Mission & History

The Challenge

mission-billy-boatSalmon Defense is addressing the need for a 100-year vision for salmon of the Pacific Northwest. Many salmon runs have declined to the point of near extinction and all are threatened; habitat loss and degradation are the principal causes.

Salmon Defense is working to unite people and communities to increase salmon runs to sustainable levels by restoring and preserving salmon habitat. Salmon Defense strongly believes our environment, our economy, and our quality of life have the potential to prosper through the unification of citizens working together to protect salmon for our common future.

Salmon are in a crucial time of need and it’s very clear that their future will depend on all of us. The protection of the natural resource is at the very bottom of the list. If the salmon don’t have a healthy habitat, what does that say about our environment? If there are no salmon, how does that affect the culture and the lives of all of us that call the Pacific Northwest home?


The mission of Salmon Defense is to “protect and defend Pacific Northwest salmon and salmon habitat.”

Salmon Defense envisions a healthy environment for all of the region’s inhabitants now and in the future. We derive our mission from an understanding and appreciation of traditional and contemporary knowledge and values of the Pacific Northwest Indian Tribes.


Educate, Advocate & Litigate: The goal of Salmon Defense is to increase public awareness and education, and support legal actions to turn the tide on salmon habitat degradation.


mission-upper-skagit-generationsSalmon Defense was established by the twenty western Washington Treaty Tribes in 2003. The purpose of forming this new organization was to provide an independent nonprofit entity focused solely on the welfare of our region’s salmon and their habitat. Tribes recognized a need for increased capacity for independent legal advocacy and educational campaigns to support public engagement and understanding of the need to protect our region’s salmon.

Salmon Defense is created as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to allow engagement in focused fundraising and project development. Salmon Defense has emerged as a strong organization, with the interest and ability to partner with others throughout the region and still be guided by the tribal legacy of stewardship and sustainability.