Conservation Commission News

Seeking CD feedback on proposed Salmon Recovery Funding Guidelines, comments due by July 1

Seeking CD feedback on proposed Salmon Recovery Funding Guidelines, comments due by July 1

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) is seeking comments from conservation districts on proposed Salmon Recovery Funding Guidelines. This funding was received from the Washington State Legislature for the fiscal years 2021-23.

How to comment

The SCC intends to adopt final guidelines at its next business meeting on July 21, 2022. The guidelines would be in effect as of that date.

Your input helps inform our policies

The SCC developed a process to review various agency policies. These policies include those specific to internal agency activities (such as personnel policies), policies relating to interactions between the SCC and conservation districts (such as grants policies), and policy positions taken by the agency.

SCC policy proposals impacting conservation districts must be submitted to districts for their review and comment before final action.

Thank you for your participation in this very important process!

Program Summary

The Washington State Legislature appropriated funds from the state operating budget to the Salmon Recovery Account. Of the salmon recovery funding (SRF), $10 million was allocated to the SCC in the fiscal year 2023 supplemental budget with proviso language that specifies how these funds will be used. This proviso states the funding is provided “…solely for the commission to provide grants for riparian restoration projects with landowners.”

The Commission is interpreting the proviso language to restrict the use of the SRF funding to projects with landowners for riparian restoration.

Because the SRF funds come from the operating budget, all projects must begin on or after July 1, 2022 and be completed by June 30, 2023. Any unspent funds will revert to the Salmon Recovery Account at the end of the fiscal year.

The SCC will begin accepting project pre-applications on June 21, 2022.  The SCC project review committee will review applications and provide conditional approval so work may begin immediately upon notification after July 1. The approval will be confirmed by the Commission at their July business meeting upon approval of the proposed guidelines.

All projects must be located within riparian areas, and instream projects must support riparian restoration projects. The guidelines utilize existing SCC grant procedures (including the Conservation Practice Data System, or CPDS) and program-specific criteria.

The SCC is committed to supporting private landowners’ voluntary stewardship of natural resources. This opportunity provides funding for projects that protect critical areas while maintaining agricultural viability, with a focus on salmon habitat.

The review committee will meet as often as necessary to review projects. From July to Sept. 2022, the review committee will meet weekly to review project applications.

Complete details are available in the guidelines. 

 

Contact

Ron Shultz, SCC Policy Director (rshultz@scc.wa.gov | 360-790-5994)