Pat Ford grew up in Idaho Falls. He worked for the Idaho Conservation League for seven years, and he worked for the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition for 22 years. He retired in 2014 and lives in Boise with his wife, Julia Page.
Farewell to Ian Tyson, the finest chronicler, in song, of the North American West
By: Pat Ford - February 9, 2023
Ian Tyson died Dec. 29, age 89, at his ranch near Longview, Alberta. I think he is the finest chronicler, in song, of the North American West. Mr. Tyson learned guitar in a hospital – his ankle got between a rodeo bronc’s hoof and hard ground — and started out in the late `50s in […]
Wild salmon and 50 years of Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area
By: Pat Ford - December 30, 2022
Fifty years ago, Idahoans in large numbers and variety asked the U.S. Congress to create the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in the headwaters of the Salmon River. In the 1972 creation statute, the first stated purpose of the new area is to preserve its wild salmon. The opposite has happened. All the Sawtooth National Recreation […]
As smolt-to-adult returns continue to dwindle, salmon can teach us a lesson at Idaho’s Sunbeam Dam
By: Pat Ford - June 10, 2022
This is a story from one lifetime ago in the highest salmon grounds on earth, Idaho’s upper Salmon River. It bears on a judgment many Northwest residents and elected leaders are now making: whether restoring free-flowing conditions in the lower Snake River, by removing its dams, can restore a new version of salmon abundance in […]
Idaho heart, Idaho Ark: The Middle Fork is our best chance to sustain salmon in an uncertain future
By: Pat Ford - January 27, 2022
On a map, the heart of Idaho is the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, and its nearly two million-acre watershed. This is a big, wild heart. The world comes to Idaho to run the Middle Fork, and taste for a week the wildness the river gathers. Idahoans can taste it any time we want. […]
The content of Simpson’s salmon plan has been at forefront. But its character may matter even more.
By: Pat Ford - August 24, 2021
Editor’s note: This piece includes numbered footnotes (*1, *2, *3, etc.) to maintain the structural integrity of the guest columnist’s original work. You can find the corresponding information at the end of this column. The beat goes on to salmon extinction in Idaho and northeast Oregon. New evidence is constant. A few Snake River sockeye […]