Salmon: Running the Gauntlet
Interview with David James Duncan

An interview with writer David James Duncan, featured in Nature’s Salmon: Running the Gauntlet. The interview was conducted by Montana Evening Edition KUFM, Montana Public Radio.

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  • ari

    Very powerful stuff. We cannot interfere and with the growing population and encroachment of people, it is becoming more and more diffucult. James Duncan is an endangered species himself. A person who has a romantic, poweful connection with something that isnt man made, or manufactured. Nature!

  • Arthur

    If only the wisdom of a James Duncan were invoked, and the powers that be would wake from their collective, short sighted, self serving stupor to see ahead what is coming to pass, that is the immeasurable beauty, and bounty of America that should endure, is sadly near the end, then we might be able to return, restore and connect our natural worlds to a place where all Americans can benefit from the revitalized source of blessings our ancestors knew before the false promises of how “progress” and “development” would make our lives better, and mantras like “hydro-power” were accepted as gospel without distinguishing how much is enough and “rate of return” mesmerized us into inaction for alternative sources even as the watershed was befouled more and more each year and the habitats for flora and fauna disappeared before our eyes while the bureaucrats are mainly concerned how to advance their careers.. Rise up and say “NO MORE!”

  • David Bean

    Running the Gauntlet and the interview with David James Duncan is truth telling close to the bone. Folks close to the source, to the earth and water are really sad. The grief of our Native American elders is thick, as though daily the Christian priest were taking a chain saw to the crucifix, and doing it both with enthusiasm and ignorance. Forgive them lord, for they know not what they do. But Wake Them Up!

    On the point of the Snake River Dams, Judge Redden, for the third time in three different administrations said the federal efforts are insufficient to save the salmon. If he did not say it, I will: The salmon cannot find their way home on reputation alone! Imagine, if you were a water breather and stuffed in a tank and sloshed for two, three, or four hundred miles, would you know which fork to take to get home? It is about as sane as thinking we can cheapskate our way to prosperity if no one has a job. (Just think of the money we will save! ;-(, but I digress.) Collectively we are acting like nuts, and it is music to hear the truth told by David Duncan and the Gauntlet crew.

    Those Snake River Dams are ‘run of the river’ meaning that they do not protect from flooding, their main function is to cheaply ship wheat to Asia. That is it. They allow the river to be deep enough for the barges, but do not create the ‘head’ to create much power… roughly 6% of regional power. And for that they extinguish the natural fertilizer distribution system that has grown Huge trees for six ice ages; the salmon. As a result are harvesting sick trees and forest fires. Trees either make shade and the Oxygen we breathe or CO2. Which do you want? While lawyers ignorantly posit that hatchery fish that return to concrete troughs provide the the same ecological function as wild salmon that return to forest streambanks. It was back in the 90’s of the last century that the American Fisheries Society of Idaho, the AMA of fish biologists, voted unanimously that for fishable runs of salmon to return, those Snake River Dams had to be breached. Wow. Scientists unanimous on anything is news. The judge knows, the scientists know and Jane Lubchenco knows. But can truth bend the way of money in the courts when politics is broken?

    David Duncan moves the heart, and was once described as the Mark Twain of the Columbia. But what kind of jest is that. Mark Twain during his time a famous, honored world figure and made rich. Today that sort of honor goes to whom? Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods. When, oh when will we choose the wise path?

    Winston would say…. “when we have exhausted all the other alternatives.”

    Dear David and the Gauntlet crew, May your next movie be as powerful as the fish of the B run, as beautiful as the Clearwater.

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