Salmon Nation

From coastal Alaska southward into northern California, Salmon Nation encompasses all the watersheds whose streams and rivers flow into the North Pacific. The Columbia River, in particular, has served as an effective trade route for foods between the coastal bays and tidelands and the Montane headwaters to the east. Since time immemorial, several species of salmon have run the gamut of habitats between these two extremes, but in modern times their migratory pathways have been disrupted by dams and degraded by pollution from pulp mills.

Today, nearly ninety-five of Salmon Nation’s traditional foods are threatened or endangered. Despite these losses, it remains the richest region on the continent in terms of the numbers of fish, shellfish, berries, mushrooms, wild corms, bulbs, and tubers it supports. Its First Nations cultures include many master fisherfolk and retain many of their ancient food traditions, although some, such as the preparation of fermented ooligan grease, a highly prized trade item, have nearly disappeared.

– excerpted from Renewing America’s Food Traditions, edited by Gary Nabhan, with the permission of Chelsea Green Publishing (

Disappearing Foods

* Black Republican Sweet Cherry
* Charlotte Peach
* Columbia River Chinook Salmon
* Columbia River Steelhead
* Marshall Strawberry
* Nez Perce Bean
* Spokane Beauty Apples
* Spurgeon Special Walnut
* Walla Walla Sweet Onion
* Wenatchee Moorpark Apricot
* See Full List

Tips to preserve heritage and heirloom foods:
• Become a seed saver through the Seed Saver Exchange (
• Purchase heirloom produce and heritage livestock breeds (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy,
• If you think a food is endangered, nominate it to the Slow Ark of Taste,
• Support community agriculture, farmers markets and local food groups.
• Attend events that celebrate local foods.
Read more about Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT).

Disappearing Foods (Full List)
Berckmans Grap
Bird or Oso Plum
Black Republican Sweet Cherry
Boccacio Rockfish
Brilliant Grape
Buffalo Currant
Bull Trout
California Variegated Sheep
Campbell's Early Grape
Cascade Moose
Charlotte Peach
China Rockfish
Coastal Cutthroat Trout
Colonel Wilder Pear
Columbia River Chinook Salmon
Columbia River Chum Salmon
Columbia River Steelhead
Columbia White-tailed Deer
Concord, California Grape
Cow Cod
El Dorado Pear
Eulachon, Ooligan Smelt
Flat Abalone
Geoduck Clam
Gillette Fig
Green Sturgeon
Haida Potato
Hooker's Sweet Indian Corn
Horse, Gaper, or Great Washington Clam
Immigrant Bean
Jesse (Champion) Plum
Kilham Goose Bean
Low Growing Mountain Huckleberry
Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon
Lower Salmon River Squash
Lucas Navy Bean
Makah Ozette Potato
Marshall Strawberry
Muscat of Alexandria Grape
Nez Perce Bean
Northern California Coho Salmon
Northern Giant Cabbage
Northern Oregon/Washington Steelhead
Northwestern Blackberry
Olympia Oyster
Olympia Peninsula Chum Salmon
Olympic Blackberry
Orcas Pear
Oregon Delicious Melon
Oregon Giant Bean
Orenco Apples
Ozette Lake Sockeye salmon
Pacific Black Cod
Pacific Bluestem No. 47 Hard White Spring Wheat
Pacific Hake
Pacific Herring Roe on Western Hemlock Boughs and Kelp
Pacific or Trident Lamprey
Paint Bean
Pink Fawn Lily
Pink, Southern Salmon
Pinto Abalone
Pride of Multnomah Potato
Puget Sound Chinook Salmon
Puget Sound Steelhead
Rescue Pear
Roosevelt Elk
Russian River Chinook Salmon
Sacramento River Chum Salmon
Seaside (Chilean) Coastal Populations Strawberry
Snake River Chinook, Fall Run Salmon
Snake River Sockeye Salmon
Snake River Steelhead
Southern Oregon Coho Salmon
Southern Oregon Steelhead
Spokane Beauty Apples
Spurgeon Special Walnut
St. Croix Sheep
Steller's Sea Lion
Tlingit (Marks) Potato
To-le-ak Potato
Trailing Blackberry
Umatilla/Yakima Marblehead Squash
Upper Columbia Steelhead
Walla Walla Sweet Onion
Wenatchee Moorpark Apricot
Whatcom Half Runner Lima Bean
White Sturgeon
Winter Bartlett Pear
Wood Bison
Woodland Caribou
Yampa (Gairdner's Yampah)

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