Support ‘Education for All’

Before this Congress heads home at the end of the year, they have a chance to make a lasting difference in the lives of millions of children.

As Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai reminds us, “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” But right now a staggering 263 million children and youth around the world are still out of school.

The bipartisan Education for All Act (S. 3256/H.R. 4481) will enable the U.S. to do its part to help tackle this crisis. The House of Representatives came together to pass this bill earlier in the fall, and now it’s the Senate’s turn to do the same.

On the heels of a divisive election, this is Congress’ chance to come together in support of a brighter future.

Dave Roehm

Ocean Park

Learn bay lessons from the past

As WDFW and the North of Falcon process begins anew, I felt it would be appropriate to share some of the struggles of Willapa’s past. It provides great prospective and relevance to our struggles today. My ancestors who settled the Nemah in 1883 were already experiencing the pains of gillnetting by 1925.

I’ve provided a copy of an article published in the The South Bend Journal: It reads as follows

DRIFT FISHING HIT BY ORDER

Order Effective This Week

Bans Nets Wider Than One-Third of Steam

Rumors that an order recently passed by the State Fisheries board prohibited the use of drift nets which exceed one-third the width of the stream were verified by The Journal this week in the following letter from Charles R. Pollock recently named acting supervisor of fisheries:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 24th addressed to this office and we note that you say as follows:

“A report has come to my attention that a recent ruling prohibits the use of gill nets in the Willapa River and similar streams, when the nets exceed one-third of the width of the stream in length.”

With further reference to the matter of nets only being of a length of one-third the width of a stream, we call your attention to section 35 of the Laws of 1917 which is 5687 Remington’s Compiled Statutes, 1922 1054, which reads as follows:

“No fishing appliance or device of any kind whatsoever, either by lead or any part thereof, shall occupy more than one-third the width of the waters of any stream or river.”

My great grandmother Mary Jane Williams lived to be 81. This South Bend Journal newspaper clipping was found tucked next to other local news in her scrapbook. Mary Jane Williams and her husband Albert Williams and were the first white settlers in the Nemah area. Mary Jane was the first Post Mistress of Pacific County.

I find it ironic that we still struggle with gill netting regulations today, nearly 91 years later. I wonder how my Great-grandfather Albert Williams would feel about the missing sturgeon in Willapa — Once plentiful, now gone. He might laugh his head off and say “no wonder your burrowing sand shrimp are out of control!”

The truth is he might not have cared, because he and his son Clarence E. Williams Sr. both had a hand in commercial fishing now and then. No one cared back then about sturgeon. Conservation was a burden for the future. My family moved to the Nemah from South Bend to take occupancy on the old family place in 1967. You could still see the occasional sturgeon in the lower tidal waters of what is now Williams Park. Today I’m 57 and my 23-year-old boys have never seen a sturgeon in the N. Nemah River. The burden of conservation for the Willapa has landed with a resounding thump. We face possible ESA listings for Chinook and chum if we can’t commercially fish responsibly.

Clearly, Willapa and Grays Harbor were attempting to deal with gillnets and the salmon runs already in 1923. It’s time we worked together to fix our over harvesting. It’s time the Pacific Fisheries Management Council allows more of our salmon to return home to Washington water. Perhaps the length of gillnets should be no longer than one-third the width of the river they fish in?

Marlisa Williams Dugan

South Bend

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