Salmon recovery money awarded


Dec. 10, 2004

The state Salmon Recovery Funding Board has awarded more than $3 million for 10 projects to restore salmon and preserve salmon habitat in Mason and Thurston counties.

State and federal funds were awarded to tribes, land trusts, local governments and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group to replace road culverts that block fish passage, buy critical habitat and pursue habitat restoration.
Across the state, $26.7 million was distributed to 103 projects in a program established by the Legislature in 1999. Since 2000, about 591 projects totaling $214.7 million have been funded by the 10-member board of citizens, state agency directors and elected officials.

"These grants are an important part of helping restore salmon," Gov. Gary Locke said Thursday. "These projects have involved thousands of citizens statewide -- from schoolchildren to city mayors. It's a tremendous grass-roots effort."

In South Sound, the Capitol Lake management committee received $221,740 to help fund a study to determine whether it's feasible to convert the manmade Capitol Lake back into a free-flowing Deschutes River estuary.

The lake managers now have more than $500,000 of the $900,000 needed to complete the study.

"This grant gives us some momentum," project manager Perry Lund said.

"It gives us all we need to do the data collection."

The largest grant award in South Sound was $655,300 to help the Capitol Land Trust and Mason County buy a 95-acre property on Oakland Bay that features a small estuary at Malaney Creek and 2,000 feet of undeveloped marine shoreline.

The habitat is prime feeding and resting area for chinook, chum, coho, cutthroat and steelhead. Without protection, current county zoning would have allowed up to 19 homes on the property.

The Nisqually Land Trust will receive $596,566 to help buy 264 acres of Nisqually River shoreline and wetlands north of Yelm.

The purchase will allow the land trust to restore the largest floodplain wetlands complex in the river basin, land trust officer George Walter said. It's an area where the river meanders, creating prime coho and steelhead habitat in the winter flood season, he said.

South Sound projects

- Capitol Lake estuary study: Nearly $222,000 to the Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Committee.

- Wildlands preservation: More than $655,000 to the Capitol Land Trust and Mason County for purchase of a 95-acre property on Oakland Bay.

- Wildlands preservation: More than $595,000 to The Nisqually Land Trust for purchase of 264 acres of Nisqually River shoreline and wetlands north of Yelm.

- Sites study: Nearly $75,000 for the Squaxin Island Tribe and South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement group to identify five sites suitable for salmon restoration work in South Sound. The types of projects include removing bulkheads, placing gravel on beaches, removal of small dams and construction of tidal culverts.

- Restoration work: A $156,000 grant for the Mason County Public Works Department to replace two culverts on a county road near Schaffer State Park 20 miles southwest of Shelton. The new culverts will provide salmon access to two miles of Satsop River habitat.

- Property purchase: More than $200,000 to help the Capitol Land Trust purchase a conservation easement on 75 acres on the Black River near Littlerock that features prime salmon habitat.

On the Web

For a description of all of the projects funded by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, go to



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