Working Together for Washington Salmon Recovery:
In 1998, following the ESA listing of Puget Sound Chinook; the Washington State Legislature passed the Washington Salmon Recovery Act (HB 2496, along with several amendments under RCW 77.85) to address declining salmon populations in Washington. The Salmon Recovery Act established the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) and the Lead Entity Program.
Washington State is one of the recipients of the annual federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. A portion of these funds, plus additional state dollars; are provided to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board approves funding to salmon habitat recovery projects based on a competitive selection process that is coordinated locally by lead entities.
Lead Entities are locally-based, science-driven, community watershed consortiums. Each lead entity is responsible for spearheading salmon restoration and coordinating the process of identifying and prioritizing Washington salmon recovery projects within their geography. Lead Entities also engage in other salmon recovery, protection and restoration efforts, along with grant writing, fundraising, advocacy, partner support, project development, as well as outreach and education. The North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity for Salmon is one of these local consortiums working for Washington Salmon Recovery.
Lead Entity technical and citizens committee members hear project presentations, visit project sites and then the Technical Review Group scores and ranks project proposals. The Lead Entity Group (citizens committee) makes the final decision regarding what projects will be selected and forwarded for available grant funding.