Welcome to our E-Bulletin. Our goal is to provide you with
regular brief updates and highlights
on the significant progress all of us are making on elements essential
to the success of salmon recovery.
||We are proud to
live in a place that has so many people with the creativity, knowledge,
and motivation to find lasting solutions to complex ecological, economic,
and cultural challenges. Together we are creating the future we want
for our communities. We are leaving a legacy that restores and protects
our watersheds while promoting economic prosperity and maintaining
community and cultural vitality.
Governor Chris Gregoire and the 2007 Legislature
worked together to enact legislation and provide
funding that will significantly boost efforts
to restore and protect Puget Sound.
package they passed is far-reaching. It includes
measures to clean up and protect the waters of Puget Sound
and its watersheds; to restore marine, freshwater
and land habitat; to speed response to hazardous spills in the Sound
and neighboring communities; to protect species; to support scientific
research; and more.
The centerpiece of the Governor’s initiative is a bill (SB 5372)
establishing the Puget Sound Partnership. The Partnership will be a new
state agency with cabinet-level status. It will be governed by a Leadership
Council made up of seven civic leaders. The Council and its staff will
collaborate with governments, tribes, businesses and the environmental
community to create and implement an action plan to restore the health
of Puget Sound’s fresh and marine waters by 2020. This action plan
will set measures and priorities to guide all protection and restoration
programs in the region. This approach is similar to that of the Salmon
Plan, which defines measurable goals for the recovery of salmon populations.
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Creation of the new Puget Sound
Partnership marks an end and a beginning.
for Puget Sound has achieved its goals of developing
a regional salmon recovery strategy, getting it adopted
as a federal plan and finding a successor organization
to carry out the program. Shared Strategy’s staff
functions will transfer to the Partnership on January
1, 2008. The Puget Sound Recovery Council will suggest
to the Partnership that the Council continue to meet
as the policy group providing leadership, direction and
regional adaptive management for salmon recovery. The
Council, in conjunction with the watershed leads group,
plans to suggest additional steps the Partnership can
take to implement the Salmon Plan effectively under the
new structure created by the legislature.
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By Jim Kramer
We have reached an exciting turning point: Governor Gregoire and the
Legislature have provided the tools we need to
turn our strategy into action. We’ve
been focused on planning, and even though more
planning must be done, it’s now time to intensify the work we’re
doing on the ground.
What must we do to be successful?
- Build broad support. Many people
and organizations must work together in a
coordinated way over time if we are to succeed. To get that support
we must understand the needs and values of different communities—farmers, city leaders, tribes,
landowners and others—and be practical and flexible as we work
to restore habitat and reduce pollution.
As a farm-and-fish project near Everett demonstrated (see attached),
it is possible to help salmon and farmers. This story is just one example
of the partnerships we are creating; many more will be needed.
- Strengthen connections to political leaders.
Many needs will compete for the attention
and support of political leaders over the years it will take to restore
Puget Sound and implement our 50-year plan for salmon. We must maintain
the political will to get the job done. That means those of us working
to save salmon must nurture our connections to political leaders at
every level of government and within the civic community.
- Learn and adapt.
Salmon recovery will be a dynamic and evolving
process. We must try different tactics and
ask what worked well, and what can we do better? We should build on
our innovative approaches to the art of connecting science and policy,
and incorporate new scientific knowledge as it emerges. We must adapt
to the changing world around us—including climate change that
will affect our protection and restoration efforts.
- Spend money wisely. State leaders have
directed millions of dollars to the Puget
Sound recovery effort. We have a historic opportunity; it is
imperative that we use the funds efficiently,
and that we get results. Public support and
the future of Puget Sound depend on it. We must let people know what
is happening in their communities and how their tax dollars are making
- Increase our commitment.
Now that the plan has been adopted, the heavy
lifting begins. It will take hard work to
change practices and behaviors. We must increase our commitment to action,
and transform our hope into a firm belief that we can restore salmon
runs in concert with population growth and economic prosperity. With
our increased commitment and a broadening of public support, we can
show ourselves and the rest of the world that human ingenuity and a
harmony of interests can solve seemingly intractable challenges.
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Saving Farms and Salmon—How a Conservation Partnership
Changed One Washington Community
American Farmland, Winter 2007
The Snohomish River in Washington is home to dwindling runs of wild
salmon. They are now listed under the Endangered Species Act, as population
growth and human activities have degraded much of the Snohomish River
watershed. Once-robust commercial, sport and cultural salmon fisheries
are disappearing. But public pressure has intensified to prevent the
extinction of the Snohomish River Chinook salmon and to preserve the
immense natural value of this watershed. Native American tribes with
strong ties to the fish have treaty rights to protect and restore them.
As a result, heightened regulations now affect almost every activity
associated with the river.
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