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Salmon-Safe: A new label helps organic farmers protect salmon
(from November 4, 2002)

According to the Environment News Service, Salmon-Safe, a regional eco-label, has joined with Oregon Tilth, the West Coast organic certifier, to integrate sustainable food production and wildlife preservation in the salmon watersheds of the Pacific Northwest. The program which has already certified three organic farms in southern Oregon's Applegate River basin, aims to improve conservation farming practices, such as planting cover crops, growing trees along streams to shade spawning salmon and improving irrigation practices.

The joint program, working in conjunction with Oregon Tilth, gives local organic farmers a unique certification for protecting salmon. "We think it's a great complement to the new National Organic Program," said Pete Gonzalves, executive director of Oregon Tilth. "Working with Salmon-Safe is a way for us to bring additional value to family scale organic farmers in the Northwest that are devoted to protecting our watersheds but still have to compete with industrial farming from outside our region."

Salmon-Safe has worked cooperatively with more than 70 private landowners and certified approximately 30,000 acres of farmland in critical salmon watersheds, primarily in Oregon, before teaming up with Oregon Tilth.

Oregon Tilth and Salmon-Safe jointly developed the new streamlined Salmon-Safe organic standard on produce by comparing Salmon-Safe's certification program with the national organic standard. The standard includes additional riparian area management and irrigation water use requirements that are either not covered, or are covered only indirectly, under organic certification.

More information about the new Salmon-Safe Oregon Tilth Certification can be found at the Environment News Service.