Governor Locke Announces $36.7 million in Grants to Purchase and Improve Salmon Habitat

from press release - Gov. Locke's Salmon Recovery Funding Board

OLYMPIA 4/19/02 – Governor Locke announced today that the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) approved $36.7 million in grants to fund salmon recovery projects across the state. Combined with local matching funds, the total value of the approved project list is more than $57.6 million

"The funding of these projects clearly illustrates that we are making significant and real on the ground progress on salmon recovery,” Locke said.  “Just as importantly, it shows what we can do when we work together.  Thanks to the ongoing efforts of our congressional delegation, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Representatives Norm Dicks, Jennifer Dunn and George Neathercutt, to secure federal funds for salmon recovery, we are ensuring that our children and grandchildren will enjoy seeing and fishing for salmon just as we have."

Salmon Recovery Funding Board Chair Bill Ruckelshaus said, “Our process is producing increasingly better projects. My overall impression of this grant cycle is that these are better projects, they are better justified, and they are going to do better things for fish. We believe that the money we are investing benefits salmon, is cost effective, and has strong local and public support.”

The SRFB funded 128 individual projects, including 21 projects that focus on the purchase of key salmon habitat and 59 projects that spotlight habitat improvements such as planting vegetation along streams for shade and removing fish passage barriers. Another 14 projects combine habitat acquisition and improvements. About one-quarter of the projects emphasize studies and plans to help identify priority projects for the future. Both a summary and detailed listing of projects are available on the Salmon Recovery Funding Board web site at

The Salmon Recovery Funding Board depends on state, local, and regional scientists and technical groups to help review all proposals. Local technical advisory groups define the type of science used in rating and ranking the projects, then local citizen committees review the technical groups’ recommendations and develop a final list of proposed projects for SRFB funding. Once the Board receives project lists from the designated local lead entities, a panel of scientists review and rate the local process and list of projects for benefit to salmon and certainty of project success. Through this level of scrutiny, the Board seeks to fund projects that are both scientifically sound and locally supported.

Of his first funding cycle, newest SRFB citizen member Steve Tharinger of Clallam County says “The level of scrutiny used in evaluating, ranking and rating these projects is amazing.  I have been involved with the local side of the process for several years but the Board adds an additional level of review.  It is clear that everyone involved in salmon recovery is continuing to make the process better and that the people in the watersheds are key to the ultimate success in salmon recovery.”

Jay Watson, Lead Entity Advisory Group Chair, said “This funding round has been a long and arduous process, but the result of the process is that great things will happen in the form of protection and restoration projects for salmon habitat throughout the state of Washington. This work is the result of the efforts of many grassroots groups as well as the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and its Technical Advisory Panel.”

In addition to Bill Ruckelshaus and Steve Tharinger, other Board members are Frank “Larry” Cassidy, Vancouver; Brenda McMurray, Yakima; and James Peters, Olympia.  Five state agency directors also serve as ex-officio members.

            The Salmon Recovery Funding Board received 216 applications requesting a total of $57 million Board. The SRFB will begin working on the next grant cycle at its May 23 and 24, 2002, meeting in Everett, Washington

The summary report can be read here: SRFB Funding Decision Summary 

Detailed Funding Decision can be read here


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