The Salmon Recovery Funding Program is a new program in 2022, funded by the Washington State Legislature, that encourages incentive programs that focus on projects with landowners that focus on the restoration of areas critical in salmon habitat, otherwise known as riparian restoration projects.
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.
Following receipt of over 160 comments on the Salmon Recovery Funding guidelines, Commission staff made recommended changes to the guidelines and submitted to the Commission for final approval. The Commission approved the final guidelines at their July 21, 2022 business meeting. See the approved programmatic guidelines.
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.
Ron Shultz, SCC Policy Director (firstname.lastname@example.org | 360-790-5994)