Protect the Fish
Dear Jim, thank you so much for your POV (“Swimming Upstream,” October) about SPAWN and its adversarial model for saving the coho salmon in San Geronimo Valley. As a 40-year resident of SG, I can assure you most residents and homeowners care just as much about saving the salmon as Todd Steiner does. We have lots of artwork and community activities that reflect our pride and commitment to this local treasure. However, instead of making it easy for people to do the right thing, SPAWN has made us the enemy instead of an ally. Instead of all the costly lawsuits against the county, if SPAWN had assisted homeowners in septic upgrades, creek restoration, concrete removal, etc., it could have been a win-win for both salmon habitat and property owners. SPAWN’s zealous all-or-nothing attitude has produced unnecessary conflict.
JANICE BALDWIN, SAN GERONIMO
Jim Wood is entitled to his opinion on the value of SPAWN’s approach to saving Marin’s critically endangered coho salmon. Over 20 years, SPAWN has rescued 15,000 baby salmon from certain death in drying streams, increased our knowledge of where coho spawn in our watershed, provided homeowner consultations to hundreds of folks who want to live in harmony with these amazing fish, planted 100,000 native plants along degraded stream banks, and raised millions of dollars for habitat restoration and land acquisition. And yes, SPAWN has taken the County of Marin to task for illegally approving development without the required environmental analysis to understand the impact on this beleaguered species. Each time SPAWN has sued, the courts have ruled that the county’s actions were illegal. Mr. Wood may believe that is a hindrance to the effort to restore coho salmon to Lagunitas Creek, but if the county continues to act unlawfully, how can we expect to protect the remaining habitat that the fish need to survive? SPAWN and others’ restoration efforts are an attempt to repair the historical mistakes of the past that have led the salmon to the verge of extinction. If the county continues to repeat those mistakes by destroying remaining habitat, all the restoration in the world will be for naught.
TODD STEINER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF TURTLE ISLAND RESTORATION NETWORK AND SPAWN
Jim, who really cares about coho salmon and Lagunitas Creek? We have more things to worry about than a few salmon. There is plenty of salmon to buy in all stores in Marin. I would suggest your next article is about something that really matters to those of us in Marin.
DON STENSON, VIA EMAIL
I wanted to mention what I consider an omission from an article (“Dangerous Game”) in your September issue. This was a very powerful article, but I was surprised and concerned that Being Adept, a Marin-based nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate middle-school students and their parents to prevent drug and alcohol use and abuse, was not cited as an organization in Marin that can “offer information and support to educate parents and teens about drug abuse prevention and treatment,” because that is exactly what we do. Thanks for your consideration of this information that is very important to the health and well-being of our Marin youth.
ALLAN GOLD, PH.D., DISTRICT PSYCHOLOGIST FOR REED DISTRICT IN TIBURON, CHAIRMAN OF BEING ADEPT
Thank you for your excellent and important coverage of teen drug use in Marin. The message cannot be repeated enough. It was quite comprehensive, but I think MarinCAMFT, Marin’s chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, deserves a mention. Many therapists like myself are interventionists and addiction specialists who can enlighten parents both in preventing and assessing a possible problem and learning what actions to take that will be effective.
BARBARA NELSON, MA, MFT, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
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