I’ve just finished two books that should be required reading for any high school Pacific Northwest history class. King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon by David R. Montgomery and My Story as Told by Water by David James Duncan. A lifelong Puget Sound resident, I always naively thought that the settlers on the West Coast were unaware of their disastrous effects on the salmon in the late 19th and 20th centuries. No one knew what they were doing, I thought. Not so. It was disappointing and deflating to learn that we knew exactly what we were doing and most of what we did flew in the face of what responsible scientists and fisheries managers had to say. We ignored the problems. We deliberately broke laws that were in place to protect the fish. What is truly scary is that the decline of Pacific Northwest salmon echoed exactly what had happened to the salmon of the European and North American Atlantic coasts, but at a much more alarming rate. We have successfully screwed one of the greatest renewable resources available to us in favor of political gain, cheap power and a quick buck.