River diversion from the Lewiston Dam, down the Clear Creek watershed, then met the Run4Salmon at the Shasta Dam for a No Dam Raise rally.
“This run was a statement on bringing the salmon people together and on bringing the salmon back to where the need to be,” stated Yurok Tribal member Richard Myers. “We ran from one nation to the other as salmon are a common denominator for Indian people. It needs to be recognized that we are connected through the waters of life, which provide for the people. This run was a way of doing this.”
Members of four separate local Sacramento, Klamath and Trinity River Tribes ran in the Trinity connection. The Trinity River is the largest tributary to the Klamath River and over 50% of it is diverted to the Sacramento River. Over 80% of the river was diverted until a major agreement to restore the river was made between the Hoopa Valley Tribe and Department of the Interior right before the Klamath River fish kill in 2002. Trinity River releases beyond this agreement are now used to avert Klamath River fish kills in low water years.
The Trinity River is threatened by the projects that threaten the Sacramento River and Bay Delta such as the Sites Reservoir, Shasta Dam raise, the Delta tunnel proposal and the new Trump Biological Opinion (Trump water plan) for the Central Valley federal and state water projects.
“Physically connecting to the lands that the creator bestowed to my people by foot on routes we have traveled for trade and communication for centuries was an honorable experience I’ll never forget.” state Thomas Joseph a Hoopa Valley Tribal member and representative for California Kitchen a sponsor of the run. “Through using these traditional methods to bring awareness of our community struggles to other communities we can find the strength and healing to combat the chaos of today’s challenges be it environmental or social struggles. We need to look back at traditional practices for our answers.”
Trinity Connection Runners ran by three dams and four reservoirs on their 50 mile run. They said that the run helps bring attention to the fact that the majority of the Central Valley’s water supply comes from the areas within their run; however local Tribes and rural people that are suffering from lack of salmon are rarely consulted in water decisions. Instead, major irrigators, such as the Westlands Water District hundreds of miles away control North state water. They pointed to the fact that Westlands’ lawyer and lobbyist David Bernhardt is now running the very agency that controls decisions that impact California’s water decisions and Tribes. Bernhardt has been accused of numerous ethics violation since taking office.
The runners joined the Winnemem Wintu Tribe is a rally against the Shasta dam raise at the Shasta dam after their run.
“We are a salmon state and we should salmon state again.” said Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, which organizes the run. “It is time for us to come together”
More information about the run is at http://www.run4salmon.org/
Photos are at: https://www.facebook.com/SaveCaliforniaSalmon/