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Restoring Pacific Northwest Salmon

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Council on Environmental Quality
February 7, 2000

President Clinton's FY 2001 budget proposes $100 million, a 72 percent increase, for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, which helps state, tribal, and local governments restore thriving runs of wild chinook, steelhead, sockeye and coho salmon. This year, the proposed funding is included in the Administration's Lands Legacy initiative, which the President is proposing as a protected budget category to ensure dedicated funding in future years. In addition, the budget proposes $190 million for other salmon restoration activities in the Pacific Northwest.

Preserving a Rich Regional Heritage. Salmon, long integral to the culture and economy of the Pacific Northwest, have declined dramatically over the past century. Last year the President secured $58 million for a new Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to help states and tribes protect and rebuild coastal salmon stocks ($18 million for Washington, $14 million for Alaska, $9 million each for Oregon and California, and $8 million for tribes). Other Administration efforts in 1999 included: negotiating an historic Pacific Salmon Treaty with Canada and securing $25 million to begin implementing it; adding 57,000 acres to the Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Washington, including critical salmon habitat along the last free-flowing section of the Columbia River; and securing full funding to purchase two dams slated for removal on the Elwha River in Washington's Olympic National Park.

Partnership for Salmon Recovery. To further salmon restoration efforts, the President is proposing $100 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund in FY 2001. The funds, which require a 25 percent state or local matching contribution, can be used to:

  • purchase conservation easements to protect and restore vital habitat and improve water quality in salmon-bearing rivers and streams;
  • plant trees and other vegetation, rebuild culverts, stabilize stream banks and undertake other projects to restore salmon habitat and spawning grounds;
  • map and assess watersheds to determine the quality and quantity of existing habitat and to help target restoration activities;
  • monitor the success of restoration activities to refine future activities.

A portion of the fund, not to exceed 10 percent, is reserved to help Tribal experts design projects, expand their field work and undertake other “capacity-building” activities.

Other Salmon Recovery Efforts. Additional funding proposed in FY 2001 to strengthen restoration efforts include:

  • $39 million, a 30 percent increase, for National Marine Fisheries Service efforts, including $9 million in new funding to continue developing and implementing recovery plans for 26 stocks of Pacific Northwest salmon listed as threatened or endangered.
  • $60 million, a 140 percent increase, to continue implementing the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The treaty established two regional funds to improve fisheries management and enhance bilateral scientific cooperation between the two countries, and provides for funding to buy back fishing permits to reduce the commercial fishing fleet in Washington state.
  • $91 million, a 35 percent increase, for the Army Corps of Engineers' ongoing salmon restoration activities on the Columbia and Snake Rivers (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho).

Click here to return to the overview of the President's Lands Legacy Initiative


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