Federal Legislation Submitted in Senate

S. 3608 was introduced in the Senate on September 26th by Cantwell, Murkowski, Murray, Wyden, Boxer, Feinstein, Smith and Stevens.  The legislation is titled To establish a Salmon Stronghold Partnership program to protect wild Pacific salmon and for other purposes.

The purposes of this Act are – -

(1) To expand Federal support for the protection and restoration of the healthiest remaining salmon strongholds in North America to sustain core centers of salmon abundance, productivity, and diversity in order to prevent decline of salmon populations –

     (A) in the States of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California, by focusing on cooperative, incentive-based efforts to protect the roughly 20 percent of salmon habitat that supports approximately 2/3 of salmon abundance; and

     (B) IN the State of Alaska, a regional stronghold that produces over 1/3 of all Pacific salmon, by increasing resources available to public and private organizations working cooperatively to protect regional core centers of salmon abundance and diversity;

(2) to obtain long-term funding for implementation of salmon stronghold strategies, including the bundling and delivery of incentive-based conservation measures;

(3) to promote economic co-benefits associated with healthy and restored salmon stronghold habitat, including flood protection, recreation, water quanity and quality, climate benefits, and other ecosystem services; and

(4) to accelerate as applicable the implementation of recovery plans for salmon populations listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) within salmon strongholds.

Salmon stronghold is defined in the Act as:  The term ‘salmon stronghold’ means all or part of a watershed that meets biological criteria for abundance, productivity, diversity (life history and run timing), habitat quality, or other biological attributes important to sustaining viable populations throughout the salmon range.

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