Despite one of the lowest salmon runs on record for West Coast salmon and steelhead populations, the Trump Administration is proposing to eliminate tens of millions of dollars for endangered salmon and steelhead recovery in California.
The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service, has provided about $1.6 billion in funding to five Western states — California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Idaho — and numerous Native American tribes since 2000.
These federal funds have contributed to important projects in Lagunitas Creek including stream habitat restoration on private and public lands, fish passage improvements, salmon population monitoring, and numerous water quality improvements.
SPAWN has been awarded several grants from the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund over the years that have contributed to annual population monitoring of coho and steelhead, sediment reduction from dirt roads, streambank stabilization, riparian cattle fencing, riparian and floodplain habitat restoration, installation of large woody debris, and restoration feasibility, design, and planning.
Coho salmon and steelhead recovery is synonymous with large investments in public funding that contribute to region-wide species recovery. Without the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, the ability to implement meaningful recovery actions becomes increasingly difficult.
Trump’s budget states that these funds are “low priority” and are not “optimally targeted”. However, the House Appropriates Committee is choosing not to adhere to Trump’s budget proposal and plans to provide $65 million to the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund in 2018, which is the same amount the program received in 2017.
Despite this preliminary budget, the suggested actions proposed by the Trump Administration indicate that this program and many others like it intended for vulnerable species throughout the Country are at risk of losing funding and could be cut entirely.
It’s important now more than ever that our elected representatives know how crucial these funds are to the recovery of some of the most vulnerable species in the world that are at the brink of extinction.
Click here to learn more about SPAWN’s projects and how to get involved with salmon recovery in Lagunitas Creek.