Great Editorial on Campaign 60 in MiramichiLeader

Enhancing our most iconic natural resource

As a way of marking their 60th anniversary, the Miramichi Salmon Association has embarked on a $2 million fundraising campaign. This money is for existing programming and new initiatives. Given how the Miramichi River is renowned for its salmon fishery, we commend them for their continued forward thinking to strive to protect and grow a valuable natural resource.

The money from what is being billed as MSA Campaign 60 is earmarked for the two Miramichi Forever Funds, one of which is right here in New Brunswick and the other based in Boston, Mass.

People travel to the Miramichi region from near and far — from all over the world, actually — to fish salmon. This makes the river arguably not only Miramichi’s most iconic resource but perhaps its most valuable, at least in relation to tourism. You think of Miramichi and you automatically think of the river, and the King of Sport Fish. It adds up to a very important image and brand by which to market Miramichi.

Frank McKenna, the nationally known former premier of New Brunswick, is on board as the campaign’s honourary chairman. Considering he’s also a former Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly for Chatham, he’s certainly the right man for this job, as the importance and significance of the river and its salmon are not lost on him.

“On their own, the river and the salmon are uniquely special, but taken together at the Miramichi Salmon they present a single image of two natural treasures that are world renowned,” he said in a news release. “As with all such cherished resources, each one of us bears responsibility to pass them on to future generations in as good or better condition as we found them.”

Some other heavy hitters are involved, too. Bud Bird, MSA chairman emeritus, will lead the Canadian part of the campaign. Being an avid sport fisherman and former minister of natural resources in this province, he’s someone else fully in tune with the magic of the river.

The American part of the campaign will be led by John Dillon, the former chief executive officer of International Paper.

“The lasting (Maritime Salmon Association) bonds, which have been formed between residents of both nations through the common cause of conservation, go far to exemplify the reality that our environmental world is truly without boundaries,” said Mr. Dillon, and we couldn’t agree more.

The two Miramichi Forever funds presently have $680,000 and $620,000 in each respectively, as reported in last week’s Times & Transcript by reporter Gail Harding. The intent of the Miramichi Forever Funds is to continue to receive and allocate discretionary donations, endowment contributions, long-term trust commitments and bequests from individuals, families, companies and institutions who want to see the conservation of the Miramichi salmon continue forever.

The Miramichi Salmon Association has been essential in regards to conservation efforts up and down this watershed. This fundraising campaign is important for them to continue their work — and to preserve a delicate eco system for generations to come, an eco system which plays a vital role in our region’s economy. We wish the association success with its campaign, and hope they benefit from the generosity of those who believe in the river.

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