Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not just numbers

Event to focus on cultural significance of salmon

Express Staff Writer

Salmon will be the focus of an event that will strive to educate the public on the salmon's role in history, art, storytelling and culture in the Pacific Northwest.

The event, called Salmon Quest, was created by Idaho Rivers United to help educate the public on the philosophical aspects of salmon endangerment and recovery.

"We spend a lot of time focusing on the numbers, but it's important to return to the cultural significance as well," said Greg Stahl, spokesman for Idaho Rivers United.

Former Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist Bert Bowler will give a multi-media presentation that includes the salmon's role as a cultural and ecological touchstone, as well as the history of the salmon population and its decline.

"It's about getting in touch with the fish, why they're important, why people should care," Bowler said.

Salmon Quest will feature an exhibit by Boise calligrapher Michael Jones, who has created over a dozen salmon-centric pieces over the past four years. Jones has been a calligrapher since 1967, but only recently has his focus turned to salmon as a subject.

"My approach is not as a scientist, but as someone who lives in the Northwest and who feels a strong connection to the ecosystem I live in," Jones said.

The event will also include a structured discussion followed by a question-and-answer session. Salmon Quest will take place July 29 from 5-8 p.m. at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum. The event is in an open-house format, free of charge and open to the public. Beer, wine and other refreshments will be served.

Katherine Wutz:

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