Lorraine Loomis, Pacific Northwest salmon champion, dies at 81
The Washington Salmon lost one of their best defenders this week with the death of Lorraine Loomis. She was 81 years old.
Loomis was an Elder of the Swinomish Tribe, Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and Director of Fisheries for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
His leadership in fisheries management began after the 1974 ruling by US District Court Judge George Boldt reaffirming the fishing rights of treaty-protected tribes.
Loomis worked as a fish processor and believed that managing the fishery should be easier than working 14 to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, an obituary from the Northwest Fisheries Commission noted.
She would continue to work tirelessly in her fight for treaty fishing rights for all tribes in western Washington, a battle she waged for more than 40 years in the service of the Fisheries Commission. She became president in 2014, following the death of Billy Frank Jr.
Washington State’s political leaders reflect
Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., Has tasked those honoring Loomis today with carrying on his legacy.
“Lorraine was a strong and passionate leader who spent decades fighting for the Swinomish, protecting treaty rights and preserving salmon populations for future generations,” Murray wrote in an email to Seattle. Times. “Now it’s up to all of us to carry on his legacy. My heart goes out to the Swinomish tribe and everyone who knew them.
Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Remembered Loomis for her decades of leadership in treaty rights and salmon.
“For more than four decades, Lorraine has worked tirelessly to preserve the health of our environment and restore the Pacific salmon populations upon which the tribes of the Pacific Northwest depend,” Cantwell said in a statement. “… She was a beacon for tribes across the region, fostering cooperation and consensus, and uplifting everyone around her to ensure that future generations could fish.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee praised Loomis’ long leadership and gracious style.
“She was a strong leader and a tireless advocate for tribal treaty rights,” Inslee said in a statement. “As a tribal elder, community leader and friend of many, her soft voice will resonate strongly for future generations.
“… Washington is a little less brilliant without her.
Snohomish County Manager Dave Somers – who previously worked as a fisheries biologist for the Tulalip Tribes – praised Loomis for his long-standing dedication to the area’s iconic species.
“For all who care about our salmon, killer whale and our incredible quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, we must thank Lorraine Loomis for decades of moral clarity and enduring leadership,” Somers wrote on Twitter.
“As a fisheries biologist, I have had the opportunity to work alongside Lorraine for many years and have always felt her deep sense of urgency for the safeguard of our natural heritage. His legacy will live on. “
Decades of work
Loomis was educated at La Conner High School and Skagit Valley College.
In addition to his work for the fishery, Loomis was also a member of the Swinomish Senate from 1985 to 2000, according to records compiled by Swinomish tribal historian Theresa Trebon.
Loomis has witnessed and participated in many key turning points in the history of his people, Trebon recounted, from the Boldt decision to the advent of the tribal government gambling agreements with Washington State in 1991, and the victory in the culvert case first in 2017 at 9 Circuit and in 2018 at the United States Supreme Court. The decision made it mandatory to repair road culverts blocking salmon.
Loomis was a strong negotiator and led the North of Falcon salmon fishery planning process for the tribes, in co-management with Washington State. She was also involved in the development and implementation of the US / Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty and served on the Fraser River Board which manages sockeye and pink salmon.
It has always kept habitat preservation and restoration at the forefront in the struggle to maintain and rebuild salmon runs.
Many leaders of the Indian country have mourned his passing.
“We have been shaken by another huge loss,” said Shawn Yanity, chairman of Stillaguamish and vice chairman of the NWIFC, at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. “Prayer for the family and for all of us. His powerful leadership, guidance, friendship and presence will be missed.
“I can’t say how much I will miss his spirit in my world,” said W. Ron Allen, president and CEO of Jamestown S’Klallam and commissioner of the NWIFC.
Loomis has received many awards over the course of her life, but perhaps the one that matters most is the Billy Frank Jr. Leadership Award she received in October for her decades of work defending fishing rights from treated.
The award recognizes initiative, commitment and achievement in the protection of tribal sovereignty and natural resources in western Washington.
Loomis is survived by his daughter Kim Murphy of Anacortes; sons John Grossglass and Jim Grossglass; his brothers Marvin Wilbur and Vince Wilbur,and ex-husband Ron Loomis, all of Swinomish,and many other nephews, nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at the Swinomish Casino, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, and is open to everyone.
The family requests that all flowers be delivered to the Kern Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, 1122 S. Third St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273.