[Senate Hearing 106-780]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 106-780
HOW TO PREVENT SALMON SPECIES FROM DISRUPTION OR EXTINCTION
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
66-484 WASHINGTON : 2000
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont
SLADE GORTON, Washington FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky TOM HARKIN, Iowa
CONRAD BURNS, Montana BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, Maryland
RICHARD C. SHELBY, Alabama HARRY REID, Nevada
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah PATTY MURRAY, Washington
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
LARRY CRAIG, Idaho DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
JON KYL, Arizona
Steven J. Cortese, Staff Director
Lisa Sutherland, Deputy Staff Director
James H. English, Minority Staff Director
Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
SLADE GORTON, Washington, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CONRAD BURNS, Montana HARRY REID, Nevada
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah BYRON DORGAN, North Dakota
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
Peter Kiefhaber (Minority)
Carole Geagley (Minority)
C O N T E N T S
Opening statement of Senator Slade Gorton........................ 1
Opening statement of Senator Patty Murray........................ 5
Statement of Representative Norman Dicks......................... 7
Statement of William Ruckelshaus, Chairman, State Salmon Recovery
Funding Board.................................................. 9
Prepared statement........................................... 12
Statement of the Washington Salmon Collaboration, March 15,
Statement of Doug Sutherland, county executive, Pierce County, WA 22
Prepared statement........................................... 24
Statement of Jerry E. Clark, deputy director for regional
programs, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation................ 24
Prepared statement........................................... 26
Statement of Ron Sims, county executive, King County, WA......... 27
Prepared statement........................................... 29
Statement of Jim King, consultant, Private and Municipal Planning
Prepared statement........................................... 40
Statement of Paula Mackrow, executive director, North Olympic
Salmon Coalition............................................... 42
Prepared statement........................................... 44
Statement of Peter Heide, director, forest management, Washington
Forest Protection Association.................................. 47
Prepared statement........................................... 49
Statement of Jack Kaeding, executive director, Fish First........ 50
Prepared statement........................................... 52
Statement of Joan Burlingame, coordinator, Friends of Rock Creek
Prepared statement........................................... 55
Statement of James Waldo, lead facilitator, Hatchery Scientific
Review Group................................................... 63
Prepared statement........................................... 65
Statement of Peter Bergman, director, biological services,
Northwest Marine Technology.................................... 67
Prepared statement........................................... 69
Statement of Billy Frank, chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries
Prepared statement........................................... 71
Statement of Jeff Koenings, director, Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife.............................................. 72
Prepared statement........................................... 74
Statement of Frank Urabeck, member, Northwest Marine Trade
Prepared statement........................................... 77
Statement of Daniel Diggs, Assistant Regional Director for
Fisheries, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Department of the Interior..................................... 86
Prepared statement........................................... 89
Statement of Frank L. Cassidy, Jr., chairman, Northwest Power
Planning Council............................................... 90
Prepared statement........................................... 93
Statement of Victor W. Kaczynski, scientist...................... 97
Prepared statement........................................... 99
Statement of Representative Jay Inslee........................... 108
Statement of Will Stelle, regional administrator, National Marine
Fisheries Service.............................................. 112
HOW TO PREVENT SALMON SPECIES FROM DISRUPTION OR EXTINCTION
THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2000
Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies,
Committee on Appropriations,
The subcommittee met at 12:15 p.m., at the Veterans of
Foreign Wars, 4330 148th Avenue, NE, Hon. Slade Gorton
Present: Senators Gorton and Murray.
Also present: Representatives Dicks and Inslee.
Opening Statement of Senator Slade Gorton
Senator Gorton. Good afternoon, and welcome to a hearing on
part of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations,
Subcommittee on the Interior. I appreciate the time that many
of you are taking, many of you from considerable distances, to
attend this, in some respects, summit on Washington State
salmon recovery efforts.
As the chairman of that Interior Subcommittee, I'm
delighted to Chair the hearing and welcome Senator Murray. I
believe we'll have Congressman Dicks with us relatively soon.
And we hope that Congressman Inslee will be with us a little
later on in the afternoon, reflecting the broadened bipartisan
view of the importance of the issue before us.
I want to express my appreciation to the Redmond Chapter of
the Veterans of Foreign Wars for allowing us to have this
meeting here in its hall. The men and women of that
organization have distinguished themselves through honorable
service to our country and continue to carry on the legacy and
service to their community. We're pleased to be their guests
Today's hearing will center on a subject of importance to
everyone in the Pacific Northwest--how to prevent salmon
species from disruption or extinction.
On March 16, the Seattle Times printed an article on the
front page with the headline, ``Are we any closer to saving the
salmon?'' That is a question on the minds of many Washington
residents, myself included.
A little more than a year has passed since the National
Marine Fisheries Service listed the Puget Sound Chinook and
several other salmon and steelhead species as threatened under
the Endangered Species Act. That even served as a wake-up call
for citizens across Western Washington.
Last year I chaired a field hearing at the Sea-Tac Airport
at which local, State, Federal, and tribal representatives
discussed the challenges ahead.
Now this hearing provides an appropriate opportunity to
measure our progress so far to recognize those local and State
recovery and preservation efforts that have been successful, to
acknowledge those fields in which improvement is necessary and
to move ahead together in an even stronger and more unified
manner to save salmon for generations to come.
While we're here together in Redmond today--and the
majority of those people present are residents of Western
Washington--we must always keep mindful that this is a State-
wide crusade. Residents of Eastern Washington are deeply aware
of the crisis facing salmon and steelhead species on the
Columbia and Snake River and on other tributaries, and in many
respects have been dealing with the issue for a considerably
longer period of time.
Farmers in the Methow Valley have lost their livelihoods as
modifications to irrigation and canals with fish screens have
been made to ensure that salmon are not harmed.
Growers of millions of tons of grain, wheat and other
commodities produced in Southeast Washington and transported
down the Snake and Columbia rivers are concerned that their
very existence is threatened by proposals to remove the Snake
Over the last decade, some $3 billion has been spent by
Federal and State agencies for salmon recovery, often,
unfortunately, with little to show for that expenditure and
even less consensus among the various stakeholders as to what
decisions ought to be made.
Some passionately advocate removal of the Snake River dams
even though expensive studies by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers have raised doubts as to whether the modest benefits
to salmon would justify the enormous power, environmental,
transportation and economic cost to the region that breaching
dams would cause. Unfortunately, when the Corps of Engineers
completed its study last December, it did not render a
Yesterday, I think all of us were troubled to learn that
the reason that no recommendation was given about dam removal
was that high officials in the Clinton-Gore administration
directed the Corps of Engineers to suppress the Corps' internal
recommendation that the dams be kept in place.
That action raised serious questions about the
administration's motives and, unfortunately, undercuts the
trust of Washington citizens that future spending of their tax
dollars on salmon recovery efforts would be based on sound
science rather than on a political agenda.
I believe there are far more productive areas which we
should focus on in our efforts to mitigate declining salmon
runs, including habitat restoration and preservation, reforming
hatcheries to meet clear recovery goals, controlling natural
factors of salmon decline and addressing the controversial
subject of harvest limits.
These are subjects that aren't unique to any one area of
the State. We all share the goal of finding the most efficient
and effective methods of preventing salmon species from going
There's no question that restoring salmon will continue to
be expensive, and it will take years to produce tangible
results. In my view, however, giving Federal agencies a blank
check to implement increased bureaucracy and a top-down
management approach to salmon recovery has simply proven to be
the wrong way.
While the Federal Government certainly has a continued
obligation to fund the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and all of us
here have supported that funding, I also believe that the State
and local restoration projects have already proven to be more
directly effective in saving salmon and at less cost than those
imposed by the Federal Government.
That's why I'm pleased that Congress approved my request
last year to direct $18 million to the Washington State Salmon
Recovery Board, $750,000 to State-created regional fisheries
enhancement groups, and an additional almost $4 million to the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide a more direct
and efficient method of funding volunteer and locally-driven
This week the foundation will announce awards of nearly
$1.3 million in grants to local groups State-wide, including
the Mid Puget Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, The Northwest
Chinook Recovery Group and the Tri-State Steelheaders.
I'm also proud with the support of Senator Murray and
Congressman Dicks that we secured $8 million from the Commerce
Appropriation Subcommittee to support Washington's tribal
recovery efforts, and an additional $3 million for
implementation of the Washington Forestries and Fish agreement.
At the same time that Congress provided these important
funds to eight local salmon recovery efforts, it directed the
National Marine Fisheries Service by July 1 of this year to
come up with goals and objectives of the targeted number of
fish that the National Marine Fisheries Service seeks to
recover for every threatened Puget Sound salmon and steelhead
species. That is a little more than 60 days away, and I expect
the Fishery Service to abide by that request.
Measuring the performance of the myriad of salmon recovery
efforts and Puget Sound in coastal regions will depend on upon
having goals outlined in a timely manner.
The first panel of witnesses today will focus on issues of
funding and coordination of salmon efforts on the Federal,
State, and local level.
The second panel is an important transition from the first
one. A number of regional, local habitat restoration groups are
represented today by several individuals who are leaders not
just in their communities but in their efforts to save salmon.
They will continue to have my full support for the
successful course they're taking so far. These individuals have
been on the ground actually improving habitats stream by stream
so that fish may survive, many of them before any Federal
agency wrote regulations telling them how they should do it.
Federal agencies should be making it easier, and not more
difficult, for these groups to carry on their activities.
So while I'm interested in the positive success stories
they have to share, I'm also interested in their recommendation
and thoughts on how their valuable work can be made even more
efficient and effective by help from the Federal level.
I add that the constraints of a 5-hour field hearing don't
allow time to hear from the widespread great work being done
beyond habitat restoration, including education by nationally
recognized groups like Adopt-A-Stream, habitat preservation by
numerous volunteer groups and local communities and regional
efforts to remove barriers to fish passage and to improve water
quality and streams across Puget Sound.
These groups are all deserving of our praise and support
and are further evidence of Washington citizens' determination
to do all that is necessary to save our state's rich salmon
heritage. I believe so strongly in their work that I am pleased
when I have the opportunity to meet with these groups when I'm
in the State.
Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to participating in a project
sponsored by Planet CPR, and I'll be meeting Saturday with
organizers of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and Long
Live the Kings, a group that has also taken initiative to seek
reform our State's hatcheries.
Our third panel will be devoted to the continued role that
I believe hatcheries must play in the overall effort to recover
salmon. There is recently evidence of spring chinook salmon
returning from the Pacific Ocean to the Columbia River and
other tributaries at a rate of double or triple the average
number of chinook that have returned at this time of year for
the past decade.
Many of these fish are hatchery fish. For more than a
century, State, tribal, and Federal governments have built
hundreds of hatcheries on the Columbia River and on Puget Sound
and on coastal waters.
These hatcheries have produced millions of salmon and
steelhead that have been vital recreational and commercial
fisheries, as well as meeting tribal treaty obligations. In
some cases, hatcheries have also provided the means to prevent
runs of salmon on certain rivers and streams actually from
While I support these hatcheries, I also support reforms
that will ensure the important goal of preserving natural runs
of salmon species and the producing hatchery fish for tribal,
recreational and other productive uses.
I'm pleased to have a panel of witnesses representing
tribes, sports fishermen and State and Federal policy and
science expertise to describe the important objectives of
hatchery reform and to set forth how independent scientific
research will improve Washington hatcheries and eliminate the
need for controversial policies like clubbing to death
thousands of hatchery fish as a means to separate wild and
Many have expressed skepticism about the agency-driven
science involved in salmon recovery efforts. I share those
concerns. Science must be accountable.
I introduced legislation a few years ago that helped create
the independent, scientific review panel to ensure peer review
of the millions of dollars that are spent each year on
scientific projects by the Bonneville Power Administration and
to assure that such projects have merit.
I'm concerned that the present salmon recovery science
touted by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish
and Wildlife Service does not adequately consider factors of
salmon decline that have no direct link to human activity.
For example, recent studies have revealed that changes in
the climate and the Pacific Ocean and the ocean estuary may
greatly impact the nutrients that feed salmon and drastically
reduce their survival rate. It's also clear that natural
predators, such as Caspian terns, sea lions and other mammals
feast on a significant number of salmon smolts and returning
salmon in areas near the ocean. These factors must be addressed
in any major policy decision that propose to regulate human
activity. We will hear testimony from several witnesses on
these issues in the fourth panel.
And finally, there will be an opportunity for the Federal
and State officials to respond to what they have heard
throughout the afternoon by other panelists and to answer
I reiterate my message to the Federal agencies that they
should be encouraging and should be giving incentives to State,
tribal, local governments, and volunteer groups to come up with
creative efforts to save the salmon, not to make it more
difficult for them.
I hope that the National Marine Fisheries Service can find
the time to await for the important planning efforts taking
place right now in the Tri-County region with respect to 4(d)
I request of the Federal officials, is that as questions
arise about Federal actions, they will listen and offer
constructive and concrete suggestions on how to remedy any
obstacles created by those actions.
A unified partnership involving all entities is the best
way to move salmon recovery forward. And I hope that by the
time another salmon summit is convened in a year or so, we will
have even more positive stories to share.
With that, we will hear from Senator Murray.
Opening Statement of Senator Patty Murray
Senator Murray. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm
pleased to be here today with you and Congressman Norm Dicks 1
year after our last gathering to hear how salmon recovery
efforts are progressing.
It is really great to see so many involved and interested
parties that have come here today to share their thoughts on
salmon recovery efforts, and I want to thank everybody who's
taken time to be here today to participate in this important
I still believe that the people of our State and region
continue to face the challenge of salmon recovery with the
determination and commitment. We are faced with a remarkable
challenge, and our State, our counties, our cities, our tribes
and citizen groups are working together to bring our runs back
to a healthy State, while maintaining a healthy economy, both
of which are very important to our quality of life here in
I do believe concern and apprehension are rising across the
State as we come closer to a decision on the four lower snake
dams and the implementation of the 4(d) rule, and while this is
understandable, we should be consciously trying to avoid
unnecessarily inflating tensions.
And I must say, I'm concerned with what I believe is a
difference in the constructiveness of the debates that are
occurring in different parts of our State.
While the recovery efforts here in the Puget Sound area and
other parts of Western Washington has its share of problems, I
believe that there remains a shared desire to move forward in
the recovery of salmon. On the east side, however, I worry that
we are failing to move beyond the dam debate. Perhaps that's
impossible until NMFS releases its biological opinion, but we
all know changes are necessary in the other 3Hs for recovery to
succeed, and I hope we can start to move forward to develop
shared visions in those areas.
There is no one-person agency or industry responsible for
our situation. Our conscience and the law of the land say we
have a responsibility to recover our salmon stocks, and it's a
responsibility we all share. We can meet that responsibility if
we cooperate, if we seek innovative solutions, and if we
maintain open and constructive communications.
There are good recovery planning and action efforts, both
big and small, that are occurring across our State. Last June,
I attended the reopening of the Hazell Dell Slough. That
project is just one example of collaborative, on-the-ground
activities that are occurring around our State.
New efforts will hopefully include one in the Okanogan,
where the Colville Tribe and the Okanogan irrigation district
have proposed a joint effort on water use that I hope we in
Congress will be able to help and support. Senator Gorton has
legislation to study a similar proposal by the Kennewick
irrigation district, and I will certainly support that effort.
I have introduced legislation to create the Puget Sound
Ecosystem Restoration Initiative and with Senator Gorton as a
co-sponsor. I also want to thank Congressman Inslee for his
leadership on this legislation in the House. He has his bill
supported by Congressmen Dicks, McDermott, Metcalf, Smith, and
Baird. So we do have good constructive efforts in a bipartisan
way moving forward.
What should be noted is that all of the initiatives I just
mentioned were conceived at the local level. This bottom-up
approach to recovery is absolutely vital to all of our efforts.
Let me be clear. We need local communities. We need their
commitment and their unique knowledge of local conditions to
We also need to work on larger policy and framework issues.
The Timber Fish Wildlife agreement is a good example of a large
scale effort to meet recovery goals and provide certainty to
our economic base.
I applaud those who are positively engaged in the similar
agriculture, fish, and water process. The Governor and Jim
Jesernig, who's director of the State's Department of
Agriculture, have done a tremendous job of moving this process
along, which I believe holds great promise. I hope industry
will continue in this constructive dialogue, and I urge the
Federal agencies to prioritize the AFW process as they did with
the TFW agreement.
As I mentioned, this is a shared responsibility, and I also
want to recognize today the leadership of the Clinton-Gore
administration in helping the region deal with this complex
From going toe-to-toe with Canada on the Salmon Treaty to
providing local resources for recovery efforts, the president
and vice president have shown commitment to this issue. From
local communities to the administration, we all have a role to
play, and I'd like to spell out what I think NMFS and the
Congress needs to do to ensure that we produce real results.
First, NMFS needs to provide clear goals, and then they
need to help in reaching those goals, and overall, expedited
Congress also has responsibilities in this relationship.
Congress needs to first ensure that NMFS is communicating with
constituents, identifying goals and working with constituents
to meet those goals. Congress also needs to provide resources,
including to NMFS in the form of manpower, to ensure that when
cities or counties have questions, there is someone there who
can get them the answers.
We all know that the best opportunity to protect our
economy and our quality of life is to work together. We must
recognize and identify problems, and then approach them
constructively. I believe the initiatives mentioned before our
perfect examples of such approaches, and I look forward to
supporting more such proposals.
As some say, the low hanging fruit has already been picked.
The harder work is yet to come. I strongly believe, however,
that in the end, what is best for salmon will likely be what is
best for us and for our children's future.
Mr. Chairman, I do want to apologize to you and some of our
later witnesses. I do need to leave about 2:15. I have another
hearing on youth violence that is very appropriate for today as
well that has been planned for some time. But I will be reading
the testimony of all the witnesses, and I do want to thank
Senator Gorton and Congressman Dicks for participating in
today's hearing. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Congressman Dicks.
Statement of Representative Norman Dicks
Mr. Dicks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Murray,
it's good to be with you today.
I'd like to start by offering my thanks to Senator Gorton
for holding this hearing again this year and for asking me to
participate with him. As a ranking Democratic member on the
House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and with Senator
Gorton chairing the Senate Interior Subcommittee, and of
course, Patty Murray being on the Appropriations Committee, we
all look forward to the continuing key role we can play to help
the region respond to the salmon and bull trout listings.
Many of the witnesses that we will hear from today also
participated last year. I look forward to hearing their
perspective now that we are a year into our recovery effort and
beginning to face important deadlines under the Endangered
We are both very pleased that so many of our colleagues are
able to join us today. And Representative Inslee, as I'm told,
will be joining us a little later this afternoon. And we each
extend our appreciation for the individuals and groups who will
be providing testimony.
We thank you for your time and commitment to restoring
these salmon runs. I'm pleased that we can again listen to the
region in this forum. I think it is imperative that Congress
fully understands the significance of these particular listings
under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
People in the region have probably heard this before, the
point is extremely important. There has never been an ESA
listing impacting such a large urban area, and the species
itself is one of the most complex ever listed.
We will need to pool our efforts and our expertise if we
are to be successful in the recovery of these fish. And no one
agency or group can do it alone. This will require massive
cooperation among all levels of government and with private
As many of you are aware, President Clinton and Vice
President Gore, at the request of our delegation, and
particularly Senator Murray and I, included $100 million for
the West Coast Salmon Recovery Initiative last year and again
this year in the administration's budget request. That's always
helpful. It's much more difficult to add money if it's not in
This funding last year helped provide critical support to
our local governments and tribes as we began implementation of
restoration activities in the Puget Sound area. And I want to
commend Senator Gorton for getting $80 million added in the
Senate bill last year. He played a crucial role.
We are deeply committed to securing these funds again this
year because we recognize that the recovery will be a multi-
year effort and that these funds will again be very well used.
I am pleased that the administration recognized that this
effort requires a substantial Federal commitment, but any
Federal commitment must be a partnership with the region.
The Federal salmon money requires a State match. You have
our assurance that we in the Congress will do whatever we can
to secure additional Federal dollars this year and are pleased
to see the State has also demonstrated its firm commitment by
providing State funding.
The Salmon Recovery Initiative is crucial, and it has an
even better chance of success now that we have reached, as
Senator Murray mentioned, a new agreement with Canada on the
U.S.-Canadian Pacific Salmon Treaty.
To implement the new agreement, the administration
requested $60 million last year, which we were not able to
fully fund, but we did get started. And this year, the
administration is requesting, again, those same level of
funding, which I hope the Congress will be able to provide.
We must acknowledge the linkage of the State's recovery
efforts with the Salmon Treaty because of the basic life cycle
of salmon. And agreement to reduce the harvest on these
threatened endangered runs is providing invaluable help to each
of the State's recovery efforts.
The administration has, again, included requested funding
for tribal participation in the Salmon Initiative. We must
recognize our commitment and legal obligation to the Pacific
Northwest tribes, and I'm committed to securing additional
funds this year to ensure their full participation in the
I'm pleased that my good friend, Chairman Bill Frank of the
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, will join us today and
look forward to his testimony. As co-managers of our State's
fisheries, we must act in tandem with the tribes on any and all
I also want to compliment the local efforts in the region
for their dedication and devotion to his very difficult issue.
And I'm pleased that the Senator is meeting with the Hood Canal
Salmon Enhancement Group, a group from my area, over in the 6th
Congressional District, that we have been funding over about a
5-year period. And I believe that the work that they're doing,
along with Long Live the Kings, has really been instrumental in
helping to restore salmon runs in the Hood Canal area. They've
done some amazing work in removing culverts and improving
habitat and doing a supplementation. I think it's a real
example--a key example in the State--of how we can get this
And I might add that I even went out last year in September
and viewed some of these Chinook salmon jumping right out in
front of Lilliwaup, and it was quite enticing.
So I'm with the Senators. I think these salmon enhancement
groups all over our State--and we've been helping support them
from the Federal level back to the State and now through the
foundation--have done some extraordinary work and can do much
more. And we need to support them; we need to enthusiastically
give them a little help.
It is my hope that this year's hearing will help us clarify
and focus our efforts on the massive task of recovering these
fish. I look forward to hearing the witnesses' testimony, and
knowing that our time is limited, look forward to reading any
additional testimony submitted by others.
So, Mr. Chairman, thank you for providing this hearing
again and this opportunity to hear from all of our local
friends. And again, thank you for your continued leadership on
this important issue.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM RUCKELSHAUS, CHAIRMAN, STATE
SALMON RECOVERY FUNDING BOARD
Senator Gorton. Thank you, Congressman Dicks. I must say,
as a slight further introduction, that I think that the State
has been very fortunate, and Governor Locke very wise, as
picking Bill Ruckelshaus as the chairman of the State Salmon
I know it was a hard sell. It was not something he
volunteered before immediately, but the Governor picked the
very best person available in the State of Washington, in my
opinion, for that position. And we will now begin the hearing
by hearing from him as to what he has to say.
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for
those kind words, Senator Murray, Congressman Dicks.
When you held this hearing last year I was here in a
somewhat different capacity. I was then appearing on behalf of
a collaboration of business and environmental interests; there
were business and environmental leaders. I suggested that we
create a coordinator for doing all this across at least our
That suggestion has not resulted in anybody. It certainly
isn't me. That was not who I had in mind anyway when I made the
suggestion, but the Governor did ask me to Chair this Salmon
Recovery Funding Board, and I'll give you just a minute on
I have submitted a statement for the record.
Senator Gorton. It will be included in the record in full.
Mr. Ruckelshaus. I will not read the whole statement; we'd
be here all afternoon if I did. Let me just take about 5
minutes to tell you that, essentially my message is optimistic.
I think a lot of good things have happened between now and
this hearing a year ago. By no means are we home free, but a
lot of things have happened.
Both Senator Gorton and Senator Murray mentioned the local
groups and their dedication to restoring habitat. In my view,
that's the single biggest asset this State has right now, is
the energy and enthusiasm of the people living in these
watersheds; their knowledge of what needs to be done to restore
habitat friendly to salmon and the work that they've been
doing, in some cases 15-20 years.
You can't travel--as I know you have, all three of you
have--to these parts of the State and not be impressed with the
tremendous enthusiasm, inspired really by the enthusiasm of
these people in these watersheds.
I think we have the beginning of a collaborative leadership
approach here in Puget Sound. Increasingly, science is
informing our decisions, and I think, as all of you have
mentioned in your opening remarks, there is increased funding
at the Federal and State level for salmon recovery.
All of those things are important. As I mentioned, they're
not in and of themselves enough, but they certainly are steps
in the right direction and things that we can take some hope
There are also a number of other things happening that are
terribly important that indicate leadership that is springing
up throughout the State. There are regional recovery efforts
going on in the Southwest Washington--along the Columbia River.
The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board has been created by the
legislature. It is now itself representing some four or five
counties, preparing a recovery plan for that part of the
There are governments and tribes working in North Central
Washington, in Southeastern Washington, doing really remarkable
things against some pretty long odds. And again, when you're on
the ground looking at the projects that have been sponsored and
worked on by those people, it really is inspiring.
As you mentioned, the Salmon Recovery Board has been
created. We've been in operation since August. All of our
meetings have been held in the open. We have issued a scoping
document that dictates what we understand to be our
responsibility. It's essentially to try to restore and preserve
habitat that is friendly to the fish, to do that in conjunction
with the lead entities that were created by the legislature and
the same statute that created the SRF Board.
These lead entities are local groups selected by
governments and assisted by citizen committees that are
appointed to the lead entities. It's through those lead
entities that every request for projects come to the SRF Board.
We have had one round of funding. All of our work, by the
way, has been done completely in the open so that people could
see what we're doing and what we're thinking. We promised in
this first round of funding--which was concluded last month--
that we would fund somewhere between $10 and $15 million worth
of projects. We did this.
We purposely kept this first round relatively low to
learn--have the board learn--learn how we can help the lead
entities in partnership present to us the projects that are
scientifically based and most likely to see that that money is
spent to ensure that it will assist salmon.
As would be true in any first round, it wasn't perfect.
There are unhappy people who didn't get our their projects
funded. We had 270 requests for some $45 million. We funded 84
projects at $13 million.
Tri-County is working. The Hood Canal Coordinating Council.
There are hatchery reform efforts going on which you're going
to hear about later. There are improved protection programs in
a number of counties. The co-managers are setting interim
goals, the co-managers being the tribes and the State,
Department of Fish and Wildlife. These are all examples of
One last, and I think very important effort that is going
on, is one of the purposes of this first panel, and that is, to
coordinate everything that is going on among levels of
government, and within a particular level of government, the
various agencies that are involved.
Dan Evans and I convened a meeting over in Port Ludlow last
October, and invited some 200 people. And most of all of them
attended from State, Federal, tribal citizen groups, and local
watershed groups in Puget Sound to see if we couldn't develop a
We came out of that meeting that lasted 2\1/2\ days with a
commitment to a shared strategy. People had been working very
hard on it ever since, people who were there, Terry Williams,
representing the Tualip Tribe; Bob Kelly from the Nooksack
Tribe; Jeff Koenings, who is the director of the Washington
State Fish and Wildlife; Will Stelle, the regional director of
NMFS; Gerry Jackson, the regional director of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service; and Curt Smitch from the Governor's Salmon
Recovery Office, all have been meeting for weeks now to try to
develop a shared strategy so that we could be all singing from
the same sheet of music and pulling in the same direction in
Puget Sound. We're focused on Puget Sound.
A test of my testimony is some of the early results of what
we've done. It's an effort to draw timelines and show how
coordinating the science, the recovery goal and the development
process. The technical review team for Puget Sound that's now
been appointed by the National Marine Fisheries Service is
undertaking coordinating planning, coordinating the harvest
hatchery habitat efforts and measuring results, and then
ensuring that adequate funding is there.
The other figure that I presented indicates where we are
now and the kinds of things that will be address through early
actions, through the use of things like the 4(d) and the goals
that will be set by the technical recovery team and then
adopted throughout the Puget Sound area, these things will
result in the fish coming back. It's going to take a while. It
won't happen overnight, and there will be a lag in which we see
fish beginning to come back in significant numbers as these
shared strategies begin to take place.
I think all of this is very hopeful, and it also is aimed
at trying to support, what I mentioned, was I think the most
important asset, and that is the energy and enthusiasm of these
people at the local level. We've got to give them the kind of
help that they need and get behind them. And if we do that, I
think we have the chance of a successful outcome of this over
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of William Ruckelshaus
In its consensus statement of March 15, 1999, the Washington Salmon
Collaboration identified the need to ``expand and intensify--efforts to
ensure effective coordination and collaboration within and among all
levels of government'' as one of its overarching recommendations for
actions needed to recover the threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon. In
this paper we expand upon the rationale for greater coordination,
provide specific examples where it would be helpful, and suggest one
mechanism for achieving this goal. This paper represents the views of
the authors only, and is not a consensus document of the collaboration.
We plan to discuss these issues at upcoming meetings and may develop
consensus recommendations at that time.
The citizens of the Pacific Northwest face an unparalleled
challenge in their efforts to design an effective strategy to restore
the health of salmon populations throughout the region. Within
Washington state alone, 16 species of salmon are listed as threatened
or endangered, and the bulk of the state, including the heavily
populated Puget Sound region, is now affected by listed species. A
number of additional populations are listed as threatened and
endangered in Oregon and California with still more proposed for
listing in all three states.
The number, scope, and nature of these endangered species listings
have created a situation never before experienced in the implementation
of the Endangered Species Act. Other endangered species such as the
grizzly bear or the bald eagle have spanned large geographic ranges and
still others, like the California gnatcatcher, have been listed near
heavily urbanized centers. But no other listing or series of listings
share the set of attributes of the threatened and endangered salmon.
Some of the features of the salmon listings that have direct
implications for the design of recovery efforts are the following:
Regional scale.--The set of salmon listings will significantly
affect four states (California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho) and will
have some effect on Alaska and Canada. Federal, state, local, and
tribal governments and agencies, as well as relationships with Canada,
must be effectively integrated across this region.
Multiple listings.--Because multiple species and Evolutionary
Significant Units (ESUs) are being listed, the application of science
to the design of recovery strategies and the nature of recovery
activities themselves must be different for salmon than has been the
case with other wide-ranging species. Since the ecology and demography
of each salmon ESU is distinct, extensive data and analysis is needed
to develop recovery strategies for each ESU and recovery actions must
be taken across all ESUs. Setting aside a few large protected areas can
sometimes be pivotal in maintaining populations of wide-ranging
species. That strategy cannot work in the case of the multiple ESUs of
Freshwater life stages.--Freshwater ecosystems are the ultimate
``integrator'' of land use practices. Changes in land or water use or
release of pollutants anywhere within a watershed can, and often does,
affect the downstream freshwater ecosystem. Consequently, in principle
human actions anywhere across the landscape could potentially harm
salmon habitat and be considered a ``take,'' which makes it difficult
to establish practical but scientifically based take prohibitions.
Conversely, recovery strategies need to take into account the entire
set of human actions within a region in order to protect and restore
Multiple driving forces.--Salmon have declined as a result of
habitat loss and degradation, water pollution, overharvesting, and
negative impacts of hatchery programs. Effective recovery efforts
require actions that address all of these driving forces, yet each has
its own institutional and political dynamics and its own stakeholders.
Whereas the spotted owl listing required that a solution was acceptable
to one important industry (forest products) and its stakeholders
(including forest dependent communities), the salmon listing multiples
this challenge many-fold.
Low ``Signal to Noise'' ratio.--Salmon populations are notoriously
variable. Year to year stochastic variations in recruitment and
survival, compounded by decadal variation in such variables as ocean
productivity, make the detection of population trends and the analysis
of the effectiveness of management interventions extremely difficult.
Long-term studies are typically needed to isolate the ``signal'' from
the environmental noise in any demographic study of salmon.
These attributes of the salmon listing pose obstacles to the design
of effective recovery efforts in the Pacific Northwest and it is
unlikely that experiences with previous endangered species listings can
provide suitable models for this situation. Successful recovery efforts
will require a level of coordination ``horizontally'' across states
(and nations), and ``vertically'' from local governments to federal
agencies, unprecedented in the history of resource management in the
western United States. For this reason, the Washington Salmon
Collaboration has identified the need for more effective coordination
among and within all levels of government as one of the primary
overarching needs for scientifically based, cost efficient, and
effective recovery strategies. In particular, we believe that there is
an opportunity within the Puget Sound region to attempt a ``pilot''
effort at this type of coordination, with a focus on the recovery of
the Puget Sound Chinook and other listed species within this ESU.
The current efforts to establish the scientific basis for recovery
strategies and the processes underway to develop recovery plans
themselves illustrate both the need for more effective coordination and
the costs associated with the lack of that coordination, and we discuss
these two situations below.
ENSURING SCIENCE-BASED ACTION
Numerous initiatives are now being launched across the Northwest to
help provide the scientific basis for salmon recovery planning. In the
case of Puget Sound, the various science bodies that exist or are being
proposed that would have input into the design of a recovery strategy
--The Independent Science Panel established by State legislation
(HB2496) to provide peer review of recovery efforts;
--The Interagency Review Team established by State legislation to
ensure (among other tasks) that project funding is based on the
--Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) established for each Water
Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) to identify limiting factors for
salmon in each watershed;
--A proposal by the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological
Restoration to establish an independent science panel for the
Puget Sound Chinook ESU;
--A study being launched by the Trust for Public Lands to undertake a
GIS-based assessment of highest priority habitats for salmon
recovery in the Puget Sound region;
--A study funded by various local companies (Port Blakely Tree Farms,
Simpson Timber, and others) of limiting factors for salmon in
the Puget Sound ESU;
--The NMFS recovery planning effort.
This proliferation of assessment activities reflects the importance
of ``getting the science right'' but also presents significant costs
and risks. Multiple scientific assessments will result in duplication
of effort. Moreover, rather than resolving areas of scientific
uncertainty, the many different initiatives will inevitably reach
somewhat different conclusions and identify somewhat different
priorities, posing the risk that recovery efforts will be slowed while
the reasons for differences are explored, debated, and resolved.
There would be significant cost and efficiency benefits to be
gained by a coordinated effort to: (a) identify limiting factors within
each ESU, and (b) prioritize potential recovery actions in terms of
their biological effectiveness in recovery, and (c) ultimately
determine the population size and characteristics necessary for de-
listing and the recovery actions that will be required to achieve those
goals. Either NMFS or the State could take the lead in coordinating
such ESU-focused assessments, building on the WRIA activities underway
and the other scientific efforts listed above.
DESIGNING AN EFFECTIVE RECOVERY STRATEGY
Both the State and many local governments in the Northwest are
developing salmon recovery plans in anticipation of, or response to,
the Endangered Species Act listings. Within Washington state,
legislation passed in 1998 established a Salmon Recovery Office and
launched a series of watershed-based recovery planning activities. In
January 1999, the Governor released a draft recovery strategy
``Extinction is not an Option'' laying out a series of actions to be
taken to ensure salmon recovery. The three most urbanized counties,
King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties have coordinated their activities
through the ``Tri-County Process'' and have submitted a recovery
strategy to the National Marine Fisheries Service. And individual
cities, such as Bellevue and the City of Seattle are also developing
and negotiating recovery plans and HCPs with the National Marine
Here too, the lack of effective coordination of these planning
activities poses significant risks for the design of effective recovery
efforts. Neither NMFS nor the Fish and Wildlife Service, the two
federal agencies responsible for determining whether the recovery plans
meet the requirements of the ESA, are centrally engaged in the planning
effort. Instead, influenced by their regulatory role and their
interpretation of their legal obligations, the federal agencies have
provided advice in the development of plans but, with the exception of
a process to negotiate new forest regulations, have not directly shared
responsibility for the development of those plans. A more effective
approach would be for all levels of government to ``sit at the same
table'' and jointly craft a recovery plan meeting the legal
requirements of the ESA. (In many cases, such plans may well exceed the
legal requirements due to the general public and political support for
salmon recovery in the Northwest.)
Two examples from the Pacific Northwest of this type of
coordination and engagement of various government agencies with shared
responsibility for the resource are the Timber Fish and Wildlife (TFW)
agreement in Washington state and the Forest Ecosystem Management
Assessment Team (FEMAT) established in response to the listing of the
In the case of the TFW, federal agencies are one of six
``stakeholders'' in the negotiating process for setting timber
management regulations in Washington State. Other stakeholders include
the tribes, local governments, state agencies, private business, and
environmental organizations. Although the most recent TFW negotiations
failed in August 1998, when environmental groups decided not to
continue with the negotiations, aspects of this model provide a much
more promising arrangement for ensuring that all levels of government
successfully develop a ``joint'' plan.
FEMAT is another institutional arrangement established to meet the
unique needs of responding to the listing of an endangered species that
crossed multiple institutional boundaries. Following President
Clinton's April 2, 1993 Forest Conference, the President established
the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team to develop options for
the management of Federal forest ecosystems. Each option was to provide
habitat that would support stable populations of species associated
with late-successional forests, including the northern spotted owl. On
July 1, 1993, the President identified the FEMAT report's Option 9 as
the preferred alternative for amending the Federal agencies' land
management plans with respect to late-successional and old-growth
forest habitat. This option was ultimately challenged in court but on
December 21, 1994, Federal District Court Judge William L. Dwyer
rejected a number of plaintiffs' challenges and issued an order to
uphold the Forest Plan. According to Judge Dwyer, the Forest Plan ``. .
. marked the first time in several years that the owl-habitat forests
will be managed by the responsible agencies under a plan found lawful
by the courts. It will also mark the first time that the Forest Service
and BLM have worked together to preserve ecosystems common to their
The salmon listings differ somewhat from both the TFW and FEMAT
experiences. Unlike FEMAT, the need for coordination in the case of the
salmon listings extends well beyond federal lands and must involve
states, tribes, local governments, and private landowners. Unlike TFW,
the salmon issues extend to non-forest ecosystems. But what these
models share, and what can likely be applied to the salmon recovery
challenge, is the need to empower one collaborative body with the
requirement of crafting a joint solution. This does not yet exist in
the case of salmon recovery efforts. Instead, the coordination that
does exist tends to be restricted largely to information exchange. For
example, the Tri-County Executive Committee developed a set of early
action proposals in the hopes that they would be considered sufficient
by NMFS, but not in direct collaboration with NMFS. Similarly, NMFS,
state legislators, and local government officials participate in a
coordinating council chaired by the Governor's Special Advisor for
Natural Resources. However, in neither of these venues are the various
parties collectively responsible for crafting solutions.
As the Tri-County process has moved forward, by some accounts the
interaction with NMFS has increasingly become one of joint negotiation
and collaborative planning. However, even if the various levels of
government become better coordinated in the case of these three
counties, the problem still remains that the process of ``rolling up''
the various recovery proposals and actions in other counties around
Puget Sound into an overall strategy for the recovery of the Puget
Sound Chinook ESU is not one of partnership among all levels of
The costs of proceeding without a more effective means of
coordinating the development of a response strategy are likely to be
high. Without a collectively ``owned'' plan, the likelihood for legal
challenges is heightened, and the likelihood of success of such
challenges is also increased since different institutions will take
different positions on recovery needs. A proliferation of separate
planning activities and separate negotiations with NMFS will diminish
the ability to use science as the basis for recovery planning, since
individual negotiations will be driven by the unique political aspects
of each local or regional government. Multiple planning activities will
tend to overwhelm the already stretched federal agencies charged with
implementation of the ESA and may overtax the limited number of
scientists who have expertise on these systems. And, there is a
significant risk that a more fragmented approach to developing recovery
plans will become bogged down in inter-institutional rivalries and
proceed at a glacial pace. Such delay in the development of an
effective plan will inevitably increase the ultimate cost of recovery
and the likelihood of judicial intervention and decrease the potential
for successful recovery.
A NEW INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT FOR SALMON RECOVERY
In light of the unique features of the listing of salmon in the
Northwest and the challenges that it currently poses for the
institutions responsible for recovery, more effective means of
coordination within and among the responsible governments seem
essential. We believe that this situation may demand a novel
A priority should be the establishment of a single negotiating
process that involves state, tribal, local, and federal agencies in the
joint development of both statewide and ESU-specific recovery plans.
More specifically, we believe that as a pilot activity, a new mechanism
for coordination among all levels of government should be established
for the development and implementation of recovery planning efforts
within the Puget Sound ESU. Such a process could be created by the
joint appointment by Governor Locke and President Clinton of a special
representative with authority to oversee the coordination of the
scientific assessments of: (a) limiting factors, (b) recovery
priorities, and (c) recovery targets and with the authority and
responsibility for overseeing the negotiation of the ESU-specific
recovery plans for the Puget Sound basin. Following the example of
other state/federal collaborative models, such as the CALFED Bay-Delta
program and the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Program, the
coordination would also likely involve the establishment of a
Memorandum of Understanding among the various agencies. The special
representative or ``coordinating council'' of agencies would not take
on project responsibilities and would not undertake their own
assessments or planning activities but would instead ensure that the
activities being undertaken by the member agencies are effectively and
strategically coordinated. And, this council would provide the venue
for negotiation of recovery plans or the development of alternative
plans for the final review and approval by policy-makers.
A number of alternative arrangements could be considered with
various strengths and weaknesses. For example, the special
representative could be appointed by the President and the Governors of
Oregon, Washington, and California (and possibly a Tribal
representative) to ensure effective coordination at a regional level
(e.g., Pacific Northwest) or for the State of Washington rather than
just the Puget Sound Chinook ESU. Whatever mechanism is established, a
key to its success is likely to be the presence of a clear mandate from
the State and Federal level so that the individual and institution are
seen to be acting under the direct authority of the governor and
The challenge of recovering endangered salmonids in the Puget Sound
Region is significant, but the willingness of individuals and
institutions to take on this challenge is perhaps unique in the history
of the application of the ESA. Given the number of different agencies
and levels of government that must be involved in successful recovery
of the fish, however, there is a very high likelihood that recovery
efforts could be slowed dramatically without the creation of an
effective means of coordination across all levels of government.
Already, we see a risk that the lack of effective coordination is
leading to inefficiencies and redundancies. We suggest that a pilot
effort be undertaken to appoint a special representative for the Puget
Sound region and formalize an agreement among the relevant governments,
agencies, and tribes to ensure that the responsible institutions
develop and implement a single cohesive recovery plan.
Statement of the Washington Salmon Collaboration, March 15, 1999
The Washington Salmon Collaboration is an unusual group of
Washington's environmental and business leaders whose goal is to assist
in designing and implementing policies and plans developed for the
recovery of Puget Sound Chinook salmon and the ecosystems on which it
depends, in the event that it is listed as threatened under the
Endangered Species Act. Over the past four months, the group has
invited representatives of the State Salmon Recovery Office, National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Tri-County process, the Northwest
Indian Fisheries Commission, and the City of Seattle to participate in
some of its meetings as well as scientists from the University of
Washington and the private sector. Members of the collaboration have
also discussed the objectives of this effort with leaders in the
Washington State Legislature.
We are seeking consensus because we believe that salmon recovery
will contribute to the quality of life for all citizens in the
Northwest. We seek to ensure that the recovery strategy developed for
the Puget Sound Chinook is scientifically based, cost-efficient, and
effective. Healthy salmon populations are reflective of an overall
level of environmental health that will undergird the northwestern
economy and contribute to our quality of life and that of our
grandchildren. We thus encourage forthright efforts to address the
challenge represented by the likely listing of this species. We believe
that the only alternative-a reactive approach-will slow action,
encourage litigation, add uncertainty, increase the costs, and
ultimately diminish the ability of the people and institutions of our
region to influence the restoration of Puget Sound Chinook populations.
We offer specific proposals for actions in this statement that
represent a consensus among the participants listed below and that will
contribute to a balanced strategy for recovering Puget Sound Chinook
salmon. Many of these policies and actions have been proposed in the
January 1999 ``Draft Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon,'' in
existing and proposed legislation including HB2496, and in the Tri-
County salmon recovery process. Thus, the following recommendations are
intended in part to lend support to actions already underway, those
being considered by state and local governments, and in part as new
proposals. These recommendations are by no means exhaustive, yet we
recognize that salmon recovery depends on a comprehensive approach. Our
collaboration continues to discuss wide-ranging proposals and we plan
to meet with many of the stakeholders and make additional suggestions
and recommendations in the coming months.
In the recommendations that follow, references to ``listed salmon
populations'' refer only to Puget Sound Chinook salmon and to other
species or populations in the salmon family found in the same
watersheds as the Puget Sound Chinook that are threatened or endangered
under the Endangered Species Act. We believe that actions taken should
treat populations proposed for listing, such as the Bull Trout, in the
same manner as listed species during the period in which a final
determination is being reached. We believe that a multispecies recovery
strategy within this region will prove to be most scientifically
justified, cost-efficient, and effective. Plans and actions developed
for listed salmon populations should also take into account species
under review for listing in the event that they too are proposed for
listing. We recognize that many of the following recommendations may be
appropriate for other regions of the state but we have restricted our
own focus and that of these recommendations to the region of the Puget
Sound Chinook Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU).
As context for our specific proposals, it is worth noting five
overarching recommendations of our group:
--The goal of recovery efforts should be to recover listed salmon
populations to sustainable and harvestable levels. By this we
1. We must reach the point where Puget Sound Chinook
salmon are no longer threatened with extinction;
2. Wild production and compatible artificial
production should provide harvest opportunities and
fulfill treaty obligations;
3. Any harvest allowed should not jeopardize recovery
of the listed populations and, to the extent possible,
consistent with treaty obligations, should contribute
to recovery goals.
--All of the 4-H's (Habitat, Harvest, Hatcheries, and Hydro)
contributed to the decline of salmon in the region, and all
must be considered as part of the solution. An effective
balance of actions across these areas must be established that
takes into account such factors as the scientific-basis, cost-
efficiency and effectiveness of actions in each sector as well
as cultural issues and treaty rights related to the role of
salmon in the region.
--A salmon recovery plan for the Puget Sound Chinook agreed to by all
levels of government must be developed to achieve the recovery
goal. This plan must be based on sound science and identify
measurable objectives and the actions that will be needed to
achieve those objectives.
--We encourage the Governor to continue to expand and intensify his
efforts to ensure effective coordination and collaboration
within and among all levels of government. More specifically:
1. Improved collaboration among federal, tribal,
state, and local governments is essential to ensure
that the design of Washington's recovery strategy is a
collaborative product of all the responsible
governments. The design of the recovery strategy should
also find ways to meaningfully involve all other
stakeholders, including businesses, non-governmental
organizations, and individuals.
2. Improved coordination is needed among state
agencies, as well as among Federal Agencies,
responsible for administering programs influencing
recovery of salmon populations to ensure that all such
programs and activities will support and enhance the
state's recovery strategy;
3. Coordination should be continued with governors in
other states in the Pacific Northwest to discuss and
share information, goals, and strategies regarding
recovery of listed species throughout the region.
--The recovery of Puget Sound Chinook can best be achieved through a
phased process of developing and implementing a recovery
1. In the first phase, early actions are needed to
identify, avoid, and reverse harm to listed populations
of salmon and to develop a scientifically based, cost-
efficient and effective recovery strategy. The early
actions should be based on sound science and
prioritized to ensure that financial resources are
invested in ways that provide the greatest benefit to
the recovery of the species.
2. In the second phase, based on a recovery strategy
developed during Phase I, a full set of actions capable
of recovering populations would be developed and
implemented over time. To ensure the success of Phase
II, we believe that it is of the utmost importance to
set quantifiable and measurable recovery objectives. A
sustained commitment to significant action will be
needed to achieve these objectives. Actions may need to
be modified during Phase II in response to experience
and new information, but we can only expect the
necessary commitment to significant action if the
objectives being pursued are clear. Such an approach
will also provide an important element of
predictability for business, local government, and
citizens in the region.
In our most recent discussions, the Washington Salmon Collaboration
has sought to identify priorities for ``early actions'' that must be
taken to give credibility to Phase I. A strong set of early actions,
undertaken in the context of a phased recovery approach, is needed to
meet the Endangered Species Act requirement to provide for the
conservation of the species and to give time for the development of a
scientifically based, cost-efficient, and effective recovery strategy
closely tailored to the needs of the state and local communities. We
recognize that related restoration activities have already begun
throughout the state through legislation enacted during the last
legislative session including HB2496 and through many ongoing
community-based efforts including the Water Resource Inventory Area
(WRIA) processes, and that these activities will contribute to Phase I.
Early actions should also be linked to a statewide program of public
education that helps people understand the need for these actions and
provides scientifically based information to the public about the
factors currently threatening salmon stocks and the importance of
salmon recovery to the state's future.
As indicated in the draft Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon, a
comprehensive strategy for recovery will involve hundreds of actions,
many of which must begin as soon as possible. Without diminishing the
need for this comprehensive set of actions, our group urges the
Governor and other policymakers to identify and put into effect as soon
as practicable a short list of early actions that demonstrate a
commitment to reversing the decline of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon
and that set the stage for further development and implementation of an
effective recovery strategy. Specifically, we urge the state to
implement the following actions:
--Ensure that State Actions help to Conserve, Protect, and Enhance
1. The Governor should quickly issue an executive
order requiring all agencies of state government to
evaluate how their programs, activities, and actions
may be changed to avoid harm to listed salmon
populations and to fulfill their principal missions in
a way that contributes as much as possible to salmon
recovery. Each agency should be required to report
within six months how its programs will or should be
changed to reflect the executive order's mandate.
Whether an agency's principal mission is to protect
the environment or to promote economic development, it
carries out specific programs that can more effectively
protect and restore salmon and other programs whose
seemingly unrelated goals can be achieved while
helping, and certainly not harming, salmon recovery. In
carrying out this mandate, and without seeking to
change their principal mission, agencies should examine
their full range of policies and practices including
those related to enforcement, monitoring and
evaluation, employee training, community awareness and
public communications, employee rewards and incentives,
and coordination with other state agencies, and should
develop strategies to strengthen, change, or eliminate
policies or practices as appropriate.
2. Take the necessary steps to fully and effectively
enforce existing laws affecting listed salmon
This will require that the state fully and
effectively implement existing state permitting,
licensing and enforcement activities related to factors
influencing salmon recovery (e.g., hydraulic permits,
shoreline permits, water rights, commercial and
recreational licensing, catch limits, water quality,
etc.) to prevent further detrimental impacts to salmon
populations and to reduce the extensive backlog of
permit applications that are costly and burdensome to
the private sector. By all accounts, the state of
Washington has many existing laws pertaining to water
quality and quantity, catch limits, shoreline
development, and critical habitat protection that are
not being adequately enforced that could benefit salmon
if enforcement were improved. We believe that it is
essential that resources are provided to effectively
enforce these existing regulations and that highest
priority should be given to regions with listed salmon
3. Carefully document and review the substantial
salmon enhancement and habitat restoration work
completed and underway throughout the region and use
the knowledge gained to build the habitat restoration
and enhancement component of the state's strategy.
--Habitat.--Secure the Base through Actions that Protect and Restore
the Ecosystem on which Puget Sound Chinook salmon depend:
1. Support the preparation of an independent peer-
reviewed science assessment, with appropriate
involvement of governmental agencies, to map and
prioritize areas of importance to the conservation of
listed salmon populations within the Puget Sound
Even though the development of a full recovery
strategy may take several years, it is important that
funds available today for habitat protection be spent
as efficiently as possible-obtaining the greatest
impact per dollar spent. We are informed that within a
matter of 3-6 months, leading scientists, with
appropriate state endorsement, could assemble existing
data and studies enabling a ``rough-cut'' determination
of the locations where habitat protection or recovery
would contribute most to stabilizing and ultimately
recovering listed salmon populations in this region.
Local watershed planning groups should contribute to
the analysis and be part of the review process.
2. Ensure that funds for salmon habitat protection
and restoration within the Puget Sound region are
allocated based on the best available science and
through a process involving both the public and private
sector. We endorse the ``Puget Sound Foundation'' as
originally proposed by Puget Sound Waterways as a
mechanism to achieve this goal, and encourage the
Governor and legislature to adopt this proposal.
State and Federal funds for habitat should be
distributed to local communities and other institutions
engaged in habitat conservation and restoration in a
competitive manner that stimulates collaboration among
public and private organizations as well as with the
general public. In addition to assuring a high level of
visibility on process and specific projects with the
public, we believe it will be important to stimulate
significant private sector contributions. Political
expediency should not dictate the allocation of funds
for salmon recovery. Whatever mechanism is used for
allocation of such funds should meet the following
(a) Science-based. The majority of funds
available for habitat protection and
restoration should be allocated to areas that
will contribute most to recovery as determined
by the science.
(b) Open to public scrutiny. The public
should have access to the information on which
funding decisions are made and should be kept
informed of the impact of funds allocated for
(c) Adaptive. Projects should incorporate
explicit mechanisms for monitoring results and
be open to adaptation as needed to ensure
(d) Responsive to local demand. Insofar as
possible, funds should be allocated for
projects with clear local support, particularly
as identified in the Water Resource Inventory
Area (WRIA) planning processes.
The ``Puget Sound Foundation'' meets these criteria
and could contribute to salmon recovery in the region,
although it would be only one of many needed actions
(including those identified in this document). In
addition, such a foundation could serve as a vehicle
through which private entities can provide funding for
specific restoration activities through a project
allocation process guided by science and cost-
effectiveness. A well-designed and managed allocation
process, with a strong foundation in science, will be
more likely to attract funding from private sources,
which will be critical to many important restoration
projects in the Puget Sound region.
3. In watersheds containing listed salmon
populations, the state should not authorize new water
withdrawals that would reduce flows below levels set by
instream flow rules, and, in rivers without instream
flow rules, should not authorize new water withdrawals
that reduce flows until instream flow rules are set.
Clearly, water is critical for the maintenance and
restoration of Puget Sound Chinook populations.
Instream flow rules are set based on the biological
needs of the species and the hydrological
characteristics of the stream to ensure suitable flows
for fish habitat. An instream flow rule does not
threaten pre-existing water rights, even if those pre-
existing rights have the effect of reducing flows below
the level set under the instream flow rule. Where flows
should be enhanced to provide suitable habitat, we
encourage policy makers to explore the use of water
marketing arrangements to ensure that sufficient water
remains in the river. Not all rivers in the Puget Sound
region have instream flow rules, although even without
these rules the state must review any applications for
water use to ensure that it does not harm fish and
wildlife populations. As is already occurring in a
number of Puget Sound watersheds, we believe that these
flow rules should be set, with highest priority given
to watersheds containing listed species. New water
withdrawals should be allowed only if instream flow
rules are set or, in exceptional circumstances, if the
state reviews the application to ensure that the
withdrawal does not harm fish and wildlife populations.
Finally, both to support the establishment of new rules
and to ensure that existing rules can be revised and
updated as needed, the state should ensure that
adequate funding and staffing exists to support WRIA
instream flow planning processes.
--Hydro.--Develop a Strategy for Dams:
1. Coordinate the development of a strategy to
address the impacts of dams on listed salmon
populations in the Puget Sound region.
Dams, constructed for flood control, municipal water
supply, hydropower and other uses, exist on many rivers
in the Puget Sound region. The state should:
(a) Identify all existing and proposed dams
in the Puget Sound basin;
(b) For each dam, identify ownership, whether
it is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission, is a federally authorized facility,
is operating only under the jurisdiction of
state law, is decommissioned or otherwise not
currently serving the purpose for which it was
(c) With the involvement of federal agencies
and Native American Tribes and other key
constituency groups, work with dam owners to
identify potential changes at each existing or
proposed dam which the best available science
indicates will help conserve and restore salmon
Using this information, develop a strategy for
actions concerning dams that the state and other
governments could take to help conserve and restore
salmon populations in concert with other economic and
public safety goals.
--Harvest.--Explore Opportunities for Harvest Restrictions to
Contribute to Recovery:
1. Apply the same scientific and economic discipline
to the exploration of the harvest issue as is being
applied to other components of recovery, recognizing
that harvest levels must take into account tribal
treaty obligations as well as the central cultural and
economic role of salmon in the Tribes.
Two significant steps in this direction would be:
(a) Set escapement levels for Puget Sound
Chinook to ensure that targets are based on the
best available science and geared toward
recovery of a threatened species, not maximum
(b) Make sure that stakeholders know how
harvest is allocated. The process for making
decisions on overall harvest levels and on
allocations of that harvest should be clearly
explained to various stakeholders and those
decisions open to public view. Decisions should
be based on timely input of scientific data.
2. Take a leadership role in encouraging the Federal
Government to take specific actions to resolve the
U.S.-Canada Salmon Treaty dispute, in concert with our
congressional delegation and other West Coast states
An essential element of the solution of the U.S.-
Canada Salmon Treaty dispute must be that the state of
Washington ``get its own house in order'' and
demonstrate sound management, conservation, and actions
to recover listed salmon. That said, the long-term
effectiveness of salmon recovery actions in Washington
State would be undermined without an international
arrangement facilitating recovery of salmon
populations. The current impasse over implementation of
the U.S.-Canada Salmon Treaty is unlikely to be broken
without high level intervention from the central
governments of both countries. We appreciate the recent
steps that the Governor has taken to encourage this
type of attention to the issue. We believe it is
essential that the parties demonstrate movement toward
a solution in the very near future to bolster the early
actions that we believe the state and local governments
should take. The Washington Salmon Collaboration
strongly encourages this high level intervention with
the goal of establishing a West Coast management
(a) Relies on an independent science body to
establish catch limits needed to facilitate
recovery of all west coast salmon stocks;
(b) Ensures that management systems are in
place to enforce the catch limit or provide for
adaptive change in catch limits in response to
in-season experiences; and,
(c) Develops a fish allocation system among
the various claimants to the fish that is
consistent with the scientifically established
catch limits and that works.
--Hatcheries.--Re-think the Role of Hatcheries:
1. Coordinate the development of a comprehensive
strategy for hatcheries in the Puget Sound region that
will ensure their contribution to the recovery of Puget
Sound Chinook, based on the best available science and
recognizing treaty obligations and the co-management
responsibilities of the tribes.
We believe that a sound strategy for using hatcheries
to support recovery of listed salmon populations is of
utmost importance to meet environmental, economic, and
legal requirements and we do not see the level of
coordination and planning underway today that gives us
confidence that this strategy is being developed. We
are disappointed that the state has not completed the
``Coho Assessment'' with the Northwest Indian Fisheries
Commission, which could provide a sound basis for a
more strategic approach to the role of hatcheries.
--Foster Voluntary Actions:
1. Encourage, coordinate, and provide incentives for
voluntary actions by business, citizen's groups, and
individuals to help recovery of listed salmon
Voluntary actions to protect and restore Puget Sound
Chinook habitat could be a significant element of the
``early action'' response of the region. At the same
time, incentives are needed for citizens and business
to be involved in efforts that are more than just
scattered volunteer activities and instead clearly will
contribute to recovery. Those incentives must be
designed to help ensure that net environmental gains
are achieved through the voluntary action. Building on
the effort to promote and coordinate volunteer
activities already taking place under the WRIA planning
(a) State and local governments and non-
governmental organizations should guide
individuals and businesses interested in
undertaking voluntary action toward those
actions that will best contribute to salmon
recovery efforts and should seek to provide
technical and financial support for those
activities that clearly can be a strategic
component of recovery;
(b) State and local governments should
undertake outreach to communities, schools,
business coalitions, and individual businesses
explaining the types of actions that could help
salmon recovery, focusing particular emphasis
on areas of high priority habitats as
(c) The state should establish a registry of
``beyond compliance'' actions taken by
businesses and voluntary actions taken by
communities and schools and give public credit
such as regional or state-wide awards for those
As we have already stated, this list of recommendations is what we
have agreed on to date, and is not intended to represent all that needs
to be done. These recommendations can contribute to salmon recovery and
are likely to be supported by many in the Puget Sound region. Our group
plans to continue to explore the merits of other proposed
recommendations over the coming weeks and months. Ideas that we will
consider include proposals related to the central role of watershed
councils, development in floodplains, the issuance of variances to the
Shoreline Management Act and other laws, issues related to the metering
of water withdrawals and instream flows, and the potential for further
restrictions on sport or commercial harvest to contribute to recovery.
Finally, we urge the Governor to continue to expand his personal
role in educating the public. His vision and leadership will prove
pivotal in determining whether an appropriate state-wide response
supported by our citizens can be implemented. The actions we take will
touch every individual and community in this state. The Governor is in
a unique position to help people understand that we must all play a
constructive role in developing and implementing a successful recovery
Mr. Paul Brainerd, Chairman, The Brainerd Foundation
Mr. Glenn C. Butler, Refinery Manager, ARCO Products Company
Ms. Barbara Cairns, Executive Director, Long Live the Kings
Mr. Shawn Cantrell, Chairman of the Board, Save our Wild Salmon
Mr. Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Washington
Ms. Joan Crooks, Executive Director, Washington Environmental Council
Ms. Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director, People for Puget Sound
Mr. John Hayden, Vice President, Boeing Company
Mr. Robert Helsell, Chairman and CEO, Wilder Construction Company
Mr. Jim Kramer, Director, Puget Sound Waterways
Mr. C. Scott McClellan, Vice President, U.S. West Communications Inc.
Ms. Marie Mentor, Washington State Director, Trust for Public Lands
Mr. Colin Moseley, Chairman, Simpson Investment Company
Ms. Katherine Ransel, Northwest Regional Director, American Rivers
Mr. Richard R. Sonstelie, Chairman of the Board, Puget Sound Energy,
Mr. Douglas W. Walker, Chief Executive Officer, WRQ, Inc.
other participants and representatives of the sponsors
Mr. Emory Bundy, Director, The Bullitt Foundation
Mr. Phil Bussey, President, Washington Roundtable
Dr. John Ehrmann, President and Senior Partner, Meridian Institute
Ms. Maureen S. Frisch, Vice President, Public Affairs, Simpson
Mr. Denis Hayes, President, The Bullitt Foundation
Mr. B. Gerald Johnson, Convenor/Facilitator, Puget Sound Waterways
Mr. Terry Oxley, Director, Government & Community Relations Puget Sound
Dr. Walter V. Reid, Coordinator, Washington Salmon Collaboration
Mr. James Youngren, Chairman of the Board, Long Live the Kings
STATEMENT OF DOUG SUTHERLAND, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, PIERCE
Senator Gorton. Thank you. I should announce for people
here, King County executive, Ron Sims, announced that he will
not be here until about 1:00. He will be here, and he will
certainly have an opportunity to testify.
But we will here now from the Pierce County executive Doug
Mr. Sutherland. Senator Gorton, Senator Murray and my
Congressman Dicks, I'm delighted to be here, and really I
appreciate the opportunity to speak on this issue that has such
incredible importance for our entire region.
When the survival of fish became part of the mainstream
discussions, it quickly became clear that if we're really going
to recover this species, we couldn't retreat behind the
statutory obligations of the Endangered Species Act. Recovery
of the species depends on each individual, each community
organization, each business and each government agency doing a
part of the larger effort.
In the area of Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties, my
colleagues, County Executive Bob Drewel from Snohomish and Ron
Sims from King and leaders of the local governments, tribes,
businesses and the environmental community, we have formed a
voluntary coalition that many refer to as the Tri-County.
We've been working very hard to coordinate the converging
environmental initiatives, such as the Clean Water Act and
Endangered Species Act.
We have been working to coordinate all of these efforts.
New working relationships have been formed because we recognize
that our success will take the combined efforts of many
individuals, agencies and organizations.
Together, we are working to identify projects that are key
to the salmon's recovery. Consolidating resources from multiple
sources have proven to be the most effective method of getting
these projects completed.
We are trying to look at our own operations and to figure
out how we can coordinate the efforts between county agencies,
between county, Federal, State, other jurisdictions, and other
For instance, the Pierce County Public Works Department has
modified their scope of work for storm water and flooding
planning so that it is now their responsibility to look at the
watershed sub-basins from both a flooding and a fish
The county continues to provide funding for conservation
districts so that they can work with the local farmers to make
their operation more environmentally fish-recognized friendly.
But seed monies from the county, the conservation district,
also plays a key role in the voluntary efforts, such as the
Stream Team efforts and the fish habitat restoration projects.
Combined efforts of the County, the Puget Sound Water
Quality Authority, Washington State University and private
engineering firms has resulted in the education of dozens of
people on low-impact development options.
During this, the first year of the listing of the bull
trout and the chinook and joint efforts such as those and
these, have been successful in getting salmon recovery on track
in Pierce County.
While there's been a significant momentum created around
the issue, some of the most challenging situations have come
from what we perceive as the lack of vision from listing
agencies. And I strongly believe that salmon have a much better
chance of recovering to healthy populations if we all do more
than just our Endangered Species Act mandated obligation of
But if the listing agencies don't support that philosophy
by creating a working relationship and working out of their
comfort zone, I'm afraid it will be very difficult for us to
keep up and maintain our momentum.
Your support of salmon recovery is very much appreciated,
and any help that you can provide by nudging the listing
agencies to believe that they need to be more receptive to
incremental solutions, that help would be more welcomed.
Senator, you recall that when we first created the Tri-
County effort, and we came back and spoke to you and to
Congressman Dicks and to Senator Murray and suggested that
insertion of monies in the fiscal year 1999 budget would be
most helpful. And through your skill and ability you, indeed,
did just exactly that. Those funds arrived in the State in
December of 1998 and became available to us at the local level
some time about a year ago.
Those monies, of which Pierce County received $1.6 million,
were used in the acquisition of lands adjacent to various parts
of the Tualip River. What we did is we sat down is we sat down
with the Port of Tacoma and the Tualip Tribe, along with my
colleagues in the county, and we said, OK, if we're going to
take this money, one of the best things to do is to require
riparian areas adjacent to the river, let the levies move them
back away from the river, let the river run and create a much
better habitat than currently is there.
So together we sat down and identified pieces of property
along the river that we could acquire. And then we went out and
spent time talking to the owners of those properties to see if
there was any interest. Once we determined the interest, then
we went through the appraisal process, the title search, and
then began the negotiations for purchase.
Now we also did one other thing, and that is in some areas
we were able to negotiate easements in which the cost was
significantly less, but yet we could still be able to gain the
benefits of those riparian areas adjacent the Tualip River.
I have here some flyover photos of the areas in which we
were able to expend those funds. And I certainly appreciate it,
and so will those fish who will be using this improved habitat
as a result of the acquisition of these riparian areas.
And with that, Senators and Congressmen, thank you so much
for the opportunity to come and be part of these continued
education of the people of Washington State on the importance
of these listed fish.
Senator Gorton. Thank you, Doug.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Doug Sutherland
I appreciate this opportunity to speak on an issue that has risen
in importance for the entire region. That is the issue of the survival
of the Pacific Northwest salmon.
When the survival of the fish became part of mainstream
discussions, it quickly became clear that if we are really going to
recovery the species, we couldn't retreat behind the statutory
obligations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Recovery of the
species depends on each individual, each community organization, each
business, and each government agency doing a part of the larger effort.
In the area of Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties, my colleges
County Executives Bob Drewel and Ron Sims, and leaders of local
governments, Tribes, business, and the environmental community have
formed a voluntary coalition known as Tri-County. We have been working
very hard to coordinate converging environmental initiatives such as
the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. We have been
working to coordinate efforts. New working relationships have been
formed because we recognize success will take the combined effort of
many individuals, agencies, and organizations.
Together, we are working to identify projects that are key to the
salmon's recovery. Consolidating resources from multiple sources has
proven to be the most effective method of getting the projects
completed. We are trying to look at our own operations and figure out
how we can coordinate the efforts between County agencies, and between
the County, Federal, State and other organizations.
For instance, in Pierce County the Public Works Department has
modified their scope of work for stormwater/flooding planning so that
it now is looking at the watershed sub-basins from both a flooding and
fish perspective. The County continues to provide funding for the
Conservation District so they can work with local farmers to make their
operations more environmentally friendly. With seed monies from the
County, the Conservation District also plays a key role in volunteer
efforts such as the Stream Team efforts and fish habitat restoration
projects. Combined efforts of the County, the Puget Sound Water Quality
Authority, Washington State University, and private engineering firms
has resulted in the education of dozens of people on low impact
During this, the first year of the listing of the bulltrout and the
chinook, joint efforts such as these have been successful in getting
salmon recovery on track. While there has been a significant momentum
created around this topic, some of the most challenging situations have
come from what we perceive as a lack of vision from the listing
agencies. I strongly believe the salmon have a much better chance of
recovering to healthy populations if we all do more than our ESA
mandated obligation of ``no take.'' But if the listing agencies don't
support that philosophy by being creative and working out of their
comfort zone, I am afraid it will be difficult to keep up the momentum.
Your support of salmon recovery is very much appreciated. Any help
you can provide by letting the listing agencies know you too believe
they need to be more receptive to incremental solutions, is welcomed.
STATEMENT OF JERRY E. CLARK, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR
REGIONAL PROGRAMS, NATIONAL FISH AND
Senator Gorton. We're pleased and honored to have Jerry
Clark, the Director of Fisheries for the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation from Washington, DC, here to talk to us
about his organization's participation.
Mr. Clark. Mr. Chairman, Senator Murray, Congressman Dicks,
my name is Jerry Clark. I'm representing the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation today. I appreciate the opportunity to be
here and make some remarks. I've submitted some written
Senator Gorton. That will be included in the record.
Mr. Clark. I won't read that; I'll just make a few points
I especially appreciate your effort, Senator Gorton and
members of this board, to invite an organization like the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to participate in the
State of Washington's efforts. As you know, and maybe others
don't, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a private
nonprofit organization, but it was created by Congress. It
makes us somewhat unique.
Another aspect of our uniqueness I think is why we were
created. Almost by definition from day one, the reason we were
created was to build partnerships to work on natural resource
We were created in 1984 at a time where there weren't very
many of those. In fact, at that point in time, this country was
sort of in the midst of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act
and the Endangered Species Act, and there were people asking
the question, does it make sense to try something else? And at
that time I think we were an experiment. I think now people
understand the importance of partnerships, and we are one of
the traditions in that.
This year, I especially want to thank you, Senator Gorton,
for asking us to the table. You asked us to manage about $3.75
million for the State of Washington. To date we have committed
about two-thirds of that throughout the State, both in the
Puget Sound area, along the Columbia and in the Okanogan
We funded Planet CPR, a program that you just talked about
earlier, for their Grate Mate program. We funded the Tri-State
Steelheaders to work both in stream and riparian zone projects
that they're working on. We funded both the Mid Puget Sound
Enhancement Group and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group,
primarily to do culvert replacements with both of those groups.
We funded the Northwest Chinook Recovery folks to reconnect
an historic slough to a river. And I want to mention that
particular because that project is being done all on private
lands. And one of the things that we think about partnerships,
especially, is that if we don't create the habitat for salmon
to be restored, and we don't get private landowners involved in
restoration, we probably don't have much of a chance.
And the best way to do that is to build the kinds of
partnerships that we've been talking about here today. Because
what we have found over the many years that we've been
investing salmon--and to date our investment salmon is about
$35 million in the Pacific Northwest for projects of the type
that we're talking about today--that once you move into a
watershed, and you can get a few individuals, a few private
landowners, involved in successful projects where something
actually happens, nobody gets burned, there's no lobbying,
there's no litigation, people then join that bandwagon, and you
get more done for one small investment in a watershed than
almost any other investment you can do, if you can create a
successful partnership amongst local folks especially involving
We have about $1.6 million remaining of the funds
uncommitted. To date we've been asking people to send us in
their applications as they see the need. We're asking now,
however, that we want the applications in by June 1. We want to
try to get all the money spent this year, so we've made that
I'll make a little comment. You can find the application
materials and everything you need to contact the foundation on
our website, which is wwwlnfwf.org, and it includes the
application. You can download the application, fill it out and
send it into us.
We've enjoyed participating in this process over the last
year very much. If you want us to do it again, we'd be very
happy to do that. We've made some changes at the foundation,
not the least of which is we're opening a regional office.
I'd like to take just 10 seconds, if I could, to introduce
Christina Wolniakowski, who is the new regional director for
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It gives us a face
in the region that the folks in this audience who are thinking
about asking us for grants and want to talk to us can talk to
here. You don't have to come back to Washington, DC to talk to
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Senator Gorton. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Jerry E. Clark
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I appreciate the
opportunity to submit my testimony for the record regarding the
subcommittee's investment in Pacific Salmon Recovery. I especially want
to thank the members of Congress who are with us today, as they have
played the critical role in providing the funds that are now directed
to the most important efforts for salmon restoration, those that pay
for actual restoration. It is a complex task to restore Pacific salmon,
but in the final analysis, none of the expenditures make any difference
if the habitat in our streams will not support the various life stages
of salmon, and if the owners of that habitat are not committed to the
survival of salmon. In our experience, that commitment by Washington's
landowners is there, and the funds provided by this Committee are
critical to build the partnerships, reduce the conflict and restore
salmon runs. Congress understands this need. They have provided the
funds we all need to build those partnerships at the local level that
are necessary if we are going to restore salmon.
I work for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a private,
non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, established by Congress
in 1984 to benefit the conservation of fish, wildlife, and plants, and
the habitat on which they depend. Its goals are conservation education,
habitat protection and restoration, and natural resource management.
The Foundation meets these goals by helping to create and fund
partnerships between the public and private sectors and by
strategically investing in conservation projects. The Foundation does
not support lobbying, political advocacy, or litigation, nor allow any
of our Federal or the private matching funds used in our grants to be
used for those purposes.
The Foundation awards challenge grants to on-the-ground
conservation projects. The term ``challenge grant'' indicates that the
funds appropriated to the Foundation are required by our Federal
charter to be matched with additional non-Federal funding. Our grants
multiply the Federal investments in conservation and enable grantees to
use the Foundation's funds to involve other partners of their projects.
Last year alone, the Foundation supported 585 projects, committing
almost $19 million in Federal funds. Those Federal funds were matched
with $50 million in non-Federal funds, for a total investment of almost
$70 million for on-the-ground projects. A return to the Federal
Government of almost 3.5 to 1.
This year, this subcommittee has asked us to participate in the
restoration of Pacific salmon in the State of Washington. This was a
logical choice because the Foundation has already invested almost $11
million in Federal funds for more than 200 projects for the restoration
of salmon throughout its range in the West. This year, the subcommittee
has asked us to manage $3,842,300. To date, we have committed. over $2
million of those funds for several projects from the Puget Sound area
through the Columbia Basin to central Washington. These projects
demonstrate several important elements. First, they are all cooperative
efforts that do not include any litigation, there is no lobbying, there
are lots of volunteers and they get to the root problems facing salmon.
Most important of all however, in the long run these projects are
locally driven and locally owned.
These projects are getting done because people at the local level
see a need and are organizing within their communities to solve a
problem. We are proud to be trusted by the people of Washington to help
facilitate these efforts. In the Methow watershed (Okanagen County
Water Resources Department), the community has assembled a set of
projects based on a watershed analysis that get the to the critical
need of salmon, the quantity and quality of water. In the Walla Walla
area, we have funded the Tri-State Steelheaders to enhance both
instrearn and riparian habitats on the Walla Walla River and Mill
Creek. In the Puget Sound, we are supporting the Mid Puget Sound
Enhancement Group and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group to open
historic salmon habitats by replacing culverts that currently block
fish passage. Also in the Puget Sound area we have funded Planet CPR to
improve water quality throughout the Basin. We are also funding
Northwest Chinook Recovery to reconnect the Groeneveld Slough with the
Skykomish River to open up several miles of critical habitat. This
project is typical of the willingness of private landowners to work in
partnership with others to restore salmon. These kinds of projects have
a long history of success, not only for the project in question, but as
soon as one landowner becomes involved in a successful project, the
story spreads, and soon landowners throughout the watershed are
participating in similar projects. This is just one of the reasons that
funding local, on-the-ground restoration projects is so critical.
We will continue to fund projects that are scientifically sound and
community driven throughout the salmon's range in Washington, and we
are looking forward to reviewing additional applications for the
remaining $1.6 million. We have had an open request for proposals, but
we are now asking everyone to get us their applications for the
remaining funds before June 1. Our work to restore Pacific salmon in
the State of Washington will not end there, however. We will continue
to fund salmon restoration in the years ahead. If it is possible for us
to continue to receive funds specifically for Washington, we would
relish that opportunity. We are committed to quickly dispersing and
managing those funds for on-the-ground local partnerships.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.
STATEMENT OF RON SIMS, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, KING COUNTY, WA
Senator Gorton. We are joined now by the King County
executive Ron Sims, and we welcome your comments, Ron.
Mr. Sims. Thank you, Senator Gorton. It's good seeing you,
Senator Murray, Congressman Dicks.
Mr. Chairman, I am the King County executive of King
County, WA. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on our
recent progress in bringing the salmon back to Puget Sound.
It's hard to believe that just about a year ago, on April
7, 1999, that your committee held a hearing here in Seattle to
address salmon recovery. And at that time, less than a month
after the National Marine Fisheries Service had formally listed
chinook salmon under the Endangered Species Act, our collective
response to the ESA listing was just getting started.
Local governments, tribes, and environmental and business
interests were interested in working together through the Tri-
County effort and other partnerships, but we were uncertain
about what to do first.
The same uncertainty reigned in Olympia, as the challenge
of establishing a clear State and Federal direction led to
suggestions that a ``salmon czar'' was needed to preside over
the salmon plan. Money was scarce for plans and projects, and
there was already concern about money being waste on
inefficient and ineffective projects.
I'm pleased to report that we've made great progress on
these issues in the last year. Our strategy for salmon recovery
among Tri-County governments and interest groups has evolved
into specific recovery proposals that we are actively
negotiating with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Tri-County proposal will be an ambitious program of
higher standards and new development activities, funding of
habitat restoration work and new maintenance practices, and is
being looked at as a model for locally-based salmon recovery
throughout the Puget Sound region.
Thanks to the support of Snohomish Executive Bob Drewel and
Pierce County Executive Doug Sutherland, our many Tri-County
partners, Will Stelle and his staff at National Marine
Fisheries Service, and Gerry Jackson and staff at U.S. Fish and
Wildlife, we are moving ahead.
We've also seen great progress at the State level. And
thanks to the leadership of Governor Locke and Bill
Ruckelshaus, an historic agreement to protect salmon habitat on
forest lands has been completed, another to address habitat on
farmlands is being developed, and the State has a new
scientifically driven process for awarding funds to habitat
projects and programs.
The new State funding for allocation salmon funding through
the Salmon Recovery Funding Board has been fueled over the last
year by major funding commitments by the State Legislature and
the U.S. Congress. And thanks to the Governor, and to you,
Senator Gorton and Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks, and
the entire delegation of Washington State, more than $30
million is available this year for the most effective habitat
projects in salmon-bearing watersheds throughout Washington
I am pleased to report that Federal funding has been put to
excellent use in King County. Funding has allowed us to
maintain a strong commitment to continuing the Tri-County
alliance, supporting locally-based salmon strategies in our
watersheds and keeping the public involved in salmon recovery.
Federal funding is also contributing to critical protection
and restoration work on our salmon-bearing rivers, including
the purchase of more than 270 acres of high quality salmon
habitat along the Cedar and the Snoqualmi Rivers.
Senator Gorton, our Tri-County partners in salmon recovery
and I do need your help to continue this progress. Our ability
to negotiate a workable agreement with the Federal services
depends on their ability to follow through on commitments to
scientific research, development of reasonable recovery goals
and participation in the development of our salmon recovery
I urge you and other members of our delegation to provide
sufficient funding to National Marine Fisheries Service and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife to meet these commitments.
We also hope to have your continued support for Federal
funding for habitat projects. Habitat protection and
restoration is a vital part of salmon recovery, and King
County, our Tri-County partners and the State have demonstrated
a strong commitment to funding habitat work. Your efforts to
secure more than $40 million in Federal funding in fiscal year
1999 and fiscal year 2000 for salmon habitat improvements in
Washington State have been a tremendous boost, and we hope we
can continue to count on your support for that habitat funding.
In looking ahead in fiscal year 2001, we appreciate your
sponsorship of Senate bill 2228 to create a new Corps of
Engineers habitat restoration program for Puget Sound. We are
very excited about this new partnership and are ready to step
up as local sponsors of this program.
We also hope you will support $25 million in additional
funding in the year 2001 for to the Salmon Recovery Funding
Board through the Commerce budget. The board is doing an
excellent job at ensuring that Federal and State funds are
And I want to thank you personally for your efforts and the
many people in this room. Salmon recovery has been an enormous
and daunting task. I can hope that you'll make this an annual
visit so that we can continue to report to you on the efforts
to recover salmon in this region. Thank you very much.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Ron Sims
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Ron Sims.
I am the County Executive for King County, Washington. Thank you for
the opportunity to testify on recent progress towards recovering Puget
Sound salmon populations.
It's hard to believe that it was just a year ago on April 7, 1999
that your committee held a hearing here in Seattle to address salmon
recovery. At that time, less than a month after the National Marine
Fisheries Service formally listed chinook salmon under the Endangered
Species Act, our collective response to the ESA listing was just
getting started. Local government, tribes, and environmental and
business interests were interested in working together through the Tri-
County effort and other partnerships, but we were uncertain about what
to do first. The same uncertainty reigned in Olympia, as the challenge
of establishing a clear State and Federal direction led to suggestions
that a ``salmon czar'' was needed to preside over the salmon plan.
Money was scarce for plans and projects, and there was already concern
about money being wasted on inefficient or ineffective projects.
I am pleased to report that we've made great progress on these
issues in the last year. Our strategy for salmon recovery among Tri-
County governments and interest groups has evolved into a specific
recovery proposal that we are actively negotiating with the National
Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Tri-
County Proposal will is an ambitious program of higher standards on new
development activities, funding of habitat restoration work, and new
maintenance practices, and is being looked at as a model for locally-
based salmon recovery throughout the Puget Sound region. Thanks to the
support of Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel and Pierce County
Executive Doug Sutherland, our many Tri-County partners, Will Stelle
and his staff at NMFS, and Gerry Jackson and staff at USFWS, we are
I have also seen great progress at the State level. Thanks to the
leadership of Governor Locke and Bill Ruckelshaus, an historic
agreement to protect salmon habitat on forest lands has been completed,
another to address habitat on farmlands is being developed, and the
State has a new, scientifically driven process for awarding funds to
habitat projects and programs.
The new State process for allocating salmon funding through the
Salmon Recovery Funding Board has been fueled over the last year by
major funding commitments by the State Legislature and the U.S.
Congress. Thanks to the Governor and to Senator Gorton, Representative
Dicks, and the entire delegation in Congress, more than $30 million is
available this year for the most effective habitat projects in salmon-
bearing watersheds throughout Washington State.
Senator Gorton, my Tri-County partners in salmon recovery and I
need your help to continue this progress. Our ability to negotiate a
workable agreement with the Federal services depends on their ability
to follow through on commitments to scientific research, development of
reasonable recovery goals, and participation in development of our
salmon recovery strategy. I urge you to provide sufficient funding to
NMFS and USFWS to meet these commitments.
We also hope to have your continued support for Federal funding for
habitat projects. Habitat protection and restoration is a vital part of
salmon recovery and King County, our Tri-County partners, and the State
have demonstrated a strong commitment to funding for habitat work. Your
efforts to secure more than $40 million in Federal funding in fiscal
year 1999 and fiscal year 2000 for salmon habitat improvements have
greatly increased the scope and scale of our habitat work, and we
deeply appreciate your assistance.
Looking ahead to fiscal year 2001, we appreciate your sponsorship
of Senate bill 2228 to create a new Corps of Engineers habitat
restoration program for Puget Sound. We are very excited about this new
partnership and are ready to step up as local sponsors for this
program. We also hope you will support $25 million in additional
funding in fiscal year 2001 for the Salmon Recovery Funding Board
through the Commerce budget. The Board is doing an excellent job at
ensuring that Federal and State salmon funds are spent wisely.
Thanks to the efforts of you, Senator Gorton, and to many other
people in this room, this has been a big year for salmon recovery. I
hope you will make this an annual visit and that we can report as much
progress in the coming year. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Ron and Doug, how do your efforts, the Tri-
County efforts and the plans you're coming up with relate to
the imminent chinook 4(d) rules of the National Marine
Fisheries Service? Do you need some delay or some postponement
in those rules for you to be able to come up with appropriate
Mr. Sutherland. Senator, we've been working with the
National Marine Fisheries and Representatives from this State,
and we've been meeting with ourselves. And as we look at the
4(d) rule that we've been negotiating, it is far more complex
than many of us had initially anticipated.
It's difficult to say that we're not there yet because when
we started, we felt that we could get there. However, in all
honestness, I don't think we are there yet. And because of
National Marine Fisheries needs for other reasons to move ahead
with the publishing of the 4(d) rule, it's caused us to suggest
that maybe we should try to work this out a little bit
differently because, quite frankly, we're not in a position to
be able to respond to what we've not completed in the
So to answer your question, I think there needs to be some
additional time. I would much rather do it right than just a
little bit. Even during my testimony, I'm saying let's deal
with this on an incremental manner; that may be the way to do
it. Because starting off with this, trying to drink out of the
fire hose at full bore is difficult for many jurisdictions to
The three counties in the Central Puget Sound--King,
Snohomish, and Pierce--have by far the most resources to us,
both financial and human resources, but even at that, that's
limited. I basically have myself and one other person working
on these negotiations, plus individuals designated from various
staff to help fill in the gaps. And as I look at Snohomish
County, they're almost the same.
Ron's got a whole division because he's got all the money
in the world.
But even as we look at the rest of the Central Puget Sound
and other counties around the Sound, their resources are even
less than ours. And as I look at what it takes for us to be
able to respond to this, and compare that, even though we're
working with those other counties as much as we can, our
ability to be able to deal with it is going to be limited.
Do we need some more time? I think so, yes.
Senator Gorton. Except for the unlimited amount of money,
Ron, do you agree with Doug's views?
Mr. Sims. Well, I don't know. I think----
Mr. Dicks. What about a few loaned executives from Pierce
County? Can we do that?
Mr. Sims. The 4(d) rule that we're presently negotiating
with National Marine Fisheries Service and concurrently with
U.S. Fish and Wildlife is not as much a rule as it is a habitat
conservation plan, a process to arrive at performance levels
that provide us levels of sustainable harvest for Chinook, and
also recognize the need to recover the char or the bull trout.
So we're not being asked immediately. For instance, in some
very complex issues, like how do we recover through a water
resource inventory area, a WRIA, that is a process that's been
very difficult to articulate, but it brings in all the cities
and all the property owners in a WRIA and ask them over an 18-
month to 2-year period to come in with the standards that we
need for habitat restoration, for surface water controls, all
designed, again, to recover.
So I look at the rule that National Marine Fisheries is
negotiating and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and say, can we agree
to a rule in April or May or June? And the answer is no. Are we
close to being able to have a rule completed so that we can
have one before the end of the year? And the answer is yes,
because we're being asked in the process not to meet a standard
on day one. We're being asked to arrive at a standard over
several years that enables the fish to be sustained in this
So I am comfortable right now that what we're discussing
can be achieved. It will not be achieved by an announcement of
a rule or imposing a rule upon us in May or June. But if there
was a rule that came out somewhat later this year, I think we
would have our--we'd be able to meet that standard.
Senator Gorton. Bill, I think Ron referred very positively
to the relationship between the Salmon Recovery Board and the
Would you give me your views of the efforts that Tri-County
is going through and how the State Salmon Recovery Board
relates to those efforts?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. The Tri-County and the leadership of the
three executives--two of whom are here--has really been a
terrific leader in this area in trying to work through this
complex problem; and they deserve a lot of credit for having
Ron Sims mentioned the WRIAs, the water resource inventory
areas. The lead entities that are created by the statute are
really formed around WRIA areas. Most of them are multiple
WRIAs and some of them are just one WRIA.
There are 23 lead entities in the State. There are, in
fact, two in King County, in separate lead entities
representing one WRIA. And the request for funds from our board
come through those lead entities, and they're based on a
watershed assessment of what the needs are for the salmon in
that watershed, what the habitat needs are, and then they
develop a strategy for achieving those needs. And then the
project request to us are based on those strategies.
That's not true in every lead entity in the State. We're
too new in this process for every lead entity to be up to that
level of sophistication.
In the Tri-County area they have quite sophisticated
efforts going on. So those projects that came to our board for
this first round of funding from the Tri-County area were
really first rate. They were done consistent with an assessment
that had been made, a strategy that had been developed and were
consistent with what was in the best interest of the fish.
This is what we need to do all over the State. This isn't
the only place this is happening, but it's a very good example.
And there are two areas of the State, the northeastern part of
the State and Yakima River Valley where there are no lead
entities. They haven't been able to reach an agreement yet in
designating a lead entity, and we're working with them to try
to get one.
Senator Gorton. Now, one other question for you and for
How do you two entities work together, a State one, a
private one? Are there any organizations that apply to each of
you for money? Do you relate at all to one another in your
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We don't, and we need to do it better.
What we need is a common assessment process, so that when we
get an assessment of the needs of a watershed, it is very
similar across the State in terms of the analytical basis that
it is founded on.
The strategies then necessary to achieve the habitat needs
of the salmon coming back to that watershed can be based on
that common assessment; and then projects, whether they come to
us or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, can all be
based on those common assessments and strategies that have been
We're trying to get those assessments and strategies in
place, so no matter where the source of the money would come
from, they'd all be based on those sort of common approaches.
I don't have a doubt in the world that people that I refer
to are working so hard in these watersheds, they know where the
sources of money are. And they have made applications to
everybody they can think of where they'll get money.
I have visited projects over in the eastern part of the
State which have been funded from as many as six different
Federal and State agencies. They're very good in figuring out
where this money can be had and putting it all together to form
a project. And it's impressive what they can do.
Senator Gorton. Jerry.
Mr. Clark. There's been some coordination. We've made sure
that all the applications that we've got have been transferred
to the SRF Board for review.
I don't necessarily see them as competitive at all. In
fact, I think having alternatives makes good sense. I mean, we
think of ourselves somewhat as a mass unit. We're mobile, and
we try to get there quickly. We're accessible. We're efficient.
For instance, of the federally appropriated funds that we
get, we don't take any overhead for that at all. Every dollar
that was appropriated to us goes back to the ground for the
projects. We raise money in the private sector to pay our
bills. It's part of the deal we made with Congress when we were
So you can never disagree with the people coordinating
because that makes good sense. You can never disagree with
having good science on the table at all times. All of that
makes good sense. I think it's good to have, like I said, not
competition, but different people taking different looks at the
Mr. Dicks. On this point--if you'd yield--you said that all
of your grant applications have been sent to the State so that
Mr. Clark. Yes.
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. Have gone through and the staff at
least has looked at them?
Mr. Clark. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Senator Murray.
Senator Murray. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you to all
of you for really a tremendous amount of work in the past year,
and I really appreciate all you're doing, and we want to be
supportive in any way we can.
And Mr. Ruckelshaus, particularly to you for taking on this
task and moving it forward, and you've brought a positive image
to all of this that we all appreciate.
I do have a question. Mr. Sutherland mentioned his county
being poorer than King County and others being poorer than
Do you have a matching requirement for counties or for
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Yes, we do. It's a 15-percent match.
Senator Murray. And is that more difficult for some of the
more smaller counties to come up with this? Has that been a
problem or challenge for you?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Yes, it was. When we adopted the 15-
percent match, we put it out for public comment, and several of
the counties commented they didn't think that they were going
to be able to meet the 15-percent match. And it was a problem.
Our sense of it was, that if the counties--the lead
entities or whoever the applicants were--had some money in the
game, they were going to be a lot more careful about how they
spent it. And everybody who made application to us was able to
come up with the 15 percent. We allowed some of them to show an
in-kind contribution as meeting the 15-percent requirement, and
so far we've had no projects, to my knowledge at least, that
have not been submitted because they weren't able to raise the
Senator Murray. OK, good.
I have a question for Mr. Sims and Mr. Sutherland.
I hear everywhere complaints about delays in permitting
process, from everything from road construction to bulkheads to
piling. There's a lot of real concern about that. I'm sure
you're hearing as much as I am.
I did talk in my opening statement about Congress needing
to provide NMFS with more funding, and the administration has
requested additional staffing, and funding for staffing as
well. I think they're going to provide 41 new staff if their
request goes through.
Can you tell me what your county's experiences have been
with delays, and if you support that request or if you have
concerns that we should be aware of regarding staffing?
Mr. Sims. We support the request. We have, from the county
release, four of our staff to work with NMFS. I think the State
of Washington is release seven. We have what we call section 7
consultations, and for a whole series--whether it's our roads
project in particular--we would like to process those.
We had $86 million last year allocated for roads projects.
We were only able to get $53 million worth of projects through.
So you miss a building season, and your costs go up.
I think National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife need an infrastructure in which to respond to what
I think is going to be an extraordinary amount of, we call,
biological assessments that are going to go through.
We also need them to be able to respond quickly as we're
negotiating because we are moving forward saying that science
should dictate. And you need to have the capacity of both
agencies to be able to respond scientists to scientists so that
we can get quicker turnarounds.
Part of the issues of negotiation were that we didn't
have--they were stretched very thin, so we couldn't get back,
in the time frames that we wanted, a lot of our proposals on
storm water management, the impacts of buffers, road building
and maintenance practices. So we think it would be critical for
them to have the infrastructure in which to respond to us.
There's another issue, in this county particularly. Because
of the extraordinary growth that we're having here, both in the
population and the fact that we're a growth management county
and restricted land-use, housing prices have gone up.
So what we're finding now is that for federally funded
affordable or low-income housing projects that are going
through the for-profit or nonprofit sector, they're all being
delayed for two reasons. One, because we have to do the
biological assessments, and two, because neither agency has the
staff to respond once we submit that biological assessment to
them. So things are getting held up, and it would be important
for them to have the infrastructure to respond.
Senator Murray. Mr. Sutherland.
Mr. Sutherland. In Pierce County last year, altogether we
did over 40,000 different kinds of permits, just to put this in
some perspective. Snohomish County probably is pretty close to
the same, and I'm not sure just how much Ron has done in King
County. And this is just in my jurisdiction; it's not county-
wide; that's just the unincorporated part of the county.
When it began with the listing that was required to do this
additional processing, not only did we have to teach our own
staff what to do and help the jurisdictions of the other cities
and towns within the county, but also we had to help the other
Federal agencies and State agencies as well because we are so
integrated and interrelated with the way we fund the projects,
each of us had to be able to address the permitting process.
And a lot of us didn't have a clue--OK, now who does what and
when do they do it?
So there's a significant learning process amongst all of
the agencies and jurisdictions involved. So the amount of
paperwork has just been stunning in it's volume. It's not
necessarily terribly complex, although some projects are, but
even the simplest projects, it takes time for someone to look
at it, make a determination, and then move it to the next
agency or responsible party.
So just volume alone was enough to give you a pretty good
case of constipation.
Senator Murray. Is there any direction you can give us on
what, if anything, focus we should have new NMFS staff work on,
any direction that we should give to those new employees if we
get the funding for them?
Mr. Sutherland. Well, first of all, I certainly support the
additional staff for NMFS and U.S. Fish. I think both of them
are going to be significantly impacted by the amount of work
that they're going to have to do. And I think that there needs
to me some kind of way that we can cross-train from agency to
agency, so that as we build our networking capability, there's
ways to be able to shave the corners, if you will, not in the
regulation process, but just in moving the various
applications. And you do that by knowing better who your other
partners are in the process.
So if there's a way for us at the local level to work with
and learn who they are at National Marine Fisheries, so that
counties can come together, cities can come together and look
at ways to be able to standardize, ways to be able to, if you
will, decrease the volume but increase the input.
There's ways to be able to do this, and we need to be able
to do that in such a way that is, in addition, to the normal
processing and moving of the various applications.
Senator Murray. Ron, would you have any direction or focus
for what those employees should be working on?
Mr. Sims. Senator, the groups of people we would look at
would be biologists, engineers because those are critical for
the reviews, whether the biological assessments are responding
to our initiative.
I don't know how each agency is organized internally for
review, but they have a series of responsibilities; evaluation
of biological assessments, a response from scientist to
scientist. They would be much more able to articulate that
internal need than I. Other than that fact, I can say that we
simply released four of our biologists to work with them, not
to approve our biological assessments but to look at others.
But you also need road engineers as well. They need to be
configured. They need to have their technical infrastructure in
place, and that is an issue of the number of FTEs. And they
need more; there's no question. And the lack of that is really
beginning to have a discernible effect because who it hits is
us because we get held up. And it means that the local costs go
up for everything that we do.
Unless they have that, they will do their job as best that
they're able, and we will be unable to do ours because they
will not be resourced to do their work.
Senator Murray. OK. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr.
Senator Gorton. Congressman Dicks.
Mr. Dicks. Well, first of all, I want to thank all of you
for your statement and recognize the major challenge that
I worry a little bit. And I address this to Bill. I've been
out to my counties; Mason County, Grays Harbor, Jefferson,
Clallam, Kitsap's. A lot of these counties are in the same
situation; they have very limited personnel to do this work.
Can any of the grants go to the counties to hire staff to
start developing a plan in order to comply with the National
Marine Fisheries Service's requirements or are we just doing
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We convened of, in fact, all of the lead
entities after our last grant cycle and spent a day and a half
with them going over what the needs were of these lead
entities--which really represent, in your case, sometimes more
than one county--asking them what kind of capacity-building
needs they had.
The State Fish and Wildlife Department oversees the
administration of the lead entities, and they have grants that
they give to them, about $50,000 per lead entity is what the
State legislature has appropriated.
We have a meeting of our SRF Board tomorrow, and one of the
questions is, should we have in this next grant cycle some
capacity building kinds of grants for them? By capacity
building, we mean the capability of doing the assessment of
what the real needs in that watershed are, and then developing
a strategy against that assessment; and then the projects come
forward consistent with that strategy.
There's no question that some of these counties, these lead
entity areas, need that kind of capacity building. And what I
think we will end up doing--I don't know yet because we haven't
really thought about it as a board--is the next grant cycle,
which will end the end of November, will also have in it the
capability of these lead entities making applications for
capacity building as opposed to doing projects just because
they're opportunistic or they happen to cross them.
Mr. Dicks. I strongly recommend that. In going out to these
rural counties, I've seen that they just do not have the
capability that King County has. King County and Ron Sims have
been fantastic in terms of leadership on this issue, as the
whole Tri-County effort has been. But for a lot of these other
counties, we don't have the money.
And so I would hope that we would do that. I think that's
necessary. I think for Eastern Washington for the Senator's
responsibility you're going to need some help too to help bring
I didn't mention in my opening statement, but another
program that we worked with--I see Curt Smitch is here and Jim
Jesernig--is a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. It's
another tool--and you talked about the conservation districts;
that the conservation districts have to get heavily involved in
We've got this 15-year program that the State and the
Department of Agriculture have already agreed to. And I see
that--in terms of those ag lands, pasture lands in the riparian
zone--as a way to be able to compensate people for the land
that they're giving up.
So I urge you all to, in your various capacities, to take a
look at that program. It's coming along. It's taking a little
while to get it started, and there's a lot of suspicion by some
people about the effectiveness of it.
Another thing that needs to be considered in the context of
that is whether the State wants to look at some permanent
easements that could go beyond just the 15 years, if it's
really crucial habitat. That may be something else that we
should look at.
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We have been funding it. We funded in this
realm preservation of habitat in addition to restoration. And,
in fact, in our criteria that we set out, we said we were
tilting toward preservation because in some cases that's the
most crucial thing you can do to preserve salmon.
Under the statute there's no condemnation requirements. A
willing landowner has to be there, and obviously, it has to be
a fair price. So that if we can't get the cooperation of the
landowner, then there's no sale.
But there's still some resistance. There's questions about
the State's ability to manage that land, it takes it off the
tax rolls. What is perceived is interference with property
rights, so that is not something that isn't without
On the other hand, the scientists make it very clear that
preserving the good habitat is the most important single thing
we can do to preserve the fish today. So that if preserving it
entails acquiring land, that seems to us to be a wise thing to
do if it's available.
Mr. Dicks. Right. Jerry.
Mr. Clark. We get funds from a variety of accounts in the
Federal Government. One of the funds that we got money from
this year was the NRCS, National Resource Conservation Service.
We got $3 million of that. One of the things that we made a
priority in the expenditure of those funds are Pacific salmon
So we continue to fund projects for restoration, using all
the tools that we have at our availability, not just the funds
that were provided this year.
Panelist. We're doing those sorts of things as well.
Mr. Dicks. But as we get into this ag, fish and wildlife
negotiation--and I know that's going to be a major one in the
State--as we did with forests and fish, here's another tool--
this Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program that we worked on
with the State and the Federal Government that I hope will be
Mr. Sims. Congressman, I want to go back to an earlier
comment made by Mr. Ruckelshaus.
It's been a lot of discussion about having money for
projects. The technical assistance is critical because it means
that you can determine whether the project's going to work.
So what we worry about on our county side--even though we
don't have a lot of money--people think we do----
Mr. Dicks. Oh, be honest.
Mr. Sims. We're just a poor county needing a lot of Federal
But the work you can do up front with your biologist can
have substantial returns when the project's in place because
you can determine whether that project is going to work. What
we worry about is projects being put in place that have no
scientific basis for it.
Mr. Dicks. So you've got to do the assessment first of the
Mr. Sims. That's correct.
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. Top to bottom, before you start in.
Mr. Sims. And many counties are not resourced to be able to
do that, and they need to be resourced to do that.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Gorton. Well, thank you, each and every one of you,
for your help, Jerry, and for two county executives with a heck
of a challenge in front of them, and Bill, for you wonderful
public service. We really appreciate your service and
appreciate your report.
STATEMENT OF JIM KING, CONSULTANT, PRIVATE AND
MUNICIPAL PLANNING SERVICES
Senator Gorton. Panel 2 will consists of representatives of
Puget Sound and Local Habitat Restoration Efforts.
Panelists on number 2 will please come forward.
Welcome to this very important group, and we will start
with Jim King, who is a consultant from Okanogan.
Mr. King. Thank you and good afternoon. I hope that you
take my criticisms in a positive tone. The 5-minutes allotted
isn't enough to relate the whole events that have occurred in
the Methow Valley since the listing of the upper Columbia
steelhead and chinook salmon as endangered and the bull trout
as threatened. I'll suffice to say, it's been a very hard
period for our community.
The merits of ESA and its application is in need of
thoughtful reconsideration. Today I hope to share some insights
of certain difficulties encountered by those subject to the ESA
when they must interact with, as in our case, three Federal
agencies and a host of State agencies charged or otherwise
connected with administration of the act.
I believe these difficulties arise chiefly from the lack of
early commitment by the agencies in establishing a meaningful,
institutional, financial and regulatory relationships with the
local community that are needed to make ESA requirements
workable and understood. Failure to provide this coordination
has caused harm to the citizens, increased resentment towards
government and yielded little benefit to the listed species.
Further, the lack of coordinated interaction between the
agencies has, more often than not, stifled expeditious
implementation of good solution. Here are some instances to
illustrate the point.
The sanctions of ESA were imposed almost immediately on our
valley with little or no warning. And in 1999, irrigation water
was shut off that was used to grow crops, water homeowners'
yards and gardens and operate businesses.
Threat of curtailment continues for this season for many of
these same users. A lack of time to respond has resulted in
substantial personal hardships and loss of income.
Many of the agencies mandated remedies require immediate
funding for capital improvements, permits, habitat,
conservation plans, studies and the like. What local funds that
were available were far from adequate.
The unanticipated costs often depleted what little funds
local ranchers had. For example, Wolf Creek Reclamation
District, the district I represent, annual operating budget is
approximately $12,000 to $13,000. The district had over the
years accumulated a fund of $40,000 for capital replacement.
In 1999, Wolf Creek raised its assessments by 20 percent to
meet extraordinary costs attributable to ESA. Did not provide
enough revenues, so a loan was taken. The district has now
expended all of their funds and is nearly $60,000 in debt. Even
now, funding programs are not coordinated with needed planning,
permitting or capital budgets.
In 1999, Okanogan County submitted on behalf of the Fish
Enhancement Project and Irrigators an application for State
salmon recovery funds. This application was comprehensive and
coordinated. It had received the required two levels of
technical and policy review at the local level before being
passed to the State.
These same projects had previously been approved and
allotted by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, another
source of funding; yet, at the last instance, the SRF Board
ignored its own process and cut from the application two of the
top four ranking projects.
This not only worked a hardship on those projects, but
eliminated approximately $450,000 worth of funds planned as a
50 percent match for money previously secured from the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Thus, approximately $900,000
worth of improvements are in jeopardy.
When trying to identify appropriate remedial actions, the
community looked at the recovery plans required by ESA to guide
their efforts for the different species. Yet, no recovery plans
for these fish had been developed by the services for our
community. Lacking these, water users were left, in the case of
Section 7 water users, with alleged reasonable and prudent
alternatives as determined solely by the Federal agencies and
as identified in the respected biological opinions.
These in most cases focused on restoration stream flows by
setting up target flow levels that effectively eliminated water
use for most of 1999 growing season and likely will in the
In nearly all cases, these flow levels were best guesses
made without the benefit of good hydrology or fish data. Most
water users, based on history, believe these flows to be
unattainable, even without the effects of irrigation.
Recovery strategies often require a complex and lengthy
permitting review. Timelines for these processes can preclude
early implementation of projects that could provide benefit to
Case on point, Wolf Creek Reclamation District Multi-Year
Fish Enhancement Program contained a project that would provide
immediate benefit to all species within the stream. It calls
for the reconstruction of the district's diversion structure to
allow fish passage even though low flows.
Because this work is within the boundaries of the National
Forest, the project cannot be undertaken until NEPA compliance
is achieved. When asked about this requirement, U.S. Forest
Service officials explained that they are unable to commit
enough manpower to complete the work.
They then proposed a collection agreement, whereby Wolf
Creek would pay $50,000 to complete the work. This requirement
puts the project off at least 2 years, and where will Wolf
Creek gets the $50,000? Currently, and important part, there is
no funding source available for planning or permitting work of
In my 30 years of dealing with agencies while both in the
public and private sectors, I've never seen such muddled
governance. From the beginning and continuing today, we have
found little constructive coordination or consistency between
the three Federal agencies, State agencies and local
communities. Instead there has been a web of contradiction of
policy and process.
There has been finger-pointing and bickering that continues
until today. This behavior has worked against those in the
community. If communities are to continue to be involved in
recovery efforts and mistakes made are avoided, then ESA must
be scrutinized with an eye towards finding ways to ensure an
early and adequate commitment of agency resources to provide a
meaningful local participation, adequate funding and
interagency coordination. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Thank you very much, Jim.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of James D. King
Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before
this committee and to participate in the discussion of a subject of
such importance to my community.
It is not possible in the allotted five-minutes to relate the whole
of events that have occurred in the Methow Valley since the listing of
the Upper Columbia Steelhead, Spring Chinook, and the Bull Trout. It is
not useful in this forum to vent the extreme frustration and anger that
has become evident in our community since those listings. And, it is
not my intention to debate the merits of the BSA or how it has been
applied in our community. Though I hold what I believe to be a well-
founded opinion that the Act should be re-examined by Congress who's
eye should be directed toward developing standards for its application
that more closely reflect science and the community of man.
Instead, I hope to encourage a discussion of certain functional
difficulties encountered by those subject to the Endangered Species Act
when they must interact with, as is our case, three federal agencies
charged or otherwise connected with administration of the Act.\1\ I
believe these difficulties arise chiefly from the lack of early efforts
by the agencies and local community in establishing the institutional,
financial, and regulatory relationships needed to make ESA requirements
workable and understood. There is no doubt failure to provide this
coordination from the onset has caused harm to the citizens, increased
resentment toward the government, and yielded little benefit to the
listed species. Further, the lack of coordinated interaction between
the agencies has often than not, stifled the expedient implementation
of goods solutions. This, even though, Methow citizens have
consistently state: ``Just tell us what to do and if it is reasonable
we will do it.''
\1\ There are more than 50 section 9 (those not having a federal
nexus) and 14 section 7 (those having a federal nexus) irrigation
diversions on water courses in the Methow watershed.
So what went wrong? How did a good law go bad?
Here are the conditions most locals would agree have created the
greatest contention in the community:
1. There has no reasonable time of funds to comply with ESA
requirements. The sanctions of ESA were imposed almost immediately
resulting in curtailment of water use by certain farmers, homeowners,
and businesses having diversions from sites' subject to federal
regulation (section 7) in 1999. Threat of curtailment continues for
this season for several water users. If agencies impose ESA mandates on
rural communities, particularly those which are poor, such as those of
north central Washington. And these mandates require expenditures for
capital improvements, studies, habitat conservation plans and the like,
a focused funding program to implement remedial actions ought to be
established early in the process. In addition, water users should be
given a reasonable time to comply.
2. Remedial and recovery solutions are not clearly stated or
supportable. Most believe ``best available science'' was not used in
support of ESA remedial sanctions. With respect to identification
appropriate remedial actions, the community looked to ESA's required
recovery plans for the different species to guide efforts. Yet no
recovery plans for these fish have yet been adopted at least for our
community. Lacking these we are left, in the case of section 7 water
users, with the Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives as identified in
the Biological Opinions developed by the case of the two agencies. In
the case of the Steelhead and Chinook, the National Marine Fisheries
Service. In the case of bull trout, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The BO's were developed independently without meaningful participation
by section 7 irrigator or in coordination with sister agencies. What
input that was allowed was done after drafts already had been prepared.
This gave little time and no resources to respond to or question the
findings. As a result, the R&P's in each of the two BO's issued
established as the primary remedial action, target flows set at levels
that effectively eliminated water use during most of the 1999 crop
growing season.\2\ In nearly all cases these flow levels were ``best
guesses'' made by the agencies. Not necessarily ``best available
science.'' Most water users thought them to be set quite arbitrary and
largely unattainable even in nature. Target flow required assure
curtailment of diversion in all but the wettest years.
\2\ Most section 7 ditches had water curtailed last year because of
screen or flow conditions. This resulted in economic loss for the
community with no documented benefit to the fishery.
3. Inordinately high costs of compliance. While outside funding,
while recently generous, was not available to from the onset to fix
immediate problems. These unanticipated costs depleted what little
funds were locally available. Wolf Creek Reclamation District annual
operating budget is approximately $12-$13,000. The District had over
the years accumulated a $40,000 fund for capital improvements. In 1999,
Wolf Creek raised its assessment by 20 percent to meet extraordinary
costs attributable to ESA. Even this did not provide enough revenue so
a loan was arranged and the District now has expended all funds
available and is nearly $60,000 in short term debt. Even now, funding
is not necessarily coordinated with permitting, regulatory review
requirement, and the funding strategies needed to achieve maximum
efficiency. The 1999 Salmon Recovery RF Board funding request submitted
by Okanogan County on behalf of several irrigation companies and water
users was modified by the SRF Board at the last instant. This in spite
of the fact that the application reflects the local attempt at
providing a coordinated approach to salmon recovery. An approach judged
competent by two local review committees established for that purpose.
As a consequence, a number of projects that rank extremely high by
local review committee were not funded. This not only work a hardship
on these projects but eliminated approximately $400,000 of funds
planned to match money from the National Wildlife Foundation. Thus
$800,000 of improvements will not occur.
4. Little, if any, meaningful local input into structuring a
comprehensive and workable recovery strategy. A planning group
currently sits with the goal of providing local input into developing
recovery efforts for the watershed. Their efforts to develop workable
approaches with the agencies have not yet borne fruit.
5. Conflicting permitting requirements, agency policy, and lengthy
approval processes.\3\ Meeting ESA mandates often require complex
permitting review. Timelines for these processes often preclude timely
implementation of projects that could provide immediate benefit to
fish. As a case in point, Wolf Creek Reclamation District has
structured a multi-year program of enhancement to their system that
will benefit fish. One element of that plan would provide immediate
benefits to all species within the stream. It called for the
reconstruction of the District's diversion structure in such a way as
to allow fish passage during low flow periods. Because the work was
within the boundaries of the National Forest the project could not be
undertaken until NEPA compliance was achieved. When queried about this
requirement, USFS official explained they were unable to commit enough
man power to complete the work and proposed a collection agreement
whereby WCRD would pay $50,000 to them to complete the work. The
schedule put the project off at least 2 years.
\3\ Permitting review for water related projects associated with
Wolf Creek Reclamation District has involved the following agencies.
Okanegan County Planning Department, Washington State Department of
Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology (up to 3
permits), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, United States Forest Service,
National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
6. Little coordination between agencies at all levels. From the
beginning and continuing until today we have found little constructive
coordination between the three federal agencies, state agencies, and
the local community. In fact there has been open hostility and
bickering between them that continues today. This behavior has worked
against those in the community faced with complying with ESA
\4\ From the beginning and continuing until today, there has been
little constructive coordination between the three federal agencies
involved. Indeed, in some instances there has been manifest hostility
between them. For example, The Okamogan National Forest, serving as
implementers of the ESA mandates by virtue of section 7, sought from
but did not receive timely response from the agencies during
consultation process. The result was a public spectacle between these
agencies lasting months and lack of early warning of ESA consequences
Here are some suggestions that may have helped in the Methow:
1. Establish early communication between the agencies and affected
area that assure local representation.
2. Coordinate and prioritize agency resources to focus the
necessary manpower, technical expertise, and funds to the affected
community throughout the process.
3. Implement a systematic effort to gather or generate best
available science to determine the most appropriate recovery measures.
4. Establishing reasonable time-frames for the remedies be
implemented that take into account determining the best approach,
securing needed funding, and completing permitting time-frames.
5. Provide adequate funds for developing science and implementing
clearly defined remedial measures.
STATEMENT OF PAULA MACKROW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH
OLYMPIC SALMON COALITION
Senator Gorton. Next, Paula Mackrow, the executive director
of the North Olympic Salmon Restoration Lead Entity Group.
Ms. Mackrow. Thank you.
Hello. I'm Paula Mackrow of the North Olympic Salmon
Coalition. We participate in two different lead entities; the
Hood Canal Council and the North Olympic Peninsula Lead entity
I think the mistake points out just one of the layers of
confusion that the multitude of processes puts into the
program, and that you need a score card to keep track.
North Olympic Salmon Coalition is one of 12 regional
fishery enhancement groups in Washington State that are created
by State legislation and have been funded primarily by a
portion of commercial and recreational fishing licenses in the
past few years, by the generous dedication of Federal funds.
And I'd like to thank the Senators and Congressman Dicks for
that Federal dedicated funding.
NOSC, as we're called, has been partnering in project
development and implementation since 1992 in a variety of large
and small watersheds across the North Olympic Peninsula in
Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap Counties. Often the easiest fix
for salmon is to restore coho habitat by replacing culverts and
removing other barriers to passage and repairing buffers and
wetlands. And we've been involved in these activities all
across the peninsula. A more subtle positive impact of these
activities is the benefits to habitat of summer chum in the
near shore and downstream habitats.
Since you can't see the summer chum wiggling out in the
spring and in the fall like you can with the silvers so easily,
it's remarkable to our volunteer workforce to see their visible
success in restoring summer chum to Chimacum creek in the fall
This marks the first return of summer chum spawners from a
7-year collaboration with Department of Fish and Wildlife and
Wild Olympic Salmon in a volunteer broodstock program across
In the light of the ESA listings, I would consider this our
greatest measurable achievement not from the numbers of fish to
count, because that is still very small, but rather from the
impact to the community to make this recovery happen watershed
by watershed in our own backyards, on our own time and with our
So thank you for this opportunity to discuss our local
community-based and volunteer efforts to restore salmon
habitat. Your support of these efforts through Federal funding
directly to the regional fishery enhancement groups have
provided a large measure of success in our efforts and ability
to identify problems, develop and implement habitat restoration
With your help we can continue our role as leaders in the
community-based recovery strategy. And thanks to Senator Murray
and Congressman Metcalf for their efforts on behalf of the
My first specific point, again, is to mention how important
dedicated funding is. It produces community-based salmon
restoration, education, landowner outreach and cooperative
ventures locally and efficiently.
Those who know the watersheds have a record of finding
problems, identifying the solutions, developing the projects
and creating the design and implementation partnerships
necessary to recover salmon habitat watershed by watershed.
Our early opportunistic work has encouraged new
partnerships, and over the years our experience has led us into
strategic approach in many of these watersheds.
Second, summer chum, I'd like to note, has been described
as an ``edge species.'' They come in early when the stream
flows are low, so upstream impairments have a significant
impact, the temperature and other water quality factors and the
water necessary just for passage and spawning.
The Olympic Peninsula summer runs are historically small
but provide a component of genetic diversity that hold some
secrets to the incredible ability of salmonids to respond to
changes in the environment over time. Unfortunately, over the
past 150 years these changes have come too fast and from too
Chinook and summer chum are indicators of the health of the
Puget Sound ecosystem, and that reflects those incredible
changes in the Puget Sound area.
So third, nearshore restoration opportunities are not as
obvious and are limited by the incredible extent of shoreline
hardening in the summer chum ESU at this time. Both simple and
expensive fixes are identified in Hood Canal along the Olympic
Coast and in the extensive nearshore habitat of Island County
which they call the bed and breakfast of Puget Sound for
chinook and summer chum. Both species depend on estuary and
nearshore for feeding and shelter much longer than was
And fourth, I'd like to once again comment that the
proposed 4(d) limitations don't include adequate provisions for
us to continue our plan and funded projects without funding the
NMFS consultation backlog on restoration work itself.
The consultation requirements should be geared towards
those activities that harm, rather than foster, ESA recovery.
We need to be able to continue to work from our priority list
without unnecessarily duplicative scrutiny. These lists from my
experience have been well documented and have received several
levels of technical review.
I guess in closing I'd like to note that the concept of
watershed conservation action plans is very welcome and NOSC
hopes to be proactive and participate with our numerous project
partners and lead entities to initiate development of these
watershed plans for State and NMFS approval within the 2-year
As been noted, community-based restoration planning is
often the last thing that funds are available for, and they do
tend to be highly competitive among agencies; and the
nonprofits would like to take a leading role in that planning
Dedicated funding helps us build these knowledge basis and
provide the information to the eager and sometimes bewildered
communities we work with. People want to do the right thing,
especially if a pack is carefully laid out.
Please make it easy for us in the home streams to do the
right thing. Dedicated funding helps us be in the right place
at the right time to meet the spiraling challenge of multi-
species recovery in our diverse ecosystem.
Thank you for your time and consideration and our
communities are ready to serve in the recovery effort. We hope
you will continue to work with organizations like ours
throughout Washington and Oregon.
Senator Gorton. Thank you. And I will say to you, and to
each of you, your full written statement--your more detailed
statement--will be included in the record.
But before we go on to Peter Heidi, what is nearshore
Ms. Mackrow. Nearshore hardening is the bulkheading and
rip-rapping that some of the county agencies are in a hurry to
expedite, they're permitting for. It is one of the most
destructive things for chinook and summer chum habitat.
Nearshore beaches with specific sand sizes are required for
spawning for sand lands and surf smelt, and it is the area
where eel grass beds are most likely to be impacted by
increased wave refraction.
Senator Gorton. Thank you very much.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Paula Mackrow
Hello, I'm Paula Mackrow, executive director of the North Olympic
Salmon Coalition, one of twelve regional fisheries enhancement groups
in Washington State. NOSC, as we are called, has been partnering in
project development and implementation since 1992 in a variety of large
and small watersheds across the North Olympic Peninsula in Jefferson,
Clallam and Kitsap Counties. In this area the easiest fix for salmon is
to restore coho (silver) salmon habitat by replacing culverts, removing
other barriers to passage and restoring riparian buffers and wetlands
that we have been involved in across the area.
More subtle is the positive impact these activities have on the
downstream and nearshore habitat of summer chum. What is more
remarkable then to the volunteer workforce is our visible success in
restoring summer chum to Chimacum creek in the fall of 1999. This marks
the first return of spawners from a 7-year collaboration with WDFW and
Wild Olympic Salmon in a volunteer broodstock program in two
In light of the ESA listings, I would consider this our greatest
measurable achievement. Not from the numbers of fish to count for that
is still very small, But rather from the impact to the community to
make this recovery happen watershed by watershed, in our own backyards,
on our own time, with our own hands.
Thank you for this opportunity to discuss our local community based
and volunteer efforts to restore salmon habitat. Thank you to Senator
Gorton and Congressman Dicks. Your support of these efforts through
Federal funding directly to the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups
has provided a large measure of success in our efforts and ability to
identify problems and develop and implement habitat restoration
projects. With your help we can continue our role as leaders in the
community-based recovery strategy. And thanks to Senator Murray and
Congressman Metcalf for efforts on behalf of the Northwest Straits.
1. Dedicated funding produces community based salmon restoration,
education, landowner out reach cooperative ventures locally and
efficiently. Those who know the watersheds have a record of finding
problem areas, identifying solutions, developing projects and creating
the design and implementation partnerships necessary to recover salmon
habitat watershed by watershed.
2. Summer chum has been described as an ``edge species''. They come
in early when stream flows are low so upstream impairments have a
significant impact. The Olympic Peninsula summer runs are historically
small but provide a component of genetic diversity that holds some
secrets to the incredible ability of salmonids to respond to changes in
the environment overtime. However over the past 150 years, the changes
have come too fast and from too many directions.
3. Nearshore restoration opportunities are not as obvious and are
limited by the incredible extent of shoreline hardening in the Summer
Chum ESU being at this time. Both simple and expensive fixes are
identified in Hood Canal along the Olympic Coast and the extensive
nearshore habitat of Island County, ``the bed and breakfast of Puget
Sound'' for chinook and summer chum.
4. Proposed 4(d) limitations don't include adequate provisions for
us to continue our planned and funded projects without facing the NMFS
consultation backlog. The consultation requirements should be geared
toward those activities that harm rather than foster ESA recovery. We
need to be able to continue to work from our priority lists without
unnecessarily duplicative scrutiny.
Salmon need cool, clean water. We are ready to move on to change
our collective and pervasive behaviors to ensure cool clean water.
1. Dedicated funding, produces community based salmon restoration,
education, landowner out reach cooperative ventures locally and
efficiently. The Federal dedication to RFEGs has allowed us to provide
a consistent source of funds to a variety of partners with conservation
districts, tribes, WDFW and non profits such as land trusts and
--Those who know the watersheds have a record of finding problem
areas, identifying solutions, developing projects and creating
the design and implementation partnerships necessary to recover
salmon habitat watershed by watershed.
--We are building local project lists and need help in defining the
critical pathway on each watershed, across basins and within
the regional context. These are time consuming collaborations
that are best served when an adequate knowledge base is
--Monitoring and planning are key to the adaptive management approach
to recovery. Volunteers are most effective when the
requirements are clear and the tasks well defined so strategic
planning is essential.
--Expediency is hampered as program funding changes from year to year
and match and project criteria fluctuate wildly.
--For the folks on the Olympic peninsula, administrative overhead
entailed in grant competition and match documentation is a
burden on small entities with limited budgets. With minimal
overhead and efficient use of staff and volunteers, only 10
percent of our total funding is used for administration and
--For future program consideration I'd like to comment on the match
restrictions. Restrictions on building funding matches between
intra-government programs tend to limit interagency cooperation
in the new funding landscape.
--On both the State and Federal level, intra-agency matches help
incorporate the habitat recovery ethic into the collective
workplan and fosters communication efforts between all
agencies: from, transportation and agriculture, to education,
juvenile justice programs and out to our partners in the armed
forces. Local participation includes the Navy resource managers
and of course the Army through the Corps of Engineers.
--Example: If Federal $$ to the SRFB cannot be matched with other
SRFB program $$ we have lost a chance to build a partnership.
2. Summer chum has been described as an ``edge species''. They come
in early when stream flows are low so upstream impairments have a
--The Olympic Peninsula summer runs are historically small especially
compared to Alaskan dog runs but they provide a component of
genetic diversity that holds some secret to the incredible
ability of salmonids to respond to changes in the environment
overtime. However over the past 150 years, the changes have
come too fast and from to many directions.
--Our focus for restoration is often in the summer chum streams of
East Jefferson and Clallam Counties on the Olympic Peninsula,
and includes portions of Kitsap and Island Counties. We are
interested in using construction money to continue our low
gradient pasture reclamation projects as well as address the
multitude of barriers to passage in coho and cutthroat
--Our projects are largely channel reconfiguration projects in low
gradient areas of floodplain farmland that has been ditched and
channelized for decades. The weed choked areas of wetland often
result in low dissolved oxygen readings and other impacts to
--Local Landowners are currently stepping up to allow restoration of
these stream channels and providing their crop and pasture land
for riparian buffer creation. Unless there is a formal easement
granted (more hoops to jump through) the land is not counted as
match even with a ten to year landowner agreement.
--The benefits of these projects to water quality, floodplain
function restoration, and riparian vegetation replacement are
extensive. Post-construction water quality monitoring and fish
use surveys need continued and expanded financial support to
document beneficial outcomes to you and to our communities.
3. The nearshore and estuarine environments are new focus for our
communities' restoration efforts. Salmon need more than rivers can
--Loss of estuarine function is of particular importance as factors
for decline of summer chum and chinook in Puget Sound. These
species spend considerable amount of their juvenile life stage
at the interface between freshwater and marine waters where
food and protective cover are prevalent.
--The nearshore coastline is also critical for food and shelter for
these juvenile salmonids. It is the highway for the migration
of both species between the estuaries and before and during the
out migration to the sea. These areas provide the spawning
grounds for the sandlance and surf smelt, vital as food sources
in the complicated food chain of Puget Sound. Hence the
reference to Island County as the ``Bed and Breakfast'' for
--Nearshore restoration opportunities are not as obvious and are
limited by the incredible extent of shoreline hardening in the
Summer Chum ESU being at this time. Both simple and expensive
fixes are identified in Hood Canal along the Olympic Coast and
the extensive nearshore habitat of Island County, ``the bed and
breakfast of Puget Sound'' for chinook and summer chum.
4. ``50 CFR Part 223 Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed
Rule Governing Take of Seven Threatened Evolutionarily Significant
Units (ESUs); Proposed Rule.'' Proposed 4(d) rule ``50 CFR Part 223
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Rule Governing Take of
Seven Threatened Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs); Proposed
Rule'' has significant impact on our low gradient farmland channel
--Projects reviewed through the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and
the RFEG Citizens advisory board Regional fisheries, includes
multiparty, multi-agency and tribal review.
--Projects are subject to State permitting agencies and a local
streamlined review process that addresses the concerns of all
--Duplication of these efforts with a NMFS consultation is
unnecessary. It puts stress on the ability of NMFS to provide
adequate and timely consultation on larger private and
municipal projects. Those consultation requirements are geared
toward those activities that harm rather than foster ESA
recovery. We need to continue our work from our priority lists
without unnecessary additional and duplicative scrutiny.
--The conditions of habitat restoration construction projects and
channel alterations requiring project by project review is
onerous in that techniques used in those activities are also
used in culvert replacement operations. These culvert
activities are included in the limitations to take provisions
in the proposed 4(d) while our channel alterations are not.
--We see this as an unintended consequence of the rule making
process. While supporting the concepts contained in the 4(d)
rule, it seems unnecessary to cause a pause in our forward
looking, community based, technically sound project planning
and implementation. The rules are meant to address the excesses
of other elements of the economy and the 150 years of impacts
to the viability of salmonid productivity in our watersheds.
The concept of watershed conservation/action plans is very welcome
and NOSC hopes to be proactive and participate with our numerous
project partners to initiate development of these watershed plans for
State and NMFS approval within the 2 year time frame.
Unfortunately, community based restoration planning is the last
thing funds are available for. Where available, they are the most
competitive. Dedicated funding helps us build these knowledge bases and
provide the information to the eager and sometimes bewildered
communities. People want to do the right thing especially if the path
is carefully laid out.
Please make it easy for us in the home streams to do the right
thing. Dedicated funding helps us be in the right place at the right
time to meet the spiraling challenge of multispecies recovery in our
Thank you for you time and consideration. Our communities are ready
to serve in the recovery effort. We hope you will continue to encourage
work like ours throughout Washington and Oregon with dedicated Federal
STATEMENT OF PETER HEIDE, DIRECTOR, FOREST MANAGEMENT,
WASHINGTON FOREST PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
Senator Gorton. Peter Heide of the Washington Forest
Protection Association. Welcome.
Mr. Heide. Thank you, Senator for inviting me here today.
Washington Forest Protection Association represents private
landowners of over 4 million acres of forest land in the State.
Our members have been actively pursuing solutions to challenges
of forest management and public resource protection since the
1987 Timber Fish Wildlife agreement.
Building on that foundation, in 1997, we engaged with State
and Federal agencies, tribes and others to address ESA concerns
over salmon, steelhead bull trout and water quality issues.
The results of this positive step was a Forest and Fish
agreement. It's a comprehensive system of regulation, voluntary
actions, funding and adaptive management to address fish
habitat and water quality issues on the managed forest lands in
the State of Washington. This is the first agreement of its
kind that is seeking both ESA and Clean Water Act compliance.
I'm here to report to you today that the Forest and Fish
agreement is up and running. The Washington State legislature
and Governor Locke have both endorsed the agreement, and it's
been placed in the draft--or recognized in the draft 4(d) rule
issued by National Marine Fisheries Service.
The first tangible results of this 3 years of work,
including 18 months of hard negotiations, is a set of interim
forest practices rules, passed by the State's Forest Practices
Board and put into effect by March 20.
The rules are the first step in a regulatory system of
putting the Forest and Fish agreement to work for greater
protection of fish habitat and water quality on over 8 million
acres of forest lands and the State.
The Forest and Fish agreement is more than just
recommendations for a new set of rules. The authors of the
agreement recognized that current scientific knowledge falls
short of providing the definitive answers to all of the
questions that around forest practices and fish habitat.
Our industry, along with other participants, has a renewed
commitment to use scientific methods and a structured policy
approach to resolve these uncertainties and adapt forest
management and regulation to new knowledge as it becomes
Adaptive management is learning by doing. It's essentially
a combination of feedback on how well the current rules are
doing and new information that may come from any source. The
challenges we face with forest and fish is to put together a
structure of adaptive management that can efficiently monitor
field implementation of the rules and conduct scientific
research and process this information for changes where they're
This system must operate in a collaborative atmosphere that
includes not only the participants of the Forest and Fish
agreement but other stakeholders if they choose to join in. To
further complicate the mission, scientists and policymakers are
forced to work under the same roof, respecting each other's
responsibilities but ultimately accepting the realities and
limitations of both disciplines.
To overcome this, the scientists must take a disciplined
approach that follow scientific method and statistical
protocols. Policymakers must have confidence in and respect the
values of the technical information.
In the ideal adaptive management world, the monitoring of
results and the best available science would lead to a
consensus recommendation to the rulemakers and to the managers
that are responsible for putting the science to work on the
To give you an idea of the scope of the challenges that
face the Forest and fish agreement, it contains more than 50
questions that should be answered by scientific investigation
to ensure the Federal and State regulators that substantial
progress is being made toward the goals of the agreement.
The questions fall into three categories. Monitoring, to
find out if the rules will get us the fish habitat we think the
fish need; validation of our scientific assumptions about what
we think the fish need; and building on the basic science of
how streams, fish and forests work in an ecosystem.
In a very brief summary, here's how the Forest and Fish
adaptive management program will be implemented.
The public agency that writes the forest practices rules,
the State Forest Practices Board, they're in charge. A work
team made up of stakeholder scientists will follow the research
priority set by the board and gets the monitoring and
scientific study work done.
There's a stakeholders group that's responsible for
reviewing the results of the monitoring and scientific study
and making recommendations to the board. There's an independent
scientific review panel to peer review the work of the
stakeholder scientists. And there are management functions to
keep everything running and to ensure that the board receives
timely and accurate communications about the progress of the
Because it has to work in a collaborative atmosphere, the
Forest and Fish agreement addresses this challenge with an
organization that demands participation and requires a great
deal of personnel time from Federal and State agencies,
landowners, tribes and others who wish to participate.
Each prioritization, each study plan, each research result
and each decision must be communicated, discussed and decided
on among the parties. That means that people from each
stakeholder group have to be available to work with the
scientific and policy teams. A commitment of personnel and
agency support specific to these tasks and needs, and, of
course, the funding of these agencies and the tribes to meet
their commitment is required.
We'd like to thank you, Senator Gorton and Senator Murray
and Representative Norm Dicks, for the substantial funding
appropriation to our State and the tribes, and we hope this
level of funding can continue in the future.
Forest and Fish is working, and with adaptive management
we'll continue to work. The alternative is to demand less
information and to make decisions without adequate knowledge.
And, of course, if we do that, ultimately the questions will
remain and the conflicts will not be settled. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Peter Heide
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today. My name is
Peter Heide. I am the Director of Forest Management for the Washington
Forest Protection Association. We represent the private owners of over
4 million acres of forestland in Washington. Our members have been
actively pursuing solutions to the challenges of forest management and
public resource protection since the 1987 Timber Fish Wildlife
agreement. Building on that foundation, in 1997 we engaged with State
and Federal agencies, Tribes and others to address ESA concerns over
salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and water quality. The result of this
positive step was the Forests and Fish agreement--a comprehensive
system of regulations, voluntary actions, funding and adaptive
management to address fish habitat and water quality issues in the
managed forests in the State of Washington. This is the first agreement
of its kind in the Nation to seek both ESA and Clean Water Act
I am here to report to you that the Forests and Fish agreement is
up and running. The Washington State Legislature and Governor have
endorsed the agreement. It has been recognized in Draft 4(d) rules
issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The first tangible result of 3 years of work including eighteen
months of hard negotiations is a set of interim forest practices rules
passed by the state's Forest Practices Board and put into effect on
March 20. The rules are the first regulatory step in putting Forests
and Fish to work for greater protection of fish habitat and water
quality on over 8 million acres of private and state managed forestland
in our state. A draft environmental impact statement for changes to
permanent state forest practices rules is currently undergoing public
The Forests and Fish agreement is more than just recommendations on
a set of new regulations. The authors of the agreement recognized that
current scientific knowledge falls short of providing definitive
answers to all of the questions around forest practices and fish
habitat. Our industry, along with the other participants, have a
renewed commitment to use scientific methods and a structured policy
approach to resolve these uncertainties and adapt forest management and
forest practices regulation to new knowledge as it becomes available.
Adaptive management of learning by doing is fundamental to the
agreement. It is essentially a combination of feedback on how well
practices are doing in real-life application and new information from
all sources to improve practices. The challenge we face in Forests and
Fish is to structure an adaptive management system that can efficiently
monitor field implementation of the rules, conduct scientific research
and process this information for changes where necessary.
This system must operate in a collaborative atmosphere that
includes not only the participants in the Forests and Fish agreement,
but other stakeholders if they choose to join in. To further complicate
the mission, scientists and policy makers are forced to work under the
same ``roof'', respecting each other's responsibilities, but ultimately
accepting the realities and limitations of both disciplines. To
overcome this, scientists must be encouraged to direct their efforts to
the specific questions that are needed to make decisions and to focus
on generating useful information. Policy makers must have confidence in
and respect the value of technical information. To maintain
credibility, scientists must take a disciplined approach that follows
scientific methods and statistical protocols.
In the ideal adaptive management world, monitoring results and best
available science would result in consensus recommendations to the rule
makers and the managers responsible for putting the rules and the
science to work on the ground.
To give you an idea of the scope of this challenge, the Forests and
Fish agreement contains more than 50 questions that should be addressed
by scientific investigation to assure Federal and State regulators that
substantial progress will be made toward the goals of the agreement.
These questions fall into three categories:
--Monitoring to find out if the rules will get us the habitat we
think the fish need.
--Validating our scientific assumptions about what we think fish
--Building on the basic science of how streams, fish and forests work
as an ecosystem.
In a very brief summary, here is how the Forests and Fish adaptive
management program will be implemented. The public agency that writes
forest practices rules, the Forest Practices Board, is in charge. A
work team made up of stakeholder scientists follows research priorities
set by the Board and gets the monitoring and scientific study work
done. A stakeholder policy group is responsible for reviewing the
results of monitoring and scientific study and making recommendation to
the Board. There is an independent scientific review panel to peer
review the work of the stakeholder scientists. And, there are
management functions to keep everything running and to ensure that the
Board is receiving timely and accurate communication about the progress
Because it has to work in a collaborative atmosphere, the Forests
and Fish agreement addresses this challenge with an organization that
demands participation and requires a great deal of personnel time from
Federal and State agencies, landowners, Tribes and others who wish to
participate. Each prioritization, each study plan, each research result
and each decision must be communicated, discussed and decided upon
among all parties. That means that people from each stakeholder group
have to be available to work on the scientific and policy teams. A
commitment of personnel and agency support specific to these tasks is
needed, and of course, this means funding the agencies and tribes to
meet the commitment. We would like to thank Senator Gorton and Congress
for the substantial funding appropriation to our State and to the
Tribes, and we hope that this level of funding can be maintained in the
Forests and Fish is working and with adaptive management, will
continue to work. The alternative is to demand less information and to
force decisions without adequate knowledge, but ultimately the
questions would remain and the conflict would not be settled.
STATEMENT OF JACK KAEDING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FISH FIRST
Senator Gorton. Next, Mr. Jack Kaeding of Fish First from
Mr. Kaeding. Thank you Senator Gorton, Senator Murray and
My name is Jack Kaeding. I'm an executive director of Fish
First. Our organization is a 501(c)(3) corporation founded by
Gary Loomis in 1995. Our mission statement is ``More and Better
Wish in the Lewis River.'' We are 100 percent volunteers. We
pay no one who works for Fish First.
From 1997 through 1999, we have completed 12 major projects
that totaled over $640,000 with a true market value of over $1
million. The difference is, of course, the volunteer effort.
From 1996 to 2000 we released through our net pens over
900,000 steelhead and spring chinook smolts. We have three
major projects for the Year 2000 that are funded by the Lower
Columbia Fish Recovery Board along with our dollar-matching
Now we find ourselves stopped in our tracks because the
National Marine Fisheries Services', or NMFS, interpretation of
the Endangered Species Act, which requires us to do a
biological assessment on each project. We're told that this is
an 18-month to 2-year process.
Two areas under that. First, the Endangered Species
legislation itself, while well intended, has flaws in it that
are subject to wide interpretation by NMFS. It is designed as a
defensive legislation, i.e., do no harm. NMFS is interpreting
it in that manner, and their interpretation means that we
cannot do good either or at least we'll have substantial
Second. In 1999, we avoided this problem by working under
the umbrella of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They
developed a programmatic which met all the criteria of the BA,
and as long as they funded helped design and engineer the
projects, we were exempt. So we got a lot of work done.
Does more money equate to better results for fish? Well, it
certainly should, but it doesn't always turn out that way.
The 15-member Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board was
created for five counties in southwest Washington. There are
five county commissioners that sit on the board, along with
their individually appointed ``citizens' representative.'' This
two-thirds structure may be weighted to the county sentiments
because they represent two-thirds of the members of the board.
The board received 24 requests, submitted 24 prioritized,
and the Salmon Funding Recovery Board approved 9. Eight of the
nine projects require a BA that could be an 18- to 24-month
delay. Volunteer groups like Fish First are cut off from doing
good that directly benefits fish. We're the most cost
effective, and we do the best work because we care, and we
urgently need your help.
The five counties involved have the paid staff to do the
BAs for their projects. If they get the money, it will go for
culvert removal, which is really the responsibility of the
Department of Transportation--should be funding culvert
removal. Roads cause the culvert blockages to begin with, and
anyone who drives a vehicle should pay to fix it. We should not
be using fish recovery funds to remove or modify culverts in
What causes these problems? There are too many agencies
involved in bringing back the salmon. There's a lack of
interagency cooperation and communication, and that is because
no single agency is in charge. This is proven by the fact that
we have funded projects but no BAs. This should have been
foreseen by a lead agency that coordinates and directs all the
salmon recovery programs.
There are other monumental problems.
1. Lack of interest and response and enforcement on behalf
of the agencies that are suppose to protect fish that are
covered in existing laws, specifically the EPA, the DOE and
2. Gravel mining and processing laws enacted in 1872 are
obsolete. Mining and processing in valley floors of streams or
tributaries containing anadromous fish should be illegal. We're
not opposed to mining, and there are optional inventories of
gravel in other locations that can be mined and processed
without negative impact to fish by using new technology.
3. Regulations or legislation is needed to prohibit
grandfathering of existing uses that degrade fish habitat.
4. NMFS and the Federal Emergency Management Act have
secret meetings with gravel mining proponents that are closed
to the public and documents withheld that should be public
record under the Freedom of Information Act.
5. Current fish biologists and fish management practices
need new direction and focus on best science for fish rather
than current focus on harvest.
NMFS must be directed immediately to a broader common-sense
interpretation of the ESA. For example, a 5-percent negative to
fish during a short window of construction time can result in a
95 percent or better gain to the fish habitat over the long
haul or the term of the project. The construction window is not
a 12-month calendar. It runs from approximately June 1 through
September 15. We're out of the water when the first return to
Fish First has a clear focus to help return salmon and
steelhead to near historical levels in quality and quantity. We
know there are better proven methods than our hatcheries
employ, and they can be accomplished with far less revenue.
That concludes my written comments. But I would like to say
that the interagencies for outdoor recreation who have
constructed the landowner agreements that go along with these
funds and the contract that a nonprofit must sign, was
obviously written by an attorney who had the sole interest of
protecting the agency and no interest in protecting the people
who are doing the work.
I don't know how firm that contract is or how it will be
interpreted, but we are required to by industrial insurance
that we can't afford, and we think the contract is far too
restrictive. It may apply at the county level, but it cannot
apply, in our opinion, at a nonprofit level because we simply
don't have the funds. And if we did, we would rather spend it
on fish than spend it on insurance. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Jack Kaeding
FISH FIRST is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in June
1995 by Gary Loomis, founder of G. Loomis Inc. Our mission statement is
``More and Better Fish in the Lewis River With No Politics'' (referring
to harvest issues).
From 1997 through 1999, we have completed 12 major projects that
total over $640,000 with a true market value of over $1,000,000. From
1996 through 2000 we've released through our net pens 906,450 steelhead
and spring chinook smolts. We have three major projects for year 2000
that are funded by the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (LCFRB),
along with our dollar matching requirements. Now we find ourselves
stopped in our tracks because of National Marine Fisheries Services'
(NMFS) interpretation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which
requires us to do a Biological Assessment (BA) on each project. This we
are told takes from eighteen months to 2 years to complete.
1. The ESA legislation itself, while well intended, has parts in it
that are flawed and subject to wide interpretation by NMFS. It is
designed as a defensive legislation; i.e. ``do no harm''. NMFS is
interpreting it in that manner and their interpretation means we cannot
do good either.
2. In 1999 we avoided this problem by working under the umbrella of
USFW. They developed a ``programmatic BA'' at considerable expense to
the taxpayers that covered the BA requirements with NMFS so the
projects they funded and designed met the BA specifications.
Does more money equate to better results for fish? It should, but
not the way it is structured now.
The fifteen-member LCFRB was created for five counties in southwest
Washington. There are five county commissioners that sit on the board
along with their individually appointed ``citizen representative''.
This \2/3\ structure may weight the board to be more oriented to county
The board received 24 requests, submitted 24 prioritized, the
Salmon Funding Recovery Board (SFRB) approved nine, and eight of the
projects require a BA, which delays the projects from eighteen to 24
Volunteer groups like FISH FIRST are cut off from doing good that
directly benefit fish. We are the most cost effective and we do the
best work because we care, but we urgently need your help.
The five counties involved have the paid staff to do the BA's for
their projects. If they get the money, it will go for culvert removal,
which is really what the Department of Transportation (DOT) should be
funding any way. Roads caused the culvert blockages and anyone who
drives a vehicle should pay to fix it. We should not be using fish
restoration money to remove or modify culverts.
What causes these problems? There are too many agencies involved in
bringing back the salmon. There is a lack of inter-agency cooperation
and communication and that is because no single agency is in charge.
This is proven by the fact that we have funded projects but no BA's.
This should have been foreseen by a lead agency that coordinates and
directs all of the salmon recovery programs.
There are other monumental problems.
1. Lack of interest, response and enforcement on behalf of the
agencies that are supposed to protect fish that are covered in existing
laws. Specifically EPA, DOE and NMFS.
2. Gravel mining and processing laws enacted in 1872 are obsolete.
Mining and processing in valley floors of streams or tributaries
containing andromonous fish should be illegal. We are not opposed to
mining and there are optional inventories of quality gravel in other
locations that can be mined and processed without negative impacts to
fish by using new technology.
3. Regulations or legislation is needed to prohibit grandfathering
of existing uses that degrade fish habitat.
4. NMFS and Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) secret meetings
with gravel mining proponents that are closed to the public, and
documents withheld that should be public record under the current
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
5. Current fish biologists and fish management practices need new
direction and focus on best science for fish rather than current focus
NMFS must be directed immediately to a broader common sense
interpretation of the ESA. For example, a 5 percent negative to fish
during a short window of construction time cane result in a 95 percent
or better gain to fish habitat over the long term of a positive
project. The construction window is not a twelve-month calendar. It
runs from approximately June 1 through September 15. We are out of the
water when the fish return to spawn.
FISH FIRST has a clear focus to help return salmon and steelhead to
near historical levels in quality and quantity. We know there are
better proven methods than our hatcheries employ and they could be
accomplished with far less revenue.
STATEMENT OF JOAN BURLINGAME, COORDINATOR, FRIENDS OF
ROCK CREEK VALLEY
Senator Gorton. Joan Burlingame, from the Friends of Rock
Creek Valley and Ravensdale.
Ms. Burlingame. My name is Joan Burlingame, and I'm
representing the friends of Rock Creek Valley. The Friends of
Rock Creek Valley is a newly formed community group whose
purpose is to keep Rock Creek Valley a healthy place where
people fish and other species to live.
The Rock Creek Valley is located in southeastern King
County. Directly east of the city is Maple Valley and Black
Diamond. The valley is approximately 24 square miles in size
and contains two salmon-bearing creeks, Rock Creek, which
drains into the Cedar River and Ravensdale Creek which drains
into the Green River.
The Rock Creek Valley also is five lakes, has forests
covered greater than 65 percent, and in my estimation has
approximately 500 homes. Currently, there are only 300 acres
preserved as watershed in the entire valley. The Rock Creek
Valley provides an average of 10 million gallons a day of
drinking water for the cities of Kent, Maple Valley and
Covington. It also provides spawning and rearing habitat for
species of fish and freshwater mussels.
The Friends of Rock Creek Valley that one of the primary
challenges the residents of Washington State face is not just
the threat to chinook and other species, but the challenge of
helping each resident realize that change is needed for our
health as well as the health of fish.
We see three primary challenges in addressing threatened
species within King County; people's resistance to change,
government systems that have major disconnects when it comes to
protecting habitat and the need for funding.
First and foremost, people resist change; change is
uncomfortable. So as we work toward bringing back Chinook, the
friends of Rock Creek Valley have tried to stick to simple,
clear messages on how change may actually enhance people's
An example is a strong likelihood that our private wells
would be metered. Too much water is being drawn from our
aquifer and streams. Not only are chinook having trouble
getting back upstream because the water is too low, but many of
us are experiencing days that our wells are dry. Why most of us
abhor the idea of monitoring, it will help ensure that each of
us is taking only our fair share, thus providing us with more
certainty of water in the future.
We listen as our neighbors threaten to bring out their
rifles if anyone tries to monitor their well. And I personally
think they're very serious. After we listen to them express
their concerns over these changes and loss of what they
perceived as a right, we then ask them how they would help
solve the problem of too much water being drawn down. Not
everybody comes down when they are presented with a request to
be part of the solution, but slowly one by one people begin to
work with us instead of against us.
We also don't pussy foot around the fact that these changes
will cost us money. We are up front and truthful about the
cost. Building long-term trust is critical to the long-term
Allowing people to realize that they need to start
adjusting their family budgets, and giving them time to do so,
helps decrease reactivity and opposition. We believe that this
will help increase the likelihood that we can bring chinook
Second, our State, county, and other local governments seem
to have significant communication problems. An example is that,
while King County's Department of Water and Land Resources
identifies Rock Creek as being the best salmon tributary in
King County when they did that in 1994, in 1997, the Department
of Development and Environmental Services, which is King
County's building department, was not even aware of where Rock
Creek was and accepted a building permit for a 57-home
subdivision placed right on top of the creek.
Another example is that King County has one set of stewards
for waterways and another for lakes. These staff do not seem to
communicate very often, even though the rivers are obviously
connected to the lakes.
The Friends of Rock Creek Valley believe that by
encouraging communication and team work, we have a greater
likelihood of bringing back chinook. And example is trail ride
we coordinated last January. To increase shared knowledge about
the challenges we are facing to preserve King County's critical
habitat, we've brought together diverse groups.
We took almost a third of the King County Council,
department heads and other key people on a 6-mile horse ride
through Rock Creek Valley. It rained an inch, by the way,
during that time.
The Back Country Horsemen provided 30 horses that were
basically bond-proof horses for the nonriders.
Environmentalists provided information about the habitat. A
logging company provided the meeting place, and developers paid
for the catered breakfast and lunch. The Friends of Rock Creek
Valley are continually reaching out to bring diverse groups
together so we can problem solve together.
The last challenge we have is funding. The acquisition of
land and water rights do not come easily, especially in an
economy driven by high-tech dollars. The Friends of Rock Creek
Valley are working for a long term solution to habitat
preservation by developing business opportunities and
maintenance and operation funding sources to ensure long-term
viability. We've proposed, and King County has accepted, the
development of the trail system rivaling the Appalachian Trail.
In addition to supporting the development of eco-tourism,
we are working with King County to develop a foundation within
the county to accept money for land acquisition and
maintenance. But we are still in need of about $5 million right
now to keep key habitats from becoming subdivisions. And that's
not necessarily for outright purchase. We leverage that money
with transfer development rights.
The runoff from one acre of forest during a 1-inch rain
storm would fill an 810 to a depth of about 2 feet,
pave or create other impervious surfaces over the acre, and
runoff would fill six offices floor to ceiling. The fast runoff
of water during our winter rains leaves too little water for
chinook later in the fall when they come up to spawn.
The Friends of Rock Creek Valley have had some success
locally in acquisition of habitat that needs little or no
restoration, but quite frankly, we have not had as good
progress in this area as we've had in others.
We feel like we've already come a long way in the
protection of chinook in our valley and look forward to the
challenges to complete our tasks. Thank you for letting me
Senator Gorton. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Joan Burlingame
My name is Joan Burlingame and I am representing the Friends of
Rock Creek Valley. The Friends of Rock Creek Valley is a newly formed
community group whose purpose is to help keep the Rock Creek Valley a
healthy place for people, fish and other species to live.
The Rock Creek Valley is located in southeastern King County
directly east of the cities of Maple Valley and Black Diamond. The
valley is approximately 24 square miles in size and contains two salmon
bearing creeks: Rock Creek which drains into the Cedar River and
Ravensdale Creek which drains into the Green River. The Rock Creek
Valley also has five lakes, has forest cover greater than 65 percent
and, in my estimation, has approximately 500 homes. Currently there are
only 300 acres preserved as watershed in the entire valley. Rock Creek
Valley provides an average of 10 million gallons a day of drinking
water for the cities of Kent, Maple Valley and Covington. It also
provides spawning and rearing habitat for many species of fish and
fresh water mussels.
The Friends of Rock Creek Valley feel that one of the primary
challenges that the residents of Washington State face is not just the
threat to Chinook and other species, but the challenge of helping each
resident realize that change is needed for our health as well as for
We see three primary challenges in addressing threatened species
within King County:
--People's resistance to change,
--Governmental systems that have major disconnects when it comes to
preserving habitat, and
--The need for funding.
First and foremost, people resist change. Change is uncomfortable.
So as we work toward bringing back chinook, the Friends of Rock Creek
have tried to stick to simple, clear messages on how change may
actually enhance people's lives. An example is the strong likelihood
that our personal wells will be metered. Too much water is being drawn
from our aquifer and streams. Not only are chinook having trouble
getting back up stream because the water level is too low, but many of
us are experiencing days that our wells go dry. While most of us abhor
the idea of monitoring, it will help ensure that each of us is taking
only our fair share, thus providing us with more certainty of water in
the future. We listen as our neighbors threaten to bring out their
rifles if anyone one tries to monitor their well. After we listen to
them express their concerns over these changes and loss of what they
perceived as a right, we then ask how they would solve the problem of
too much water being drawn. Not everyone calms down when they are
presented with the request to be part of the solution, but slowly, one
by one, people begin to work with us instead of against us.
We also don't try to pussy foot around the fact that these changes
will cost them money. We are up-front and truthful about the costs.
Building long term trust is critical to long term solutions. Allowing
people to realize that they need to start adjusting their family
budgets, and giving them time to do so, helps decrease reactivity and
opposition. We believe that this will help increase the likelihood that
we can bring chinook back.
Second, our State, County and other local governments seem to have
significant communication problems. An example is that while King
County's Department of Water and Land Resources identified Rock Creek
as being the best salmonid tributary habitat in King County in 1994, in
1997 the Department of Development and Environmental Services (King
County's building department) was not even aware of were Rock Creek was
and accepted a building permit for a 57 house subdivision that was
placed right on top of the creek. Another example is that King County
has one set of stewards for waterways and another set for lakes. These
staff do not seem to communicate very often, even though the rivers are
obviously connected to the lakes. The Friends of Rock Creek Valley
believe that by encouraging communication and teamwork, we will have a
greater likelihood of bringing back chinook. An example is a trail ride
we coordinated this last January. To increase shared knowledge about
the challenges we were facing to preserve King County's critical
habitat we brought diverse groups together. We took almost a third of
the King County. Council, department heads and other key people on a
six mile horse ride through part of the Rock Creek Valley. The Back
Country Horsemen provided thirty horses, environmentalists provided
information about the habitat, a logging company provided the meeting
space, and developers paid for the catered breakfast and lunch. The
Friends of Rock Creek Valley are continually reaching out to bring
diverse groups together so that we can solve the problems together.
The last challenge we have, is funding. The acquisition of land and
water rights does not come cheaply, especially in an economy driven by
high tech dollars. The Friends of Rock Creek Valley are working toward
a long term solution to habitat preservation by developing business
opportunities and maintenance and operations funding sources to ensure
long term viability. We have proposed, and King County has accepted,
the development of a trail system rivaling the Appalachian Trail. In
addition to supporting the development of eco-tourism, we are working
with King County to develop a foundation within the County to accept
money for land acquisition and maintenance. But we need about five
million dollars right now to keep key habitat from becoming
subdivisions. The runoff from a one acre forest during a I inch
rainstorm would fill an 810 office to a depth of about two
feet. Pave or create other impervious surfaces over that acre and the
runoff would fill six offices, floor to ceiling. The fast run off
during our winter rains leaves too little water for chinook later in
the fall when they come to spawn. The Friends of Rock Creek Valley have
had some success locally in acquisition of habitat that needs little to
no restoration. But quite frankly, we have not made as good of progress
in this area as we have in the others.
We feel like was have already come a long way in the protection of
chinook in our valley and look forward to the challenges to complete
our task. Thank you for letting me present to you today.
Senator Gorton. Senator Murray has another engagement, so
we'll let her go first.
Senator Murray. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And let me just think of our panelists today for excellent
presentations and for all the work and the insight that you've
given us today.
Ms. Mackrow, I just wanted to thank you for mentioning the
Northwest Straits Initiative, which Jack Metcalf have put
together, and I personally want to thank--I think there's a
number of people here today who have been involved in a
volunteer basis moving that forward. I think it's an excellent
example of how we can work in partnership to reach goals that
are mutual. Even though it seems at the beginning like
everybody's on different sides, when we get people together we
can all work towards good common goals. And I want to thank you
and everybody here who's been involved in that.
I did have just one question actually, and it goes to Ms.
Mackrow too because in your testimony that you submitted to us
you talked about some of the problems with the matching funds.
If you could elaborate on that for us, what some of the
challenges you see and maybe some solutions for some of those
counties and smaller projects and the matching funds that are
Ms. Mackrow. I think one of the most important things that
the regional groups and the other nonprofits that I work with
pride themselves on is the low overhead. I don't want to sound
like I'm whining. We are good at developing matches, but we've
finally figured out that the time it takes to write a $3,000
request for funds and the time it takes to write a request for
$150,000 is the same.
So there's a lot of small funds out there that I don't have
the time to pursue those funds. My board has actually suggested
that we don't go for anything less than $10,000 because it's
not worth the overhead time.
And then when we have matches that are--almost all of our
grants are reimbursement grants, basically I have to document
all of our volunteer time to three different agencies if I have
three different grants. So just right off the top, it's three
times the paperwork. And that's one of the most simplest
problems that we have.
And I think I also tried to explain that not being able to
match Federal with Federal dollars, we lose opportunities among
the agencies. If there is transportation money that is geared
towards salmon restoration, and there's an opportunity to work
with juveniles in the juvenile justice system, those aren't
necessarily matchable funds because they're both Federal
sources. And that's the extreme. More closely we have, if the
Corps and the EPA are both providing activities on a place, we
might not be able to count that as match.
So those are some of the things that I think make this
really hard to keep score. And locally I have taken it on to
help the other people I work with try to keep score. And I have
to call WDFW and say, please don't write the check for that
property from this fund. And they say, well, we don't have the
contract from the Federal fund yet, so we have to use it from
the State fund. So now I can't match the other half of the
property acquisition that the county's going to do from the
same State fund.
You've heard it over and over again that this is an
enormous effort, and when you have this many people involved
from this many directions in this effort, we tend to step on
our coat tails a little bit.
Senator Murray. Anybody else want to quickly comment on
Mr. Kaeding. I would certainly agree with it. I know in our
situation with a nonprofit, money is spent by holding workshops
on how to fill out the forms that we have to do, and that's
where most of the time is spent.
I asked Lynn Polinsky with the Interagency for Outdoor
Recreation how solid the contract was. I told her I didn't
think that we should put our own directors' private funds in
jeopardy because the way it's written, it could. And she said,
well, then don't sign the contract. And I don't think that's a
real good answer.
It isn't that complicated. We have hydrologists, we have
managers, we have good biologists. We have been historically
getting wonderful help from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and State
Fish and Wildlife.
I called Rich Carlson, who we've been working with for
years now, and he's helped us go out in the creek, design the
project engineer the project. If we needed engineer the
project. If we needed engineering, Michele Horne would work for
us. We have none of that support now; we're suppose to do it
Mr. Dicks. Why is that?
Mr. Kaeding. Pardon me?
Mr. Dicks. Why is that? What happened with the
Mr. Kaeding. It's a good question. Thank you for asking
that. Because Rich told me their funds had been cut to zero.
And not only that, that his personal responsibility, which
historically has been Southwestern Washington is now all of
Western Washington. So evidently the funds that we're getting
through the new system are funds that have been taken away from
State Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
We had tremendous help from Washington State Fish and
Wildlife with Lonnie Crumbly. He and Rich Carlson together, we
were getting State funds and Federal funds. They came out and
helped us with a project. If we needed design on the bridge,
Michele Horne with State Fish and Wildlife would do it.
We get none of those services now, and getting the funds
are a lot more complicated.
The landowner agreement that was designed by, I guess,
Interagency for Outdoor Recreation, if a landowner signed it,
he would be leaving himself wide open to liability because it
said that--I can't paraphrase it exactly--that the SRF Board
and the sponsoring agent, which would be, in this case, Fish
First, would have the right at any time to come onto the
property for inspection and to monitor the progress. I have no
problem with that. But then it said, the property would also be
open to any interested parties for whatever and for education
Now, if I were a landowner and had 50 kids coming out in
the school bus, knowing very well one could break their leg and
their parents would sue me, I wouldn't let them on my property.
And no landowner in his right mind would sign that contract. It
has been modified to a certain extent. But all of the legal
aspects of the applications that we're getting now and we're
going to class to learn how to use them and understand them,
has totally an overkill from what we were accustomed to with
State Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Mr. Dicks. Is this through the State board----
Mr. Kaeding. Well----
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. That you're applying to?
Mr. Kaeding. We applied to the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery
Board. We submitted three projects. Three projects were
approved by the Salmon Funding Board, up here. So we have the
money, but we don't have the biological agreements.
Along with that package then went the contract that I must
sign as an executive director and also a landowner agreement. I
don't plan on signing it, and I don't think the landlords will
sign it. And if we lose our relationship with the landowners,
who--we've lost our relationship in doing projects; it's that
But the bureaucratic paperwork that's going with the money
is really out of hand. I mean, it's nothing like we were
working with before. In other words, we have created a bigger
problem than we had before, and we were getting more work done
before because the agencies that we had the money from also had
The volunteer services, like Lonnie Crumbly who worked for
Washington Fish and Wildlife, when he retired last June, they
did not replace him, and the reason is they have no funds.
Senator Murray. Thank you very much for your testimony.
Again, Mr. Chairman, I apologize for having to leave. I do
have another hearing. And thank you for including me in this
Senator Gorton. Great.
Mr. King, what are the prospects for successful
negotiations up there for the operation of irrigation districts
Mr. King. Well, I think they're better than maybe my
testimony indicated. We're working pretty closely with the
services right now, at least for Wolf Creek. We're looking at
something that may--we're developing a habitat conservation
plan, and in that process--which I think is a good one--it
gives us a time to identify the scientists and the management
strategies that seem to do the best for the fish and does some
other things too.
So having embarked upon that process, we bought ourselves a
little time, frankly; and, unfortunately, there's no money
attached to that, and we do need some consideration for those
types of plans. They're being proposed by NMFS in particular
for almost all of the Section 7 ditches up there right now, the
ones that have the Federal nexus. And that's well and good, and
it probably makes sense, but the truth of the matter is,
there's no local capacity to do that; it takes money, an awful
lot of money.
So getting back to your original question, we're hopeful to
turn on. We've undertaken--even in spite of the fact that we
didn't get the money we ere looking for--some early
improvements that should buy us some time to operate a little
longer this year. We still have the potential of having target
flows. Last year was a good year from a water standpoint; this
year is not. It's at best an average year.
Senator Gorton. You were I thought at least partly critical
of the way in which applications are dealt with by the Salmon
Recovery Board. For a relatively small county or place like
yours, could there be improvements, either in the Salmon
Recovery Board funding process or, for that matter, the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation?
Mr. King. Yeah. I'm a little critical in two respects. One
is that the process that they had set out was not really
followed. While there might have been some problems locally
with the presentation of that, I'm not sure; I wasn't at the
meeting when it was actually done. Nevertheless, there should
have been some consideration of the bigger picture.
I don't know whether those folks realized or not when they
made that decision that there was match money tied to it from
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Had they, they might
have done something else. Because I think the way we're
organized is we do have a lead entity, that being Okanogan
County, who is in charge of putting together the application
packages and managing the grant matching portions. And when we
lost those funds, obviously other funding parts fell apart
So I don't know. I don't think there was any--I think next
time it could be better done if there's a better understanding
of how these grants are matched together because there's going
to be a lot of money coming in.
And also, someone raised earlier the possibility of
matching Federal. Well, there's also the possibility of getting
an awful lot of help from some of the other agencies that are
kind of on the fringe; NRCS, the Corps of Engineers perhaps,
USGS for monitoring and those types of things.
If someone could look at the big picture when it comes to
funding for--I know it's going to be done regionally. I'm not
so sure it shouldn't continue to be done locally why these
immediate cost needs are here. If somebody could look at that
big picture and be able to articulate that in some sort of a
funding strategy, I think we'd all be better off. I'm not sure
I know how to do that, but I'm sure there are people who could
figure it out.
Senator Gorton. Ms. Mackrow, how many people are involved
in your group or groups?
Ms. Mackrow. Let's see. The best number I could come up
with out of the air, I think we have 150 registered volunteers
that work with us across the Olympic Peninsula, and that
doesn't include the other groups and the lead entities and the
counties that also work in restoration that we partner with.
Senator Gorton. Would you give me a little bit on how the
National Marine Fisheries Service permitting process has
affected your group and its projects?
Ms. Mackrow. I think that they've alluded to that concept--
to be really blunt, the 4(d) rule exempts culvert related
activities, or it includes them in the listed limitations of
recovery activities along with planting riparian zones and
using large woody debris that's not anchored or cabled.
All of our projects, even though they're low land, low
gradient projects--we have in the past used cable woody debris,
and we do need to operate our heavy equipment in the stream.
And when we're doing challenge reconfiguration we are
reestablishing stream meanders, where over the years the
farmers were encouraged by the Federal Government to ditch and
drain their properties, we are trying to reestablish the
natural stream hydrology.
Those things, while they were funded by the Salmon Recovery
Funding Board, instead of culverts primarily, are not included
in the limitations, so they do require biological assessments.
We have two projects that we're planning that essentially
instead of getting them done this year the way we would have
last year, we will probably just delay them through at least a
year of permitting.
Mr. Dicks. Who's requiring the biological assessment? Is it
Fish and Wildlife Service or NMFS?
Mr. King. NMFS.
Ms. Mackrow. NMFS. And we're anticipating those BAs. We
haven't actually gone in and tried to permit any of those.
We're hoping that the process will smooth itself out over the
Senator Gorton. It cost you a year--how much money?
Ms. Mackrow. For us the funding is--it won't cost us money
at this point just this time.
Mr. King. If I might add just for a moment--you mentioned
who requires them. It turns out in our instance the Corps of
Engineers actually had to do a biological assessment on a
project that could have affected--so I think any place is that
Federal nexus, you've got a BA that you're looking at. So you
get a lot of maybe repetition.
Mr. Dicks. I want to make sure I have this clear. The State
board requires a 15-percent match? Is that accurate? And the
National Wildlife Foundation requires a one-to-one match?
How do the local groups--how do you come up with a one-to-
one match? That must be very difficult.
Ms. Mackrow. Match it with the SRF Board money.
Mr. Dicks. You can match it with the money you get from--so
how you have to do is really come up with 15 percent?
Ms. Mackrow. Right. That's if----
Mr. Dicks. And you can do in-kind?
Ms. Mackrow. We haven't applied yet for our National Fish
and Wildlife money, so we've dedicated regional enhancement
funds, which are dedicated Federal funds, to the regional
enhancement groups as our 15-percent match for our SRF Board
They have the problem where they had the National Fish and
Wildlife Funds secured, but they didn't secure which would be a
50-percent State match. So they have to come up with 50 percent
of their funds.
Mr. King. And we aren't going to make it.
Ms. Mackrow. And they don't have a regional enhancement
group to work with.
Mr. Dicks. And the legislature created the regional
enhancement groups; is that correct?
Ms. Mackrow. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. And you're one of----
Ms. Mackrow. One of 12.
Mr. Dicks. So if we could get this straightened out a
little bit, coordinated, because you have the legislature doing
one thing, Congress doing another thing. It sounds like
Ruckelshaus was right about needing a coordinator----
Mr. King. I agree.
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. To pull all this together. We've
got so many different programs.
Ms. Burlingame. If I may say, it has been a challenge to
try to raise the 50 percent. And I do want to say that the city
Mr. Dicks. Now who requires 50 percent?
Ms. Burlingame. Well, it's in the grants, the National
Marine Fisheries. We just filled out an application.
One of the things that King County and the city of Seattle
has assisted us in, is that they have set up what's called
transfer development rights. And so the city of Seattle has
identified some parts within the city, and also the city of
Kent, to allow extra density.
So in other words, if you're building an apartment, and you
were to buy the building rights for a building in the rural
area and pay the property owner $20,000, then you could add up
to three stories onto your apartment building. And so that has
helped us secure some funding to do some of the matches.
Mr. Dicks. Jim.
Mr. King. One more point. You know, most of these projects
are multi-year and grant cycles are typically 1 year, and that
make it more difficult to match also.
If you could look at a work program that was designed maybe
for a particular--maybe restoration of stream flow, for
example, on a multi-year basis, that will give the locals an
opportunity to leverage as much money as they possibly could
and maybe make the expenditures more efficient.
Mr. Dicks. OK. Well, I saw what you were doing at Chimacum
Creek, and the work there is very good. And I just urge you all
to hang in there, and we'll try to see what we can do to
straighten out some of these regulatory problems.
And I regret what's happened, Jack, to you all, not having
the Fish and Wildlife Service coordination. I'm definitely
going to check into that and see if we can't do something about
Mr. Kaeding. Appreciate it. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Thank you very much for your very real
contributions to us. We appreciate them.
STATEMENT OF JAMES WALDO, LEAD FACILITATOR, HATCHERY
SCIENTIFIC REVIEW GROUP
Senator Gorton. Panel 3 is on hatcheries, and if the group
in that panel will move forward, we appreciate it.
We will start the hatchery group with the facilitator of
the reform effort, Jim Waldo.
Mr. Waldo. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Inslee. I have
prepared some written testimony.
Senator Gorton. The written testimony that each of you have
submitted will be included in the record. So summarize it, and
please get close enough to those microphones so people in the
back of the room can hear you.
Mr. Waldo. Mr. Chairman, I would first like to echo and
reinforce the comments that Bill Ruckelshaus made about both
the progress that has been made and the need to pull a lot of
these promising individual efforts into kind of a shared
strategy as the next step here in Puget Sound. And I have some
comments about that in my testimony, but I'm not going to cover
them. You've heard them today, and I think he articulated the
need very well.
I want to move to the specific issue then of all the areas
that are going to be affected and have to change. One of them
is in the area of hatchery reform.
There are approximately 100 hatchery facilities in Puget
Sound and the Washington coast that have somewhere between 300
and 350 different programs that operate out of those
facilities. Many of them were built in a different era with a
different concept as to what we were to manage and how we were
to manage the resource. They were built at a time when the
general belief was, that if you built them larger and released
more fish, you would automatically receive more benefits.
They were operated in a time early in their history when it
was believed you could move stocks from one basis to another;
that the quality of the receiving waters was not particularly
relevant to the success of a hatchery facility.
Since that time, we've learned a lot. And we've learned
that quantity in and of itself is not a key to success. We've
learned that the quality of the receiving habitat and the
biological factors that the hatchery fish are going to be
introduced to will make a substantial difference.
Perhaps the biggest change, as a result of the Endangered
Species Act, is that we have now decided we're going to manage
for different outcomes. Whereas at one, let's say 20 years ago,
people basically said, we've got little or nothing left to this
run. We'll put a hatchery in, and if the run goes extinct,
that's an acceptable trade off as far as society's concerned
for increased fishing opportunity. It wasn't that people didn't
know what they were doing; they made a different set of trade
Society today has said we're no longer going to make those
trade offs; that we are going to manage to rebuild a lot of
these wild runs, and so we have a new context in which we're
Fortunately, Congress last year, through the leadership of
a number of you up in the podium, decided to be a catalyst on
this issue. So I have really three messages today.
The first one is that the direction that you provided last
year and the resources that you provided are already having a
significant impact. The State and the tribes in Puget Sound and
the coast will have plans for all 100 facilities, including all
programs that bear on chinook as to how they're to be in ESA
Those plans will include, in essence, a conceptual
framework that NMFS has developed in collaboration with the
State and the tribes. The initial drafts of those plans will be
completed in June of this year and ultimately will be
incorporated in a biological opinion.
I can assure you that without the resources you provided
last year for the State and tribal scientific teams, this would
not have occurred; it would not have been possible. And this is
a substantial step forward in Puget Sound's efforts to come
into compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
Second, probably by the end of this year or early next
year, the State and tribes will have cooperatively developed a
new database that will have information on every hatchery
facility and all the programs in those hatchery facilities
regardless of who manages them, and anyone will be able to
access that information system.
This has not existed in the past in Puget Sound or in the
Pacific Northwest, and it would not have occurred but for the
funds that you all provided last year to enable this kind of an
intricate data system to be developed. And it will give us the
information base for being able to evaluate and make decisions
about these facilities and the performance of these facilities
in the future.
The third thing you did, and I think perhaps the most
important in the long-term, was to create an independent
scientific review group, made up of nine scientists, who have
been charged to come with an approach for how we will bring
science to bear on making these decisions in the long-term.
It's been my honor as part of a facilitation team through
Long Live the Kings to work with this group of scientists, and
I have been absolutely impressed with the quality of their
background and their judgment and their focus on having an
impact on these issues and having an impact in a very short
period of time.
It's their goal to have a framework put together on how to
organize all of the scientific knowledge we have regarding
hatchery fish, regarding how hatchery techniques can be used to
help conserve and rebuild wildstocks, and about what are the
risks of employing these tools; and to have that framework
together by the fall of this year so that the information being
gathered by the managers can be applied against that framework,
and we can be in a position to start making long-term
The final thing that I wanted to report on, and I'm sure my
colleagues here will speak to in more detail, is the scientists
have met with the managers--tribal, State, and Federal--and
NMFS as the ESA agency, and basically they have begun to
develop an implementation program for how we will get through
the first phase of ESA compliance and then move on to the more
challenging task of saying, how do we reposition Puget Sound
with the use of hatcheries, either to assist in recovery in
conservation of genetic stocks or in providing sustainable
fisheries that do not harm ESA listed stocks, and to be able to
provide a context for us to be able through the next 10 to 30
or 40 years not just with the legacy of what we had from the
past, but what would we want to do in the future knowing what
we know today and given what we want to manage for.
I think you should take great pride in what you've
accomplished by virtue of your legislation last year. There's
no doubt in my mind this would not have happened without the
impetus of the legislation, without the funding of the
legislation and without the direction to create this effort.
The response of the managers has been a wholehearted
embrace of this approach, and from what I have seen so far you
could not ask for a better response, both individually and in
their commitment to cooperate at the State, Federal, and tribal
I believe that within the next year or two, if this effort
is sustained, that it will achieve the promise that you hoped
for when you passed this legislation, and you will be able to
take some real satisfaction in which you have helped cause to
occur. Thank you very much.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of James Waldo
Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank the Committee for your continuing
interest in our salmon resources of the West Coast, and the support you
are providing to improve those resources. My name is Jim Waldo. I am a
partner at Gordon Thomas Honeywell, and serve as the lead facilitator
of the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG). This group is charged
with reviewing hatchery operations and practices in the Puget Sound and
coastal waters of Washington State. Based on the best available
science, this group will make recommendations to the hatchery managers
on how hatcheries can be repositioned in the future to provide for a
sustainable fishery and help to restore naturally spawning salmon runs.
In addition to the HSRG, I am working with Long Live the Kings to
facilitate discussions among the co-managers and develop an outreach
and communications plan to build support for hatchery reform.
As a young boy, I remember climbing into the family station wagon
with my parents, brother and one of my grandfathers to head for
different fishing towns on the Coast, the Straits, and Puget Sound.
Early the next morning, in pre-dawn light, we headed out bundled up in
parkas and rain gear. As the sun came up our lines stretched in the
gray water. Suddenly, the tip of a rod would bounce and then take a
deep bend towards the water. Salmon on. What a thrill!
At the end of a day or two of fishing we would return home with a
full fish box. Family cook-outs, community picnics, and gifts of salmon
to neighbors who couldn't fish would highlight the next week. Several
weeks later, the cycle would occur again, throughout the summer and
Just as I fished with my grandfather and my parents, my children
have gone fishing with their grandparents and their parents. They have
had the thrill of matching skills with the powerful adult salmon. They
have also had the fun and pride of bringing salmon home, which served
to bring together and feed family and friends.
This is a way of life that has existed for hundreds, if not
thousands of years. It remains central to the Native American
communities around Puget Sound and the Coast. It has been an important
thread for many other families who have arrived and stayed over the
last hundred years.
The salmon are a source of food, income, enjoyment and provide a
sense of community. It is one of our great challenges to secure the
future of the salmon at the same time as we secure the future of this
prosperous and vibrant region of the United States for current and
future generations. Accomplishing either would be a serious
undertaking. Accomplishing both simultaneously presents one of the
major challenges of our times. In Washington State and the West Coast,
we are engaged in a mighty effort to reconstitute how we conduct our
affairs to achieve these goals. Because the salmon's range is so vast,
there is almost no aspect of our geography, waters or society which
will not be affected in some manner.
I am going to speak today about one of the areas that will see
major changes: salmon hatcheries.
There are 100 hatchery programs in the Puget Sound and on the
Washington Coast. Many of these hatcheries have been in existence for
decades. They were built and placed into operation in a different era,
with different values that led to a different fisheries management
system. Hatcheries were seen as a way to offset losses in the number of
wild salmon. The general beliefs were that the larger the hatcheries
the better; the larger the number of fish released the better; and the
impacts on those particular wild or native runs were an acceptable
price to pay for the benefits of a larger fishery. It was believed that
stocks could easily be moved between basins and that the hatchery
operations could compensate or more than off-set limitations in the
Our society has recently determined that those ``remnant runs'' of
wild stocks should be protected (ESA listings). We have also learned
that simply releasing large numbers of juvenile salmon does not
guarantee large returns. We have learned that the genetics of salmon,
their adaption to particular watersheds, and the quality of the
receiving habitat are very important to their long-term fitness and
Fortunately, this Committee and the Congress became a catalyst last
year for accelerating action on this issue. As a result, a number of
very important actions are underway.
By this summer the state of Washington, the Tribes of Puget Sound
and the Washington Coast, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will
have developed proposals for how each of the hatchery programs in this
area will be in compliance with the ESA. These proposals will be
reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service and incorporated in a
The consensus among fish management agencies and Tribes is that
changes resulting from these plans will significantly improve hatchery
operations for listed salmon stocks. This will be a major step forward.
The state of Washington and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
are also using some of the funds provided by you to develop and
implement a joint software data-base system for all of the hatcheries
in this area. This is another major step forward.
The next major step forward has been the creation of an independent
science team, the HSRG, to ensure that the best available scientific
information is utilized in making these decisions. The independent
scientists were nominated by the American Fisheries Society. They have
been selected and the scientific effort is underway.
The nine scientists serving on the HSRG have a broad range of
experience. Their scientific disciplines range from biology, genetics,
ecology, fisheries, hydrology, river geomorphology and other
disciplines. Members include:
--Dr. Trevor Evelyn, formerly with the University of British
Columbia, and an expert on fish health;
--Dr. Lars Mobrand, of Mobrand Biometrics, and an expert in ecosystem
planning and natural resource management;
--Robert Piper, formerly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in
Bozeman, Montana, and an expert in hatchery biology and
--Lisa Seeb, with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and an
expert on fish genetics;
--Dr. William Smoker, with the University of Alaska, and a biologist
with expertise in conservation and artificial culture;
--Lee Blankenship, a Senior Research Scientist at the Washington
Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and an expert in fish
identification and harvest management applications;
--Dr. Donald Campton, with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and an
expert in fisheries and genetics;
--Dr. Conrad Mahnken, Director, Manchester Research Station, National
Marine Fisheries Service, and an expert in biology and
--John Barr, Nisqually Indian Tribe, with expertise in salmon
culture, artificial production programming, and hatchery
The HSRG has now begun work. In their first two months, they have
decided on their initial research priorities and awarded the initial
They have established an approach to gathering, organizing and
using existing scientific knowledge and information. They have held
meetings with representatives of the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and the National
Marine Fisheries Service to establish appropriate roles and working
Finally, they are completing development of a proposed course of
action for implementing the assignments that Congress has given them.
I have had the honor of working with these nine scientists in a
very intensive setting. These are intelligent, honorable people with
good judgment, valuable experience, and a commitment to having science
contribute to good informed decisions.
The HSRG is hard at work preparing its initial report to Congress
this June and a work plan for the next year which will be critical to
the success of this effort.
You have created and funded this group. I have every reason to
believe that you will be proud of the results. The representatives of
the fisheries interests present today, I'm sure, will speak to their
views of the importance of this effort.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the Congressional legislation
which originated in this Committee has been a catalyst for bringing
scientists, managers and Endangered Species Act regulators together
around hatchery reform in a way that would not otherwise have happened.
The result will be to reposition hatcheries to become an active
agent in helping to conserve and recover wild stocks and to contribute
to sustainable fisheries. The results will be significant and long-
As someone who plans on going salmon fishing with my grandchildren,
I wish to say thank you for all that you have done and will continue to
STATEMENT OF PETER BERGMAN, DIRECTOR, BIOLOGICAL
SERVICES, NORTHWEST MARINE TECHNOLOGY
Senator Gorton. Thank you, Pete Bergman.
Dr. Bergman. Mr. Chairman, committee members, I thought I
should briefly explain who I am.
I work for a private company, Northwest Marine Technology,
but for 7 years I was chief of salmon management for the State
and I was a member of the Snake River Salmon Recovery Team,
which was the first endangered species listing by NMFS.
Anyway, more directly relevant to this hearing, I was chair
of a group of scientists appointed by Senator Gorton to advise
him on hatchery reform. There were seven of them, and they
represented--or more precisely, they were members from all of
the fish agencies in the Puget Sound and coastal region, the
region we're addressing here; that is, the State, the tribes,
the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and
Anyway, the problem that we were confronted with was the
fact that hatcheries are listed as one of the 4H's that have
undermined the wildstocks. You could just look at this and say,
well, we know that the natural stocks are in real trouble, and
there will not be fisheries on them for the foreseeable future.
So if we're going to have fisheries, they're going to have to
come from hatcheries.
So the question that you essentially posed to our group
was, is it possible to take hatcheries and to make them support
the recovery of natural stocks or at least not undermine it,
and at the same time provide fisheries?
So we spent the large part of a year studying that, and we
came up with a consensus statement. We agreed that that could
be done, but only under certain circumstances. And those
circumstances meant that you'd have to change the way that you
did things in the past.
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about that. But
included in these kind of changes--Jim mentioned some things
relating to that--you have to have new genetic policies. You
just can't do things the way they did. And there's going to
have to be less interaction, less physical direct interaction
between hatchery stocks and natural stocks. And probably the
fisheries themselves will have to be modified.
Anyway, we recommended a budget of $3.6 million to begin
this reform, and Senator Gorton concurred. And with the great
support of Congressman Dicks and others, the Congress provided
I mentioned that the goals have to change, and I want to
emphasize something that Jim brought up. And I want to say,
very poignantly, the real problem with hatchery management in
the past has been that the decisions were not based on science.
I mean, some were, but by and large, they were not objective.
And I think for those who have familiarity with hatcheries in
the past, they realize that the public supported hatcheries
just emotionally, and to the point where if you wanted to close
a hatchery somewhere, you had some real problems.
So essentially what I'm saying--and it's not just what I'm
saying; it's what our group said, and I think there were four
other scientific problem that looked at the problem and said,
you know, these hatcheries just have not been evaluated.
They're simply running fundamentally on emotion, and that's got
Now recently, we've had a kind of different slant on this
whole thing. We've had what we call hatchery bashing. We've had
lots of people coming out, some fairly important people, and
writing big articles and saying hatcheries are no good, and
that they're really big bad things. And, of course, they
emphasized this undermining of the natural stock thing.
The perspective of our group is that this hatchery bashing,
by and large, is equivalent to what was happening in the past;
it's based on emotion and not good scientific foundation.
So at any rate, the core of our recommendation to you was
that hatchery management needed to be changed to a scientific
basis. And at the beginning of this year--Jim was talking about
this in some depth--a nine-man scientific panel was appointed,
and I think it's worthwhile taking a minute and talking about
what the make-up is so you understand.
In my opinion, this is a true, blue ribbon scientific
panel. There are nine members. Five of those members are
independent; they do not work for the local agencies. And they
were provided by a list provided by the past presidents of the
American Fisheries Society. So they went through and decided
who met the criteria and who were the top ranked folks, so five
people were selected from that group.
Senator Gorton. From here or from around the country?
Dr. Bergman. From all around the country, and one from
Canada and two from Alaska.
The other part of that problem was though, of course, you
may get the world's greatest scientist, but if the agencies who
run the hatcheries don't buy in, you've got a problem.
So our judgment was that the agencies needed to have a part
of this science. So in addition to the five really independent
scientists, there are four scientists, one from each of the
agencies, and I'm talking about the tribes as an agency in this
particular case. But the requirements for these agency
scientists was, No. 1, they need to be highly qualified; and
No. 2, they don't represent the policies of the agency. Their
purpose in being on this panel is to make sure that there's
communication and that the people really understand what's
going on in the agencies. I had the impression that this was a
really good mix.
Anyway, these folks are hard at work. Once again, I'm
repeating a little bit of what Jim says, but I'll say it.
They've been defining the problems, what are the problems,
they've been generating workplans, and they've been determining
what science is needed, what science should we jump on and
Anyway, I guess my whole view of this whole thing is that
these guys are really working hard, and I think they're
extremely effective. And frankly, one of the things that's
different that I've not been involved with before in these
kinds of things is that they're getting support. They're not
just a bunch of scientists out on their own trying to figure
out how to make things work; they've got the support of Jim
Waldo and of Long Live the Kings, which has been truly superb.
And you're going to hear, I'm sure, from our fellow panelists
more about this.
In any rate, this group will report its progress to the
Congress in June. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Peter Bergman
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. My name is Peter Bergman. I
am Director of Biological Services for a private company, Northwest
marine Technology. I was chief of salmon harvest management, research,
and hatcheries for seven years prior to my retirement from the
Washington Department of Fisheries. I was a member of the Snake River
Salmon Recovery Team, appointed by the National Marine Fisheries
Service when the first Northwest salmon were listed under the
Endangered Species Act.
Directly relevant to this hearing, I was chair of a group of
scientists appointed in 1998 by Senator Gorton to advise him on salmon
hatchery reform in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington. The seven-person
team had members from all of the fish agencies of the Region--the
State, Tribes, National Marine Fisheries service, and the U.S. Fish and
The problem we examined was criticism of hatcheries as one of the
four H's responsible for depletion of natural salmon stocks. A question
was could these hatcheries be managed to support and not undermine wild
stock recovery? Also, it was evident that natural stocks would not
support fisheries in the foreseeable future. Could hatchery stocks be
fished without significant injury to wild stocks?
Our consensus decision was both goals could be achieved if we
manage hatcheries differently. This will involve changes in genetic
policies and reducing physical interactions between hatchery and wild
fish, and probably some modification of fisheries.
We recommended a budget of $3.6 million to begin the reform.
Senator Gorton concurred, and with the support of Congressman Dicks the
money was provided. At this time, the proposed mechanisms for reform
are well underway.
Fundamentally, hatcheries in the past were managed for different
goals than now required, and management decisions were too frequently
based on unmeasured assumptions. Hatcheries have enjoyed public support
irrespective of their effectiveness, but recently there has been
considerable criticism. Our view is this ``hatchery bashing'' is
typically based on emotion rather than facts. However, the purpose of
this effort is not to debate the problems of the past but to make
hatcheries work as well as they can for their newly-defined purposes.
Our conclusion is a basic problem has been failure to base decisions on
scientific information, and independent scientific review is essential
to achieving these goals.
We have established a blue-ribbon ``Hatchery Scientific Review
Group'' (HSRG) for this purpose. It is composed of five independent
scientists, who do not work for the fish management agencies, and four
qualified scientists from the agencies involved. The independent
scientists were selected from a list supplied by the Past President's
Council of the American Fisheries Society. We felt it was important to
also have agency scientists on this panel because buy-in by those
actually running the hatcheries is critical.
The HSRG was established early this year and has made significant
progress in defining what will be done, generating a work plan, and
determining critical scientific information needed. It will report on
its progress to Congress in June.
STATEMENT OF BILLY FRANK, CHAIRMAN, NORTHWEST INDIAN
Senator Gorton. Thank you. Billy Frank.
Mr. Frank. Thank you, Senator, Mr. Chairman and Congressman
Dicks and Congressman Inslee.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, I've been here a long time.
Senator Gorton. You're not going anywhere, are you?
Mr. Frank. No, I'm not going anywhere.
I want to mention for a second our leader that we lost last
Sunday, Joe De La Cruz, the past president that brought people
together. That was a big loss for all of us in our northwest.
But anyhow, I want to thank you, Senator Gorton, for the
hatchery reform. I've been sitting out here all of these years
watching the hatcheries, and nobody wanted to touch them. And
it's a very big part of salmon recovery in our State and
throughout the northwest and along the Pacific Coast.
We put a team together, and it's a team of experts,
credible people that can look at all of the watersheds and how
do we fit in a watershed, how do the hatcheries fit in a
watershed. And I look at the Nisqually watershed where I was
born and raised and managed Nisqually watershed. And in that
watershed we have steelhead wild, chum salmon and wild winter
fishery, and we have pink salmon wild. We have coho that's
artificial and chinook that's artificial. Well, or hatchery on
the Nisqually has chinook and coho as hatchery stock. And we
protect the wildstock.
Now, watersheds are very complex, and it's hard to
understand what you're talking about when you talk about
hatchery. ``Oh, them people off the Nisqually River are fishing
again. What are they fishing on?'' Well, we're fishing on
If you took away all the hatcheries today, there would not
be any more fish. There would not be any more fish for maybe 50
or 100 years because the wildstock are in such disarray that we
have a lot of work, a lot of healing to do, a lot of bringing
people together on the watersheds and working together. And the
hatchery reform is a forum that's going to do exactly that.
It's not going to solve everything. Everything has to be
connected in this. The puzzle is big, and hatchery reform is
part of that puzzle. And certainly, it will bring a lot of
credibility to what we're doing and telling the story about
hatcheries and wildstock, how they have to work together to
bring the salmon back to the northwest. And that's going to
take 50 to 100 years to do that.
So we have a long time to be together, all of us. And
everyone that you heard in this room, a very positive hearing.
And it's talking about us. It isn't talking about them or
anybody; it's talking about all of us.
And one of the things that we always sit and wait for is a
breath of fresh air. And we always wait for the sun to shine
and the opportunities with the stars to line up, so we can go
for whatever we're doing out here in salmon recovery. And I
think that the stars are lining up, and we've got to work
together to make it happen. Everyone has to be part of this. We
can't leave anybody out. They've all got to be part of this
recovery initiative that we're making; the President, the
Congress, our local governments, our State, our tribes, our
Federal Government. We have to work together.
We don't all agree on everything, but we're in a debate and
we're in a forum that we can get to the next step, and that's
very important that we all do that. And I commend you for
bringing us together today and making it happen. I commend
Patty Murray for being here, our Senator and Congressman Dicks
and Representative Inslee, to take part and take time our in
your life and listen. And listening is very important because
we have to have a lot of patience when we listen, and listen
and try to get to the next step that we want to take together.
As we finish the watersheds, we have to move out into the
estuary. And it's no big thing to talk about what salmon needs.
The salmon needs clean water. You don't have to be a rocket
scientist to figure this out. And they need an estuary. As they
come down the watershed and into the salt water, they have to
make that transition. Well, they need that estuary out there to
protect them along the shoreline.
We need flounders for the food chain. When I was a little
kid off the mouth of the Nisqually River, we fished flounders
out there, waited for them, and picked them up and threw the
little ones away, and then we cooked them on the beach. They're
gone. There's no more there. And Nisqualle is one of the
estuaries that we're proud of. We're all working together to
put it back.
And sand dollars. You've seen sand dollars, all of us.
There's no more. Thousands of them along the beaches, millions
of them--they're gone. They're part of that food chain that we
So when we leave the watersheds, and we straighten all
these up--and we will do that, working together--we've got to
move out into the estuaries and then move out into the ocean,
and we have to heal the ocean and heal our bays and heal our
shoreline. And so this forum, this hearing today, has taken us
that direction. So thank you.
Senator Gorton. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Billy Frank
This is a time of great change in the management of the salmon
resource in the State of Washington. Listings of several local salmon
stocks under the Endangered Species Act have required us to re-examine
many of our approaches to the way we manage salmon.
Our use of hatcheries is one example. Today, the tribes, as well as
State and Federal agencies, are looking at salmon hatcheries in new
Once viewed by many simply as ``factories'' for producing salmon,
now we are reforming hatchery practices to help recover and conserve
wild salmon populations while providing sustainable fisheries for
Indian and non-Indian fishermen. It's just one of the many efforts by
the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington in the battle for wild
While the tribes have made efforts over the past decade to reduce
impacts of hatcheries on wild salmon stocks--such as carefully timing
releases of young hatchery salmon into rivers to avoid competition for
food and habitat with young wild salmon--a lack of funding has
prevented the tribes from applying a comprehensive, systematic approach
to hatchery reform.
Now, thanks to the efforts of Washington's congressional
delegation--most notably Senator Gorton and Representative Dicks--the
treaty tribes, Washington Department of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service will share $3.6
million this year to conduct much-needed research, monitoring and
evaluation of hatchery practices at the approximately 150 tribal, State
and Federal hatchery facilities in western Washington. Continued
funding for this effort will be critical to its overall success.
Federal legislation has created an independent Hatchery Scientific
Review Group to provide scientific oversight for tribal, State and
Federal hatchery practices reform and to provide recommendations for
implementation of scientific goals and strategies. A top priority of
the tribal and State co-managers under the hatchery reform initiative
will be to complete Hatchery Genetic Management Plans for each species
at each hatchery on Puget Sound. The plans, due in late June, will
provide a picture of how stocks and hatcheries should be managed, and
will serve as a tool for implementing hatchery reform. The plans are
especially important in light of efforts to respond to ESA listings of
Puget Sound chinook and other salmon species in western Washington. In
fact, the National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to rely on
these plans for its decisions on whether hatchery practices could
constitute a ``take'' of salmonids listed under the ESA.
Already, some salmon enhancement facilities have been switched from
producing hatchery fish to restoring wild fish through broodstocking
and supplementation. Through these programs, wild salmon are captured
and spawned at a hatchery. Their offspring are then reared in the
facility and later released in various locations within the watershed
to increase their chances for survival. Such efforts help preserve and
rebuild wild salmon runs that might otherwise disappear.
Hatchery reform is part of an integrated strategy for salmon
The tribal and State co-managers are responding to declining wild
salmon populations through improved planning processes like
Comprehensive Coho and Comprehensive Puget Sound Chinook, which seek to
protect and restore adequate freshwater habitat and to ensure that
enough adult salmon reach the spawning grounds to recover the stocks.
The goal is to restore the productivity and diversity of wild salmon
stocks from Puget Sound and the Washington coast to levels that can
support treaty and non-treaty fisheries. As part of the effort,
recovery goals and comprehensive recovery plans are being developed for
all salmon species in western Washington. Specific recovery plans are
being developed for each watershed to guide how harvest, habitat and
hatcheries will be managed.
The treaty Indian tribes in western Washington already have made
significant harvest reductions to protect weak wild stocks. In fact,
over the past 25 years, treaty tribal salmon harvests have been reduced
by more than 80 percent. This has come at a great cost to the
spiritual, cultural and economic well-being of the tribes.
For 2000, the tribes are planning conservative fisheries that are
more restrictive than last year in order to protect weak wild salmon
stocks, especially coho. While recognizing there are some strong
hatchery chinook returns expected, tribal fisheries will be designed to
contribute to the rebuilding of Puget Sound chinook, which have been
listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
All of these steps will have little effect, however, if there are
no similar efforts to protect salmon habitat. Lost and damaged salmon
habitat has been, and continues to be, the main reason for the decline
of wild salmon.
We are confident, however, that by working together--all of us--we
can achieve our goal of returning wild salmon stocks to abundance.
Reforming hatchery practices is another step on the road to wild salmon
STATEMENT OF JEFF KOENINGS, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Senator Gorton. Jeff Koenings.
Mr. Koenings. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee. I do appreciate the opportunity to testify here
today on a very important topic of hatchery reform in the State
It is my opinion that Washington's hatcheries, its system,
designed and operated to provide for the recovery of wildstocks
and for sustainable harvest by citizens, needs to remain
viable. Why? Well, one example is that, 80 percent chinook and
coho harvested this year in Puget Sound will be of hatchery
I think most of us here would agree that our hatcheries
originally were designed and operated as fish production
facilities, both for recreational and commercial fisheries. In
recent years, however, as we have increasingly focused on ways
to conserve wildfish, we have altered our view of how we
conduct both our fisheries and our hatchery operations. Not
only have the co-managers on one side and our stakeholders on
the other adopted new fishery regulations to protect wild runs,
we've come to use hatcheries to help restore wild runs.
Despite this shift, our approach to repositioning
hatcheries has not been consistent. Hatchery operators--State,
tribal, and Federal--have lacked a cohesive strategy largely
because we have lacked the resources to implement any strategy.
As I said before, many hatcheries were built to mitigate
for lost habitat. Their mission was to produce as many adult
salmon as possible. Now, however, the fisheries they supported
have had to be substantially reduced because the ESA has
constrained harvest practices. And with the downscaled fishing
effort, our hatcheries and habitat cannot support the large
numbers of fish returning to some hatcheries.
Senator Gorton. Say that again.
Mr. Koenings. Pardon?
Senator Gorton. You can't do what?
Mr. Koenings. With the downscaled fishing effort, our
hatcheries and habitat cannot support the large numbers of fish
returning to some hatcheries. We've had to re-tool our
fisheries--we're in the process of doing that--because we've
had to scale them down from what they used to be to what they
are now. Our hatcheries have continued to produce fish, and our
fisheries can't catch all the fish in some cases that are
coming back. So that gets into realigning our hatchery
practices and fisheries, which we're in the process of doing.
In order to use these fish for egg-takes, food banks and
other uses, these fish have been killed. Realigning the
production of fish at hatcheries to reflect a present day
effort is one way of reducing the need to sacrifice fish weirs,
professionally known as clubbing.
A few decades ago, my department had one hatchery involved
in the wildstock recovery efforts. Today, approximately a third
of the 90 hatcheries the department operates are used in
wildfish recoveries. Despite these ongoing changes, many of our
hatcheries are operated in a way inconsistent with the recovery
of wildfish. Some of our hatcheries have built-in deficiencies
that pose obstacles to spawning salmon, some impede upstream
migration, others are in the dire need of physical
improvements, and still others require different broodstocks.
As co-managers of the State's fisheries resources, my
department and the tribes are committed to working together as
partners, and we are committed to a single vision for our
hatcheries, to help recover and conserve wildfish population
and to provide sustainable fisheries.
Just as we are committed to this joint vision, the
department is committed to the historic effort now underway to
achieve the comprehensive repositioning of hatchery operations
in Puget Sound and Western Washington. This collaborative
effort is the primary effort by which Washington State can
address ESA compliance issues for its hatcheries, and it's
absolutely critical if we are to avoid the unsatisfactory
patchwork approaches of the past and achieve true hatchery
The funds attained by Senator Gorton and Congressman Dicks
and others are the primary means by which Washington State is
addressing the repositioning of hatcheries to address ESA
requirements and still provide for tribal and nontribal fishing
opportunities. The foundation of this reform will come from the
recently formed Hatchery Scientific Review Group that was
This independent group, charged with reviewing current
processes and policies and identifying the scientific needs of
hatchery reform is essential, and it is critical that the
findings of the Hatchery Scientific Review Group are adopted
not only by the co-managers, but also by the appropriate
Bottom line. No matter how good our intentions, no matter
how good our science and ability to implement it, the end
result will be determined by our resources. Aside the Federal
appropriation earmarked this year for hatchery reform, State
leaders also recently appropriated funds for hatchery reform.
As one example of the interest of such a leader, we have
Representative Regula in the audience here today. Activities
carried out using these funds have been folded into and
coordinated with those now being carried out with Federal
Finally, we have also presented the concept of the Hatchery
Science Review Group's task to the combined leadership of the
State House and Senate. Just as salmon recovery efforts now
underway in Washington State must be science-driven and carried
out in a collaborative way, so must hatchery reform.
In my opinion, the reform process put in place under the
direction of Senator Gorton and Congressman Dicks and others
accomplishes both these goals. The Department of Fish and
Wildlife, along with our tribal co-managers, look forward to
participating in this effort and making it become a reality.
Thank you very much.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Jeff Koenings
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I appreciate
the opportunity to testify today on this very important topic.
It is my opinion that Washington State's hatcheries, designed and
operated to provide for the recovery of wild stocks and for sustainable
harvest by citizens, should remain viable.
I think most of us here would agree that our hatcheries originally
were designed and operated as fish production facilities for
recreational and commercial fisheries.
In recent years, however, as we have increasingly focused on ways
to conserve wild fish, we have altered our view of how we conduct our
fisheries and hatchery operations. Not only have we adopted new
fisheries regulations to protect wild runs, we've come to use
hatcheries to help restore wild runs.
Despite this shift, our approach to repositioning hatcheries has
not been consistent. Hatchery operators--State, tribal, and Federal--
have lacked a cohesive strategy, largely because we have lacked the
resources. In many instances, changes in hatchery operations have
failed to keep pace with changes in fisheries and the environment.
Consider this example:
Many hatcheries were built to mitigate for lost habitat. Their
mission was to produce as many adult salmon as possible. Now, however,
the fisheries they supported are gone because the ESA has constrained
harvest practices. And with a downscaled fishing effort, our hatcheries
and habitat cannot support the large numbers of fish returning to some
hatcheries. In order to use these fish for egg-takes, food banks and
other uses, these fish have been killed. Realigning the production of
fish at hatcheries to reflect the present-day effort is one way of
reducing the need to sacrifice fish at hatchery weirs.
The scientific framework for hatchery operations began in the 1980s
when the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife put in place
comprehensive guidelines designed to prevent the spread of pathogens
from hatchery to wild fish, minimize adverse genetic impacts and
decrease competition between hatchery and wild fish for habitat.
These changes occurred about the same time as the role of
hatcheries themselves began to evolve. Two decades ago, my department
had one hatchery involved in wild stock recovery efforts. Today,
approximately a third of the 90 hatcheries the department operates are
used in wild fish recovery.
Despite these changes, many of hatcheries are operated in a way
inconsistent with the recovery of wild fish. Some of our hatcheries
have built-in deficiencies that pose obstacles to spawning salmon. Some
impede upstream migration; others are in dire need of physical
improvements; still others require different broodstocks.
In addition to the challenges, our science has outpaced our ability
to respond. Complex genetic and other issues have not been adequately
addressed. Endangered Species Act listings have taken these scientific
challenges to new levels of complexity and urgency. The funds obtained
by Senator Gorton and Congressman Dicks are the primary means by which
Washington State is addressing the repositioning of hatcheries to
address ESA requirements.
As co-managers of the State's fisheries resources, my department
and the tribes are committed to working together as partners. And we
are committed to a single vision for our hatcheries: to help recover
and conserve wild fish populations, and to provide sustainable
Just as we are committed to this vision, the department is
committed to the historic effort now underway to achieve the
comprehensive repositioning of hatchery operations in Puget Sound and
western Washington. This collaborative effort is the primary effort by
which Washington State can address ESA compliance issues, and is
absolutely critical if we are to avoid the unsatisfactory, patchwork
approaches of the past and achieve true hatchery reform.
The foundation for this reform should come from the recently-formed
Hatchery Scientific Review Group. This independent group, charged with
reviewing current processes and policies and identifying the scientific
needs of hatchery reform is essential. And it is critical that the
findings of the hatchery scientific review group are adopted by the co-
managers and appropriate Federal agencies.
With resources already appropriated under this effort, my
department and the Scientific Review Group are discussing how to put in
place performance objectives and make critical improvements at our
hatcheries. The department is also continuing its work on its Hatchery
Genetic Management Plans required under the ESA by NMFS so they can be
used by the Scientific Review Group to establish a baseline for
No matter how good our intentions, no matter how good our science
and ability to implement it, the end result will be determined by our
resources. Besides the Federal appropriation earmarked this year for
hatchery reform, State leaders also recently appropriated some funds
for hatchery reform. Activities carried out using these funds have been
folded into those now being carried out with Federal monies.
My department continues to seek support from State leaders. Even in
advance of the Hatchery Scientific Review Group's reform framework, we
are seeking substantial funds for repairs, reconfigurations, closures
and other changes to hatcheries. We have also presented the concept of
the HSRG's tasks to the combined leadership of the State House and
Just as salmon recovery efforts now underway in Washington State
must be science-driven and carried out in a collaborative way, so must
hatchery reform. The reform process put in place under the direction of
Senator Gorton and Congressman Dicks accomplishes both these goals. It
also demands full accountability from all those involved.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife looks forward to participating
in this effort and making it become a reality.
STATEMENT OF FRANK URABECK, MEMBER, NORTHWEST MARINE
Senator Gorton. Frank Urabeck.
Mr. Urabeck. Chairman Gorton, Congressman Dicks,
Congressman Inslee, I am speaking for the Northwest Marine
Trade Association. That includes about 800 companies and other
entities from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia that
comprise much of the recreational boating industry in
We very much care about the protection and the recovery of
the wildstocks and are indeed directly involved in salmon
recovery efforts. I serve on three King county watershed
committees. I also volunteer my time in support of salmon and
steelhead projects undertaken by Trout Unlimited, the national
sport fishing and conservation organization.
While we work to save wild salmon, our association also
promotes sport fishing opportunities consistent with the
conservation objectives and in compliance with the Endangered
Species Act. Obviously, there's a self-interest in here because
most fishing is done by boats.
As Jeff said, this year approximately four out of five
salmon harvested in Puget Sound region will be fish that
originated in hatcheries. Those of us that participated with
the State and tribal co-managers in setting the 2000 salmon
season regulations know firsthand the protections afforded
wildstocks by the restrictions we placed on our fisheries.
Clearly, without hatchery salmon, there would be little or
no opportunity to fish this year by anyone. Even with our best
collective efforts to save wild salmon, I do not see wildstocks
rebounding to levels that would allow significant harvest
within the near future.
Now we do recognize that some of the criticism of past
hatchery practice is valid, and that is why we've joined with
Trout Unlimited, the Puget Sound Anglers, the Poggie Club and
other organizations in supporting Senator Gorton's Hatchery
Reform Initiative, which has been co-sponsored by Congressman
It just doesn't make sense to ``throw the baby out with the
bathwater'' as some advocate, when properly run hatcheries
through enlightened management can both support wild salmon
recovery and meaningful harvest by sports, commercial and
In his recent book, ``Salmon With Rivers,'' Jim Lichatowich
is highly critical of hatcheries and alleges that little has
been done to deal with the problems. He seems to suggest that
hatcheries should be abandoned but offers no alternatives that
would retain meaningful fisheries. I respectfully disagree with
New hatchery operation approaches in the Yakima Basin by
the Yakima Indian Nation show promise. The mass marking of
hatchery coho and recently hatchery chinook will not only allow
biologists to assess the real interaction of wild and hatchery
stocks on spawning grounds, but also enable selective
And I'm pleased to announce that the Muckleshoot Tribe and
the Department of Fish and Wildlife I think just several weeks
ago reached an agreement to mark hatchery chinook at the Soos
Creek and the Issaquah Creek hatcheries, and that was a major
Now sports anglers for several years have been targeting on
marked hatchery coho and releasing unmarked wild coho where
appropriate. This year for the first time the commercial
trollers will be selectively fishing for coho off the
Washington coast. Selective fishers will eventually allow us to
address the very sensitive problems of excess salmon returning
to hatcheries that several have referred to.
The Oregon hatchery coho ``bonking'' video that several of
our State legislators have shown has gotten lots of
distribution and infuriated not just a few legislators
concerned about the return on the public dollar spent on
hatchery production when you have all these excess fish coming
And it's important to mention that the success of hatchery
supplementation is saving wild runs like the White River Spring
Chinook, and we're also using supplementation in an attempt to
restore wild steelhead in the north Lake Washington tributaries
located not too far from where we're having this hearing today.
And Senator Gorton, you were there at the Issaquah Hatchery I
think this fall when we talked about that.
We're excited about the work of the Hatchery Scientific
Review Group and believe it holds great promise for helping to
steer hatchery management in the right direction. We appreciate
very much the leadership, Senator Gorton, and the role that
you've played in establishing and funding this group of
scientists, as well as the significant involvement and that of
Congressman Dicks and others, and Senator Murray, in the
Northwest salmon recovery, all of you.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the
sport fishing stakeholders.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Frank Urabeck
Mr. Chairman, members of committee. I am Frank Urabeck, speaking
for the Northwest Marine Trade Association. The association includes
800 companies and other entities from Washington, Oregon and British
Columbia that comprise much of the recreational boating industry in the
Northwest. We very much care about the protection and recovery of wild
salmon stocks and are active in salmon recovery efforts. I serve on
three King County watershed committees and also volunteer my time in
support of salmon and steelhead recovery projects undertaken by Trout
Unlimited, the national sport fishing and conservation organization.
While we work to save wild salmon our association also promotes
sport-fishing opportunities consistent with conservation objectives and
in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. Most fishing is done
This year approximately four out of five salmon harvested in the
Puget Sound region will be fish that originated in hatcheries. Those of
us that participated with the state and tribal co-managers in setting
the 2000 salmon season regulations know first hand the protections
afforded wild stocks by the restrictions we placed on our fisheries.
Clearly, without hatchery salmon there would be little or no
opportunity to fish this year by anyone. Even with out best collective
efforts to save wild salmon I do not see wild stocks rebounding to
levels that would allow significant harvest within the near future.
We recognize that some of the criticism of past hatchery practices
is valid. That is why we have joined with Trout Unlimited, Puget Sound
Anglers, the Poggie Club and other organizations in supporting Senator
Gorton's hatchery reform initiative. It just does not make sense to
``throw the baby out with the bath water'' when properly run
hatcheries, through enlightened management, can both support wild
salmon recovery and meaningful harvest by sports, commercial and tribal
In his recent book, ``Salmon Without Rivers,'' Jim Lichatowich is
highly critical of hatcheries and alleges that little has been done to
deal with the problems. He seems to suggest that hatcheries should be
abandoned but offers no alternatives that would retain meaningful
fisheries. I respectfully beg to disagree with Mr. Lichatowich.
New hatchery operation approaches in the Yakima Basin by the Yakima
Indian Nation show promise. Mass marking of hatchery coho, and recently
hatchery Chinook, will not only allow biologists to assess the real
interaction of wild and hatchery stocks on spawning grounds but also
enable selective fisheries. Sports anglers for several years have been
targeting on marked hatchery coho and releasing unmarked wild coho
where appropriate. This year commercial trollers will be selectively
fishing for coho off the Washington coast. Selective fisheries will
eventually allow us to address the very sensitive problem of excess
salmon returning to hatcheries.
The Oregon hatchery coho ``bonking'' video has gotten lots of
distribution and infuriated not just a few legislators concerned about
the return on the public dollar spent for hatchery production. Also it
is important to mention the success of hatchery supplementation in
saving wild runs like the White River Spring Chinook. We are using
supplementation in an attempt to restore wild steelhead in the north
Lake Washington tributaries located not too far from Bellevue.
We are excited about the work of the Hatchery Scientific Review
Group and believe it holds great promise for helping to steer hatchery
management in the right direction. We appreciate very much the
leadership role Senator Gorton has played in establishing and funding
this group of scientists as well has his significant involvement in
Northwest salmon recovery.
Senator Gorton. Jim, it seems to me you spent your entire
career attempting to facilitate answers to complicated
questions with people who at least start with widely divergent
point of views.
How would you rank this one on the order of complexity and
Dr. Bergman. The complexity in terms of managing the
scientific information I think is the biggest challenge, in the
sense that this effort I believe is going to end up really kind
of setting up the research and scientific framework where we're
going to push the limits of our knowledge into some very
complicated areas of genetic interactions, things that people
have talked about, but we don't know a whole lot about.
The good news is, I guess, two-fold. One, I've been in the
middle when some of these folks couldn't hardly speak to each
other, or their predecessors, and I was sort of the chief clay
And in this case, what Billy and Jeff have said I've heard
from others throughout Puget Sound and the coast that they as
managers believe it to be in their interest in the resource
interest to make this work. And what Frank reported to you from
the fishing community is, I believe, the fishing community is
no longer saying don't change, they're just saying, try and
change in a way where you make these two fit. And we realize
things won't be the same. That's not always been the case in
the past; it's been a no change philosophy.
And the last thing. These scientists are impressive. They,
I believe, are going to give us information which managers can,
in fact, use to make informed decisions, and that's their goal.
So I can't remember in the last couple of years where I've
been as enthusiastic about an effort, I guess, Slade, in
response to your question, as I am about this one. I think
Billy's right, the stars are lined up, and we're going to look
back and next year and the year after and say, probably not
since the early 1900s did people set about accomplishing
something of this significance and actually do it.
Senator Gorton. Pete, let's say that this group, as
distinguished as it is, can come up with answers. Are its
recommendations going to be listened to by the managers? And
perhaps even more significantly, will these recommendations
likely be considered to be consistent with the Endangered
Species Act, and do you have a relationship with NMFS that
means you'll be able to implement whatever the recommendations
Dr. Bergman. I think they will be consistent, and I think
that there's several reasons for that. One is, the agencies--
and once again, I'm talking about the tribes as an agency--have
been working very closely with the National Marine Fisheries
Service to understand what the requirements are. And from the
very beginning of this whole thing, we were assured that these
things would and could mesh.
Now, I think that the Federal agencies are going to be
working closer with this particular group, right, Jim?
Mr. Waldo. I might add to that, what Pete's referring to is
the State and tribal managers have put together an
implementation and coordination group. They recently asked U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS if they would each appoint
someone to join in that effort, and they will. And they have
picked some very good people to do that, people who I consider
to be knowledgeable and results oriented.
So I think this is an area where, beginning with the
submission of the hatchery and genetic management plans this
summer and on through the course of this fall, there probably
will be very effective detailed discussions, and it's going to
lead decisions that will be implemented.
Senator Gorton. Finally, Jeff, you got interrupted, and I
think quite properly so, by Norm when you got to this clubbing
or whatever term, the ``bonking'' that one might use for it.
Let me see if I can follow through the logic.
The hatcheries were created primarily to produce fish that
would be caught, commercially and for sports purposes. As we
move into a great emphasis on the restoration of natural
stocks, we've cut down on that harvest on both sides. So what
you're saying is the hatcheries under those circumstances were
literally producing too many fish.
Mr. Koenings. In some cases, yes.
Senator Gorton. At least in some cases.
Now, maybe perhaps you can tell me why is it that excess
number of fish could not have been harvested at a point earlier
in the cycle, then they get backed up to their hatchery and are
Mr. Koenings. Well, it's a very complicated question and a
very complicated answer.
Quite frankly, we go through a process under the Pacific
Fisheries Management Council and north of Falcon, a process
where we allocate fish based on their anticipated return back
to various points of origin, if you will, both natural and
We lack in some cases, in many cases, the ability to make
adjustments to those pre-season forecasts as the fish come
back. In some cases, the hatcheries outperform their
expectation, in other cases, they underperform their
And a large part, when we design fisheries, we can't
capture if, in fact, there is an increased production beyond
what we expect coming back to some facilities. And therefore,
you have these large surpluses that we have to do something
Our purpose is to do something constructively with those
fish, and that's why I mentioned the food banks. Billy's
familiar with giving fish away up in Nisqualle and so on.
Senator Gorton. And so it's more--by the nature of the
situation, you can't come up with totally accurate estimates--
than it is; that they're mixed in with wildfish that you must
protect or are both of those factors involved?
Mr. Koenings. Both of those are factors. And we've tried to
address one of those factors by having selective fisheries, for
example, and by having terminal fisheries as another example.
But you have to realize, 30, 40, 50 years ago, there was a
quite different construct in terms of fisheries and hatcheries
than there is today. And we're in the process, the flux, the
evolution of trying to redesign and reconfigure not only
hatcheries but our harvest structure as well.
Senator Gorton. Now if you didn't kill the fish, if you
didn't bonk the fish, if you just paid no attention, then what
Mr. Koenings. Well, in some cases the habitat isn't there
to do anything with, so they would essentially be dead,
obviously, from their own cycle, and contribute nutrients to
the watershed, which in some cases isn't there as well. So a
lot of the beneficial use wouldn't be there in terms of what we
want to do with the fish anyway. I'm just using this as one
example as well. There are other examples why fish need to be
killed the hatchery rack, if you will, but this is a big one.
If they're not killed, we just won't have the beneficial
use for those fish that we think we can provide by having them
killed at that hatchery.
Senator Gorton. Norm.
Mr. Dicks. Pete, I know you've been working on this
Hatchery Forum Initiative, and I want to thank you, and all of
you, for your efforts in this area.
And this is one of the questions, when you have people come
out here trying to explain hatchery fish--you can catch
hatchery fish, you can eat hatchery fish. Some people think
they shouldn't even have a salmon; that it's the wildfish that
we're trying to focus on.
And one of the challenges in operating these hatcheries, as
I understand it, is trying to deconflict the wildfish that are
reproducing in the river at the same time when you release
these hatchery fish.
Now, are we going to be able to do this? Can these things
be managed so that you separate the hatchery fish from the
wildfish? And anybody else who wants to get on this.
Dr. Bergman. Well, I think they can. I think you're aware
that the National Marine Fisheries Service has come out and
said, we've got to be able to know what the mix is, and we want
all of these fish to be marked, and not necessarily for
selective fishing, but just so that we can----
Mr. Dicks. In other words, you want to do the adipose fin
clipping on all hatchery fish?
Dr. Bergman. That's what I believe National Marine
Fisheries Service is saying.
There's some of us who wanted to do the same thing that,
thinking that gives us a greater opportunity for the
selective--there's some of us who wanted to see all the
hatchery fish marked so that they could be caught, and so that
you can find out whether a fish, when you've landed the thing,
is a hatchery fish or a natural fish, and put them back and try
to fish in ways----
Mr. Dicks. Put the wildfish back?
Dr. Bergman. Put the wildfish back and fish in such ways
that the fishing gear does not injure the wildfish, that sort
of thing. And probably what you'd want to do is fish in areas
where you can tell that most of the fish are hatchery fish
because they're identifiable. And that's the Federal request
that just came out in a letter a short time ago.
In the first place, you can't tell when the hatchery fish
are mixed with the wildfish unless you can differentiate them
in some way. And so they're just saying, hey, simply, we can
look at the fish. And they're concerned about what fraction of
the hatchery fish are spawning with the wildfish. And so now
the idea is that we go out on the spawning ground and just take
a look. And if we've got too many, we need to figure out how to
Mr. Dicks. Yes, Frank.
Mr. Urabeck. Congressman, those are good questions, and the
fact is, that we really started--and I think both of you were
helpful in getting us into that mass marking. And the coastal
fisheries again this year will be on hatchery marked coho; we
have to have that. And it was pretty successful last year. The
encounter rates were pretty good. It was, hey, this may not be
a bad way to go. A little slow in the straits as some of you
know, but we hope the encounter rates go up this year. And down
in the lower Columbia River it's a way to go.
People fought this idea. And we had some of those debates,
but now people are recognizing that this does give us an
additional tool to be used where appropriate. And the big
breakthrough on chinook, there's still some issues to be worked
out with the tribes, and they've got to be in agreement with
this thing. That's one thing we learned, you can't rush ahead.
The co-managers both have to agree this is the way to go. But
we're seeing some promise on this thing.
National Marine Fisheries Service just came out with a
letter just a few weeks ago, that in effect said, as a matter
of policy, mass marking is the way to go in order to
differentiate between the wild and the hatchery fish on the
spawning grounds. Coho, there are selective fisheries; chinook,
we've still got to talk about because of the United States-
Canada thing, but we're moving in the right direction.
Mr. Dicks. Jeff.
Mr. Koenings. Just a brief comment on other ways that we're
selectively harvest fish. Mass marking is one way of having a
selective fishery. There are other time and area strategies
that we have as well, where we try to separate healthy stocks
from stocks that are not healthy. And of course, we have to
provide the fishing opportunities and the custom places for the
tribal co-managers. But they harvest in terminal areas, so
there's a way of separating, in some cases, again, the stocks
that are in trouble for those that are hatchery origin.
I will mention one other reason why you do see, in certain
cases, why we do have to kill fish at the rear, and that's
simply because we have out of watershed stocks coming back to
certain watersheds. And that's part of our review practice to
not have out of watershed stocks coming back to a particular
watershed to use the local endemic stocks in the watershed. And
again, that will help us reduce the incidence of having to
harvest fish when they come back. So there's a variety of
different things we have to do and can do with this review.
Mr. Dicks. Billy, what do you think about selective
Mr. Frank. Tribes are not against it. There's a right way
to do it and a wrong way to do it. And we're working to find
the right way.
Mr. Dicks. Is there new gear that you can use where you
could release the fish rather than use gill nets? Is that
Mr. Frank. Well, you could go back to the old days of traps
and whatever, you know. I mean, we're working with everyone and
looking at different methods of doing things now. I mean, there
is a change coming, and it's happening right in front of us,
such as nets that are going to be sunk and mashes and different
When I was a young boy, again, we had cotton nets. They
were cotton, and we hung them. And it took you a couple weeks
to hang them. Well, cotton rots, and the salmon's got a chance
to go through, and the cotton can be seen at daytime. And you
can only catch salmon night with a cotton net. These are things
that now, the filament comes out, you can fish 24 hours a day
and catch salmon. But them are things that are being looked at.
These are very trying times for managers to get right in and
see what methods has to be done.
We've got to look at the whole ecosystem, and we can't
single any elements out. We've got to look at everything.
Fixing hatcheries is not going to solve our problem. Everything
has got to be together. We've got to look at everything, the
habitat, the clean water, everything. And we've got to look at
management, just exactly what we're talking about here. And
we've got to be credible, we've got to be accountable, and
we've got to do it right.
Mr. Dicks. What about mass marking? The tribes have come
along on this.
Mr. Frank. As Jeff was saying, the Muckleshoot Tribe and
Washington Department of Fisheries came to an agreement on mass
marking. And that's what's happening throughout Puget Sound and
along the coast.
Mr. Dicks. Jeff, one thing I tried to do every year to ask
that the State go out and meet one on one with each of the
tribes on this issue and their areas. And I'm told that's being
Mr. Koenings. That's correct. That's what Billy was
referencing, the State working with the individual tribes, like
the Muckle Sous Tribe and others to reach agreement on mass
marking chinook as well as coho.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Gorton. As you've all noticed, we've been joined at
the time of this panel with Congressman Inslee, and now it's
his turn, both for a statement, if he wishes to make one, and
Mr. Inslee. I just have a couple questions.
First, I should note, Billy made reference to hoping for a
breath of fresh air. I thought you were going to introduce me,
Billy. I was kind of disappointed a little bit by that.
I appreciate the Senator convening this and all of your
participation. I do have a couple questions.
First, what percentage of these stocks are tagged now to
identify them as hatchery and realistically, say a year from
now, what's like to have identifying markers or hatchery fish?
What do you think? Anybody can answer that, take a stab at it.
Mr. Koenings. In Puget Sound?
Mr. Inslee. Yeah, let's just stay with Puget Sound for a
Mr. Koenings. Well, for coho and chinook, I think in the
next--well, if not this year but the next year, we'll have
nearly 100 percent of the coho and chinook marked in Puget
Sound from hatcheries.
Mr. Inslee. That's when you do the adipes?
Mr. Koenings. Right.
Mr. Inslee. Not all of them will have the tag.
Mr. Koenings. In the mass marking program, exactly. They'll
be some scientific double index tagging and all that stuff that
we don't need to go into. But, yeah, involved in the mass
Mr. Inslee. And what percentage does that eventually save
of the hatchery fish--of the natural run fish, that are tagged,
or otherwise identified, what percentage actually get back into
the water and survive?
Does anybody have any idea how that works?
Mr. Koenings. Well, I'll take a shot at it.
We have an idea of what the total harvest rate is on fish
from marking our hatchery fish, and we think those rates will
be representative for the wildstocks. But the essence of it is,
is that we hope--as Pete was saying earlier--the problem that
we're trying to correct is, we can't harvest wildstocks at the
same rate we harvest the hatchery stocks. So we can place a
great harvest rate and emphasis on the hatchery stock, thereby
reducing the overall harvest on the natural stocks. So on
hatchery stocks we may harvest at a rate of 60 to 70 percent.
We only harvest, incidentally, the weaker wildstocks as a rate
of 20 to 25 percent. That's how far we've reduced it.
So that's the hope here, that we can have some real
opportunities, both in terms of tribal and nontribal fisheries,
by having a higher harvest rate on the hatchery stocks, and at
the same have a much, much lower incidental harvest rate on the
wildstocks. That's the intent of the program.
Mr. Inslee. Dr. Bergman, can you--and this is kind of a
wide open question. But if you were consider all of the
challenges that hatchery fish create for natural wild runs, how
would you characterize those between increasing incidental
take, being a competitor for nutrients, genetic interbreeding?
What's the greatest threat? How do you, in an hierarchical
basis put those? What's the biggest problem? What's the least
Dr. Bergman. I'm not sure I can really answer that. I guess
my personal sense--and I know that others, unlike on this
science group, disagree with me on this. But I think that
putting too many hatchery fish in certain locations--that is,
more fish than the environment can take--is a major problem.
That's what I think.
The other issue is, I think that the timing of when these
fish are released and so forth, and probably the actual size of
the fish. Natural fish just aren't ordinarily as large as these
hatchery fish. So if a hatchery fish is being released on top
of a bunch of natural stocks that are half the size, they
simply get out-competed for food, and if there's too much
difference, there is even predation and that sort of thing.
But I guess I would have a hard time trying to decide which
is the more important. And, in fact, I think part of the
problem is that our science hasn't been that good. We didn't
learn those things.
Mr. Koenings. I think too, just a comment you might find
that it's on a case-by-case basis. There isn't one factor or a
combination of factors that's unique. It has to be determined
on a case-by-case basis. And that's one reason why we're
looking at this scientific review group to give us sort of the
risk and benefit guidelines by which we can make those
judgments. That's the importance of this group.
Mr. Inslee. We talked a little bit about the potential of
doing the harvest at the, terminus, if you will, closer to the
Billy, has there ever been a case where any of the tribes
have agreed to do that? In other words, at least on a temporary
basis not fish in their usual and accustomed geographic area,
but, in fact, accept a terminus location of harvest? Has that
Mr. Frank. The tribes right now are down to about 90
percent of no harvest, and most all of the harvest right now is
pulled into the terminal area and fishing directly on hatchery
In the past, the hatcheries were not build on watersheds;
they were build little creeks over here on each side of the
watershed or something. And that's a problem. But if there's a
hatchery there an there's a bay there, that's a terminal
fishery, and it's going on right here, so that they're taking
that harvest of hatchery stock, and they manage it that way,
along with the State of Washington.
But if we had this hearing 10 years ago, or 20, or 30, or
100 years ago, we wouldn't be talking like this. Things were
Now things--when I say lining up better, this hatchery
reform, and at least the public hopefully will understand
better what the manager and the scientific team are looking at.
And they're looking at everything that you just laid out,
Congressman. You know, when do we release the salmon? Is there
a good time to release them? How big do they get? Do we feed
them to what size so they won't outbid for the food?
All of these things are being looked at, and they're very
important to the watershed, to bringing the recovery of the
wildstock back as well as how do they work together when
they're on a watershed, and they're all released from a creek
or whatever it might be.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. Dicks. Tell us how--and I know Long Live the Kings have
worked on this--you've used hatcheries and supplementation to
restore wild runs? How do you do that?
Mr. Koenings. I'll take a first crack at it.
If there's a wildstock run that is particularly bad shape--
and we have some of those in the State, obviously, one way we
can use hatcheries is to do the normal increase in survival
during the freshwater phase, increase it by putting what stock
does come back into hatcheries----
Mr. Dicks. Wildfish. You take the wildfish and put them
back in the hatchery.
Mr. Koenings [continuing]. Wildfish, put them back, no
broodstock capture. But you take the broodstock as it comes
back to the wild, and that's where you have your egg-take, put
them in the facility where the survivorship goes up 9-fold, 10-
fold from what it is in the natural environment, especially in
our sick environments we have--put those fish in the hatchery
to increase their survivorship, have them go to sea and
complete their life's cycle. But you've increased the number of
successful migrants out of the freshwater phase by 10-fold by
using the hatcheries.
And the hope is, by over a period of time, you will have
enough fish coming back from the process that they will
naturally spawn and keep the run going, and you can end the
supplementation. So that's the way supplementation is
envisioned to work. There is an end product by which you've
increased the size of the natural run to the point it can carry
itself through natural spawning.
Mr. Dicks. Are we doing enough of that? Is there the
financing to do the amount of that that's possible? Can you
tell us about that?
Mr. Koenings. Well, do have some of those programs going
on. Right now, I think they've been used to basically
supplement some of really the weakest and the most dire need of
help, if you will. And that's one of the things that this
Hatchery Scientific Review Group is looking at, is giving us a
risk-benefit analysis, if you will, of expanding that type of
program into other runs--is the risk worth the benefit or not?
And, yes, that's one of the questions that's going on right
Mr. Frank. Congressman Norm, what we're doing is we're
taking our own stock at Nisqualle, and we're introducing them
back into the upper watershed, into the cold water--chinook,
salmon. And they're bypassing the hatchery on the 8 miles of
the river, and they're going on up into the 40 mile. And
they'll never come back to that hatchery. They'll just migrate
back out to sea and will rebuild that stock up there, 40 miles
And 40 miles is where the first dam is on Nisqualle. I
mean, there's all kinds of problems along the watershed, so we
have to look at this as a watershed management, and that's what
is happening right now, and how many can we put into that
particular river that's 40 miles up and all of these things?
Mr. Dicks. Carrying capacity?
Mr. Frank. Yes. The city of Eatonville is up there, and
what are we doing. But we're working with the city of
Eatonville, we're working with Yelm, we're working with the
whole watershed to let them know what is going on on the
Mr. Waldo. I think part of what the repositioning--sort of
a strategic plan on repositioning is designed to answer that
type of question.
Let me give you two examples, one of which I think,
Senator, you're going to see over the weekend out in the Hamma
Hamma. But it's a combination of both work on the habitat and
they had some tributaries to the canal where literally the
species were gone. So they went to the next tributary over
where they still had some, and they very carefully decided on a
reintroduction program. And they raised then so that the fish
are reared in a sort of semi-natural state. They decide when to
go back into the river on their own.
It's quite a bit different. I mean, it doesn't look at
all--when you say a hatchery, this is not what you would
envision as a hatchery program, but it is, in fact, artificial
production for targeted purpose combined with changes in the
Another example, the Tualips have got a program in the
Stilliguamish. That river has been severely damaged because of
a lot of landslide activity, mass failure. It used to be one of
the best sports fishing rivers in the State, and now a couple
species are about to go extinct.
Well, they want to go in and capture that genetic stock,
and then figure out how you start helping the river heal itself
to a point where it can sustain those stocks again and then
reintroduce them. Because it's not a permanent condition. The
river doesn't always have to be in that shape, but you would
like to be make sure that the stocks that have survived it over
thousands of years are still around when that healing is
occurred. That's a different use of a hatchery than we would
have thought of 10 years ago, a different combination of
So when we talk about repositioning, it's not just do you
reshape the concrete or you just kind of a little bigger or a
little smaller; it's, we're going to try and accomplish some
very different things here, I think.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you very much.
Senator Gorton. Thank you. Each and every one of you has
made a major contribution and has been most enlightening. And
we greatly appreciate not just your efforts here but your
STATEMENT OF DANIEL DIGGS, ASSISTANT REGIONAL DIRECTOR
FOR FISHERIES, PACIFIC REGION, U.S FISH AND
WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE
Senator Gorton. And the fourth panel will deal with natural
factors of salmon decline, research and policy. Will the three
of you come forward, please?
Senator Gorton. We'll start Mr. Diggs with you.
Mr. Diggs. Thank you. Senator Gorton, Congressman Dicks,
Congressman Inslee, it's really a pleasure to be here today on
this panel. I would have loved to sit in on all these panels
and provide some input. And perhaps on the next panel in which
I sit I can add to those discussions we've already heard. But,
of course, this panel is addressing one of the issues in regard
to salmon recovery and restoration in the Northwest, and that's
the issue of natural decline.
And as I understand, you particularly wanted to hear from
the Fish and Wildlife Service today in regards to the tern
issue and the salmon predation issue in the Columbia River. So
my comments will be rather brief in those regards on that
specific subject of interest.
Mr. Chairman, I am honored to be here today and grateful to
you for your efforts to bring focus to the issues surrounding
salmonid restoration in the Northwest. I am Daniel Diggs, the
assistant regional director for Fisheries for the Pacific
Region out of Portland, OR. And I am providing testimony on
behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today.
We appreciate this opportunity to add to the discussion on
salmon recovery and hope that today's hearing can help people
of differing perspectives work toward a common concern for
salmon and their habitats.
This issue has fostered an interagency effort within the
Department of Interior and other Federal agencies. And as you
know, Dr. Daniel Roby, the assistant unit leader of the Oregon
Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, testified 2 days ago on
this very subject before the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.
So I will offer brief remarks on issues that I know are of
specific concern to you, and then be happy to answer any
questions that you may have or provide any additional
information you may need.
I understand you're interested in hearing more in
particular about the seabird, particularly, the Caspian tern
predation and its impact on salmon restoration in the Columbia
The Service provides technical assistance on the Migratory
Bird Treaty Act issues, and also serves in the advisory role on
the seabird predation group through the Caspian Tern Working
Now, Caspian terns are colonial nesting species that are
native to the Columbia River and the Northwest. The terns first
nested in the Columbia River estuary in significant numbers
around 1984, when about 1,000 pairs were documented at the East
By 1996, this colony had moved to Rice Island, a bit
farther up the river, which is a Corps of Engineers dredged
disposal island, and it increased roughly to 8,000 pairs. Now
Rice Island is one of only two known colonies along the Oregon
and Washington coasts, and support about 10,000 pairs of
As discussed by Dr. Roby, the United States Geological
Survey in 1998, research has indicated that Caspian terns
nesting on Rice Island consume between 7 and 15 million smolts.
This consumption represents roughly 6 percent of the total
number of smolts produced basin wide, 80 to 90 percent of which
are hatchery-produced smolts. Losses of wild chinook salmon
smolts were estimated to be less than 1 percent. So the primary
consumption appeared to be on hatchery fish.
Declines in salmon populations occurred----
Senator Gorton. On that point, because that's unclear here.
You said the loss of chinook salmon. Are you saying wild
chinook salmon or are these hatchery chinook salmon?
Mr. Diggs. I believe this is a reference to wild chinook
salmon at this point.
Declines in salmon populations occurred prior to the
development of Columbia River estuary tern colonies, as we all
know them. And despite avian predation, returns of hatchery-
reared chinook have been the highest on record over the last 10
years. However, in an effort to provide some short-term
recovery benefit by reducing predation, the Caspian Tern
Working Group developed a strategy to translocate the terns
nesting on Rice Island to an island near the mouth of the
estuary known as East Sand Island.
Caspian terns feed on a wide variety of fishes.
Specifically which fish depends upon their availability. So
that is, in part, the rationale behind encouraging a shift in
tern nesting from Rice Island back to East Sand Island, where
they nested in the mid 1980s.
By moving the birds closer to the mouth of the estuary,
there will be a greater mix of fish available to the terns,
thus reducing the proportion of their diet that is made up of
In 1999, 1,400 pairs of Caspian terns were successfully
encouraged to relocate to East Sand Island. These birds had
about 40 percent less salmonids in their diet compared to birds
nesting on Rice Island. And our goal with the 2000 relocation
effort is to see this 40 percent reduction realized for all
outmigrating salmonid smolts, which should result in saving
approximately 3 to 6 million smolts.
The Service recognizes that this effort to reduce predation
may be a short-term recovery effort until more substantial
efforts to begin restoring salmon populations begin taking
effect in the basin. And the Service believes that Caspian tern
predation on salmon smolts, although it may not rise to the
same level as other causes to recovery, is nonetheless an issue
that we are addressing over the short-term with the other
Federal agencies involved.
The Service supports a step-by-step science-based approach
to managing fish-eating birds. A comprehensive assessment is
needed to address all the factors that influence salmon
recovery to enable managers to focus efforts on actions that
will be the most significant benefit for salmon restoration. We
must keep in mind, for example, that tern predation, much like
salmon and steelhead trout declines, is at its base a habitat
In that light, Mr. Chairman, I want to take advantage of
this opportunity to thank you for the support that you've
provided to salmonid ecosystem restoration in the Northwest.
We've heard much about that today from the various panels. We
would really like to thank you for your continued support for
the Service's efforts in our nation's Fish Passage Program, and
this has been a direct benefit to the State of Washington
already, with funding work on the Tahuya River and on the west
side of the Cascade Mountains and Icicle Creek and the upper
mid Columbia drainage.
We also would like to recognize the other Service programs,
such as what is termed the 100th Meridian Initiative, which is
addressing another serious concern throughout the west, the
invasion of aquatic nuisance species, such as mitten crab and
zebra mussels. All of these programs, the continued work on the
Chehalis River restoration project, Jobs-in-the-Woods, Partners
for Fish and Wildlife, are needed for the restoration of
salmon, bull trout and other native species. And so we would
like to recognize all of you today for the support you
contribute to restoration in those ways.
I'd also like to really personally thank you, as the
assistant regional director for Fisheries, for your role in
supporting the use of hatcheries for native fish restoration
and your tireless efforts in helping implement hatchery reform
throughout the west, in the Columbia River Basin and here in
I think, as you know, the Service has taken to heart the
message from Congress to refocus our hatchery programs to
implement hatchery reform and to support the recovery and
restoration in the Northwest, while we continue to meet our
Federal mitigation and trust responsibilities.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks, and
again, I thank you for the opportunity to participate here in
this discussion. It's such a critical discussion that we need
to keep going in the Northwest. And I would be glad to answer
any questions that you might have.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Daniel Diggs
Mr. Chairman, I am honored to be here today and grateful to you for
your efforts to bring focus to the issues surrounding salmonid
restoration in the Northwest. I am Daniel Diggs, the Assistant Regional
Director for Fisheries, and will provide testimony on behalf of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).
We appreciate this opportunity to contribute to the discussion on
salmon recovery and hope that today's hearing can help people of
differing perspectives work toward a common concern for salmon and
their habitats. This issue has fostered an interagency effort within
the Department of the Interior. As you may know, Dr. Daniel Roby,
Assistant Unit Leader of the Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit
of the U.S. Geological Survey, testified 2 days ago on this very
subject before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on
Water and Power. I will offer brief remarks on issues that I know are
of specific concern to you and then will be happy to answer any
questions you may have or provide any additional information you may
I understand you are interested in hearing more about seabird,
particularly Caspian tern, predation and its impact on salmon
restoration. The Service provides technical assistance on Migratory
Bird Treaty Act issues and also serves in an advisory role on seabird
predation through the Caspian Tern Working Group.
Caspian terns are a colonial nesting species native to the Columbia
River and the Northwest. The terns first nested in the Columbia River
estuary in significant numbers around 1984 when about 1,000 pairs were
documented at East Sand Island. By 1996, this colony had moved to Rice
Island, a Corps of Engineers dredge disposal island, and increased to
roughly 8,000 pairs. Now Rice Island is one of only two known colonies
along the coast of Oregon and Washington and supports about 10,000
pairs of Caspian terns.
As discussed by Dr. Daniel Roby of the U.S. Geological Survey, in
1998, research indicated that Caspian terns nesting on Rice Island
consumed between 7 and 15 million smolts. This total consumption
represents roughly 6 percent of the total number of smolts produced
basin-wide, 80-90 percent of which are hatchery-produced. Losses of
chinook salmon smolts are estimated to be less than 1 percent.
Declines in salmon populations occurred prior to the development of
Columbia River estuary tern colonies. And despite avian predation,
returns of hatchery reared chinook have been the highest on record over
the last 10 years. However, in an effort to provide some short-term
recovery benefit by reducing predation, the Caspian Tern Working Group
developed a strategy to translocate the terns nesting on Rice Island to
an island near the mouth of the estuary, known as East Sand Island.
Caspian terns feed on a wide variety of fishes--specifically which
fishes depends upon their availability. That is in part the rationale
behind encouraging a shift in tern nesting from Rice Island back to
East Sand Island where they nested in the Mid 1980's. By moving the
birds closer to the mouth of the estuary, there will be a greater mix
of fish available to the terns, thus reducing the proportion of their
diet that is made up of salmon smolts. In 1999, 1,400 pairs of Caspian
terns were successfully encouraged to relocate to East Sand Island.
These birds had about 40 percent less salmonids in their diet compared
to birds nesting on Rice Island. Our goal with the fiscal year 2000
relocation effort is to see this 40 percent reduction realized for all
outmigrating salmonid smolts, which should result in saving
approximately 3 to 6 million smolts.
The Service recognizes that this effort to reduce predation may
provide a short-term recovery benefit until more substantial efforts
begin to restore salmon populations. However, the Service believes that
Caspian tern predation on salmon smolts does not rise to the level of
other causes of salmon mortality. The Service supports a step-by-step,
science-based approach to managing fish-eating birds. A comprehensive
assessment is needed to address all the factors that influence salmon
recovery to enable managers to focus efforts on actions that will have
the most significant benefit for salmon restoration. We must keep in
mind, for example, that tern predation, much like salmon and trout
decline, is at its base a habitat issue.
In that light, I want to also take advantage of this opportunity to
thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the support you have provided to salmonid
ecosystem restoration in the Northwest. We also thank you for your
continued support for other Service efforts such as our nation-wide
fish passage program (of direct benefit to the State of Washington
already, with funding for work on Tahuya River on the west-side and
Icicle Creek on the east-side), and other specific Service programs
such as the 100th Meridian Initiative (and other invasive species
projects), Chehalis River Restoration Project, Jobs-in-the-Woods, and
Partners for Fish and Wildlife. All of these programs, and so much
more, are needed for the restoration of salmon, bull trout, and other
I also want to personally thank you, in my capacity as Assistant
Regional Director for Fisheries, for your role in supporting the use of
hatcheries for native fish restoration. The Service, as you are aware,
has taken to heart the message from Congress to refocus our hatchery
program to support the recovery and restoration of declining native
salmonid stocks in the Northwest, while continuing to meet our Federal
mitigation and trust responsibilities.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks, Again I thank you
for the opportunity to participate in this discussion, which is so
critical to the Northwest. I will be happy to answer any questions you
STATEMENT OF FRANK L. CASSIDY, JR., CHAIRMAN, NORTHWEST
POWER PLANNING COUNCIL
Senator Gorton. Mr. Cassidy.
Mr. Cassidy. Thank you, Senator Gorton, Congressman Dicks,
Congressman Inslee. How are you today?
I appreciate this opportunity. I am Larry Cassidy, chairman
of the Northwest Power Planning Council, and also Governor
Locke's appointee to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
As you well know, the Northwest Power Planning Council is
an interstate compact made up of four States, two members from
each State. And we have the responsibility, in fact, the sole
responsibility in the Northwest, to mediate and work on the
reliable source of energy we have in the Columbia-Snake Basin
and also mitigate the fish and wildlife losses related to that
hydro system and funded by Bonneville ratepayer money.
There are several things going on in the Power Council now,
which I will take a moment to talk about, and then I'll get
into some of the issues that my colleague also addressed.
When Governor Locke asked me to leave business and go to
the Northwest Power Planning Council, he said to me, ``Don't go
down there and scratch your nose; go see what's going on with
all that money.'' And I have, and my counterpart, Tom Karier,
from Spokane and I, as well as the other members of the present
power council from the other States, have taken a very
different approach with to regard to how the monies that are
expended for fish and wildlife mitigation are used.
An example might be that we took the 1997 Gorton Amendment
in creating the Independent Science Review Panel seriously, and
we have begun to make every project that we review go through
that review process at the Independent Science Review Panel,
not to be confused with the earlier science review panel that
is working on other issues inside Washington State.
An example of the results of that is, for the first time in
knowledgeable history we reduced a hatchery proposal from $37
million to $8 million with an axiom, that, you show us some
results, then we'll talk about more dough.
So I think there's a very significant business-like
approach occurring in the Northwest Power Planning Council, and
I think you'd all be pleased with that, and we thank you for
your leadership in that regard.
One of the other things we're working on is the multi-
species framework, which is a series of studies and tests that
have come out now with various alternatives for the Columbia-
Snake system, and this document is sort of a primer on that,
and I'll leave it for you. But it talks about seven
alternatives with regard to changes that can occur on the
Columbia-Snake Basin, including four alternatives that deal
with breaching and what happens to them.
Our goal was to take the emotion out of this issue and try
to logically say what's going to happen if you breach, if you
don't breach, what can you do if you don't breach, et cetera.
And I think it's a significant achievement, and it's beginning
to bear some fruit.
The other thing we've worked on is an artificial production
review (APR) which was mandated by Congress for us to
undertake. We spent 2 years reviewing the hatcheries on the
Columbia-Snake system. Here again, it should not be confused
with the other artificial production reviews that have gone on,
although we have shared that document with the other working
people inside Washington State.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the APR review,
except that we came to somewhat similar conclusions as what
I've heard on the earlier panels. There are only two statistics
I would have brought out--there are over 120 artificial
production facilities in the Columbia-Snake Basin. If planting
fish were the answer, we wouldn't have a salmon problem.
I listened to a Canadian speaker about 2 months ago, and he
brought to our attention the fact that in the North Pacific,
including Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and
Idaho, we planted 5 billion fish, artificially produced fish,
in 1999. So again, if planting fish were the answer or spending
money were the answer, we wouldn't be here today with this
Certainly they're a key component, and we at the Power
Council understand that. We worked on a memorandum of
understanding with Bonneville with regard to our annual amounts
of expenditures for fish and wildlife mitigation, and we live
up to that. But for the first time in a long time there's a
very serious attitude about how that money is spent. Is it
science-backed, is it going to be used on the ground, and is it
going to make things better, hopefully, for the habitat and
salmon in general?
Every now and then you run into disappointments, and one of
those is what the former speaker addressed.
I spent, as chairman, as well as the other members of our
council, 18 months working out an agreement on the Caspian tern
relocation issue, to move them from Rice Island--which is
probably of all the points in Columbia the worst possible point
for the terns to nest because they are right where the
freshwater and saltwater block meet. As you know, fish tend to
avoid that salt water confrontation on their outbound
migration, and they're more easily preyed on as they come to
the surface to stay in freshwater as long as they can.
Relocating them to East Sand Island was a mediated effort
that took some number of months to come to agreement on. Our
Power Council held up a $760,000 appropriation for the Tern
Working Group until they came up with a working plan that was
satisfactory to us.
We finally achieved that, and we all signed off. And to be
sued, as we have been, is a major disappointment for our
council and for the States of Oregon and Washington. I will
tell you that I'm recommending to our Governor's office today
that we join the Corps of Engineers as an amicus--the State of
Washington, that is--to avoid the fact that we have to file an
EIS so we can proceed with this plan for this year.
As I said, this is a major disappointment for us, and I
don't want to lose another season. I do not by any sense of the
word imply that the Caspian tern population is the sole reason
for our salmon decline. But if you look at this situation,
we're expending huge amounts of public money to produce fish,
some artificially produced, some wild by what we do in the
protection of the pristine area.
Senator Gorton. Spilling water.
Mr. Cassidy. Sorry?
Senator Gorton. Spilling water as well.
Mr. Cassidy. Also true, and which is a loss of power.
We also claim--and I feel comfortable, and this is a good
statistic--that we are getting better escapement today of the
downstream migrants than in the 1960s before they built dams,
all through the tweaks we've done on the system for channel
diverters and screening and other efforts that we've done to
get these little devils down to the mouth to the river.
To then let this huge predation go on, whether they're
hatchery or wildfish, doesn't make sense to me.
Senator Gorton. From essentially artificial birds, in the
sense of their----
Mr. Cassidy. Well, there are strong proponents for the
terns, and I respect those people. I've been down on the
island. I sort of like the birds. They're actually sort of cute
to be honest with you. I'm sort of sorry I went down there, to
tell you the truth.
Mr. Dicks. It's just unfortunate the Corps of Engineers
built this island where they did.
Mr. Cassidy. Well, I don't know if I can address that or
not. The dredging of the Columbia is the key component to our
economic structure, and it has to be done. So it's a constant
I think if you want to address the real unfortunate thing
is that they didn't vegetate the island from day one. And
that's what we've been sort of getting the Corps to try to
commit to. If they'll vegetate their spoil sites, you reduce
the tern nesting potential because they will not nest on areas
that have vegetation.
But as I say, to get back to my point about the Caspian
terns, this was not a permit to reduce the population. I mean,
there's a precedent with cow preying and bears scratching trees
and other things in our State where we do undertake that. This
was an effort to work out a resolution that would relocate the
terns to reduce their diet from 90 percent salmonids to 40
percent salmonids. It's a reasonable conclusion. And then to
end up being sued as we are is a very major disappointment.
And, in fact, we had agreement with the Audubon groups in
Portland and Vancouver which are geographically close to the
area. Now I'm very disappointed that this turned out the way it
is. I just don't want to lose another season or two.
In any event, I do think things are in good shape at the
Northwest Power Planning Council. We do recognize the reliable
source of electrical power we have in our Northwest is vital to
us. It needs to be protected. I believe sometimes we take it
for granted, and we can't do that.
So I'm working this out so that we do remain strong in the
power generation areas and still have strong fish runs, which
is the real goal for the Power Council, and I feel good we're
headed in a good direction.
I appreciate the opportunity to talk before you, and I'm
willing to answer any questions.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Frank L. Cassidy, Jr.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify today on
behalf of the Northwest Power Planning Council and our Columbia River
Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.
As you know, the Council is an agency of the four Northwest states
of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The Council was authorized by
Congress in 1980 through the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning
and Conservation Act (the Power Act), and created by the legislatures
of the four states in 1981. The Council is the only regional agency
charged with balancing fish and wildlife mitigation in the Columbia
River Basin with a reliable, affordable power supply. The Council's
three principle responsibilities are:
1. To develop a regional power plant to assure the Northwest an
adequate, efficient, economical and reliable power supply;
2. To develop a fish and wildlife program as part of the power plan
to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife affected by
hydroelectric development in the Columbia River Basin; and
3. To provide for broad public participation in these processes and
inform the Northwest public about regional energy issues.
There are eight Council members, two from each state, who are
appointed by the governors. I am one of Washington's members, and also
the Council chair for 2000. The other Washington member is Tom Karier
I am pleased that you are addressing salmon and steelhead recovery
issues through this hearing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to
briefly discuss the Council's efforts in mitigating the impact of
hydropower dams in the Columbia River Basin. Each year, the Council
directs the expenditure of a substantial amount of Bonneville Power
Administration electricity revenues to implement our fish and wildlife
program. For fiscal year 2000, the Council's program budget is
approximately $130 million. These expenditures are directed at
improving survival at all life-cycle stages for anadromous and resident
fish, and also to replace wildlife habitat affected by the dams. I
believe the Council's efforts offer a model for others to emulate,
particularly Federal agencies implementing the Endangered Species Act.
Specifically today, I would like to highlight the Council's use of
independent scientific review in the annual project selection process,
the Council's recommendations regarding the future use of fish
hatcheries, the Council's consideration of ocean conditions in our
annual project-funding recommendations to Bonneville, and the Council's
response to the impact of predation by Caspian terns on salmon and
steelhead smolts in the Columbia River estuary.
INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
Due to Senator Gorton's leadership, in 1996 Congress amended the
Northwest Power Act by directing the Council to create the Independent
Scientific Review Panel. The purpose of the amendment was to provide a
higher level of scrutiny of Bonneville's annual direct expenditures on
fish and wildlife projects in the Columbia Basin. The result, we
believe, after nearly 3 years of implementation, is improved
credibility and public accountability.
The 1996 amendment directed the science panel to make
recommendations to the Council on project priorities within the
Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, and to review
project proposals for their scientific merit. For fiscal year 2000, the
Panel reviewed 397 project proposals. It is worth noting that this
year, as for fiscal year 1999, the Review Panel found about 40 percent
of the project proposals to be either inadequate for scientific review
or not supported by sound science. Ultimately, many of these projects
were revised by their proponents and approved by the Review Panel. Two
years ago, a provision that Senator Gorton sponsored in the fiscal year
1999 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Conference Report
expanded the scope of the Independent Scientific Review Panel's work to
include the fish and wildlife projects reimbursed to the United States
Treasury by Bonneville. Through these efforts, and the subsequent work
of the Review Panel, electricity customers who pay for the Council's
fish and wildlife program can be assured that their money is being
spent in the most efficient, scientifically credible way possible.
REVIEW OF ARTIFICIAL PRODUCTION
Independent scientific review also made an important contribution
to the Council's recommendations to Congress last year for new policies
to guide the future use of artificial production of fish in the
Columbia River Basin. In July 1997, through another provision sponsored
by Senator Gorton, Congress directed the Council, with the assistance
of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), to conduct a
thorough review of all federally funded artificial production programs
in the Columbia River. The ISAB is a panel of 11 scientists who advise
both the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service on
scientific issues related to fish and wildlife. Congress directed the
Council to recommend a coordinated policy for future operation of
artificial production programs and to provide recommendations for how
to obtain such a policy.
Artificial production of fish has been used in the Columbia River
Basin for many purposes during this century. Most of the artificial
production programs in the basin are financed with Federal money,
Hatchery programs have produced both resident fish (those that do not
migrate to the ocean, such as bull trout and rainbow trout) and
anadromous (ocean-going) fish, especially chinook and coho salmon, and
steelhead. These species have also been the focus of tribal, sport and
commercial fisheries management in the basin. There are more than 150
hatcheries and associated facilities for anadromous and resident fish
in the basin. Federal and State agencies, Indian tribes and private
interests operate them. Many are intended to mitigate the impact of
dams, which have blocked access to about one-third of the salmon and
steelhead habitat that existed historically in the Columbia Basin. Dams
also affect resident fish by blocking historic freshwater migration
routes, inundating spawning areas and altering the ecosystem.
Fish hatcheries play a unique role in the Columbia Basin. They have
been identified as one of the causes of the current declines,
particularly for salmon, because the volume of fish production prompted
long fishing seasons, which in turn caused overfishing of the less-
numerous naturally spawning runs. At the same time, hatcheries also are
considered part of the solution to the declines, as they are capable of
producing fish for release into rivers and streams to rebuild naturally
The dilemma identified by Congress and addressed by the Council and
the ISAB is that the purpose of many artificial production programs
currently is unclear. While many artificial production facilities were
built to mitigate the impact of dams or to produce fish for harvest,
their role today is less certain. There also is concern about adverse
impacts of artificially produced fish on fish that spawn naturally. As
declines continued, fisheries scientists increasingly recognized that
traditional fish hatchery practices should be changed. Producing fish
for harvest remains a legitimate use for artificial production
programs, but scientists are identifying and articulating a role for
artificially produced fish as functioning components of ecosystems.
Artificial production programs might be used to rebuild populations of
fish that spawn naturally and also provide fish for tribal, sport and
commercial harvest. In doing so, however, they should minimize the
adverse impacts from interactions between artificially produced fish
and those that spawn naturally. Interactions can adversely impact the
unique genetics of fish that spawn naturally and, over time, dilute or
weaken the unique genetic makeup of those populations.
The Council and the ISAB submitted their report to Congress in
October 1999. The report was developed in conjunction with a committee
of fish production experts representing Indian tribes, State and
Federal fish and wildlife agencies and environmental groups. The report
includes six recommendations for implementing new artificial production
1. Tribal, state and Federal agencies should evaluate the purposes
for each artificial production facility and program in the basin within
2. Program managers should evaluate and improve the operation of
artificial production programs that have agreed-upon purposes,
consistent with the proposed policies in this report.
3. Program managers should use existing processes to implement
artificial production reforms. Examples of existing processes include
the annual Federal agency and Northwest Power Planning Council funding
processes, Endangered Species Act implementation and the Council's
periodic revisions of its Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife
4. Congress and the Bonneville Power Administration need to ensure
that money to implement the reforms is available.
5. The Council should assist in the formation of an interagency
team to oversee and evaluate the reforms.
6. The Council, other regional decision-makers and Congress should
assess the success of the recommended reforms after five years.
Artificial production is only one of many tools for meeting fish
recovery objectives. Its effectiveness must be evaluated as objectives
evolve so that it is consistent with an ecologically based scientific
foundation for fish recovery. Accordingly, the report also recommends
10 policies to guide artificial production in the future:
1. The purpose and use of artificial production must be considered
in the context of the environment in which it is used.
2. Artificial production remains experimental. Adaptive management
practices that evaluate benefits and address scientific uncertainties
3. Artificial production programs must recognize the regional and
global environmental factors that constrain fish survival.
4. Species diversity must be maintained to sustain populations in
the face of environmental variation.
5. Naturally spawning populations should be the model for
artificially reared populations.
6. Fish managers must specify the purpose of each artificial
production program in the basin.
7. Decisions about artificial production must be based on fish and
wildlife goals, objectives and strategies at the subbasin and basin
8. Because artificial production poses risks, risk management
strategies must be implemented.
9. Production for harvest is a legitimate management objective of
artificial production. But to minimize adverse impacts on naturally
spawning populations, harvest rates and practices must be dictated by
the need to sustain naturally spawning populations.
10. Federal and other legal mandates and obligations for fish
protection, mitigation, and enhancement must be fully addressed.
For fiscal year 2001, the Council is seeking $1 million for new
line items in the budgets of the National Marine Fisheries Service and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would be entitled ``Artificial
Production Review Implementation, Columbia River.'' The funds would be
used for the completion of Hatchery Genetic Management Plans, and
monitoring and evaluation activities, consistent with the
recommendations included in the Council's report.
IMPACT OF OCEAN CONDITIONS
In addition to directing the Council to form the Independent
Scientific Review Panel, Senator Gorton's 1996 amendment to the Power
Act also directed the Council to account for conditions in the Pacific
Ocean, where salmon and steelhead spend their adult lives, in making
its annual project-funding recommendations to Bonneville. This
direction responds to current scientific thinking that fish and
wildlife mitigation and recovery efforts should consider the entire
life cycle of the species. In the case of migratory fish like salmon
and steelhead, that life cycle by definition includes the Pacific
Ocean. By reviewing the broader scope of impacts within the salmon and
steelhead life cycle, regional decision-makers like the Council members
are increasingly aware of scientific complexities and uncertainties
and, therefore, are able to make better-informed decisions.
Perhaps no segment of the salmon and steelhead life cycle is as
little understood as that which occurs in the ocean, yet the body of
scientific knowledge is steadily increasing. To address the state of
scientific knowledge and improve our understanding of the salmon and
steelhead life cycle, the Council sponsored a symposium on ocean
conditions and management of Columbia River salmon in July 1999.
Consistent with the presentations at the symposium and Congressional
direction in the amended Power Act, the Council has adopted two
concepts to guide its annual decision-making: first, that the Columbia
River estuary and the near-ocean plume are important ecological
environments for salmon; and second, that it is necessary to modify and
adjust salmon and steelhead management in the freshwater stages of
their life cycles in response to changing conditions in the ocean.
Through our fish and wildlife program, the Council is helping to
shape the growing body of concepts concerning ocean variability and its
effects on salmon and steelhead. For fiscal year 2000, the Council
directed $5.094 million in funding to projects intended, among other
things, to reduce predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead in the
estuary, better understand the ecology of the estuary and near-shore
plume environment, limit the effects of disease in the estuary and
study the survival of juvenile fish in that environment.
The Council also is following with interest the continuing
scientific research on impacts of the ocean environment on fish from
the Columbia Basin. For example, we are intrigued by presentations from
Dr. David Welch, a Canadian researcher whose work in the ocean off
Vancouver Island and in the Gulf of Alaska suggests clear patterns of
abundance and decline of salmon and steelhead from the Columbia River
and British Columbia. Dr. Welch believes these shifts may be related to
patterns of food availability, which may themselves be related to
shifts in the ocean climate caused by global warming.
The clear message from this research is that while the ocean
environment is a key factor in salmon and steelhead survival, and while
its magnitude may be substantial, there is still a lot we don't know.
Research needs to continue so that decision-makers will be able to
structure management of salmon and steelhead in freshwater to permit
their continued persistence across the full range of ocean conditions.
PREDATION BY CASPIAN TERNS
As I mentioned, Mr. Chairman, one of the projects we are funding
through our fish and wildlife program addresses predation on juvenile
salmon and steelhead by Caspian terns in the estuary. Specifically, the
Council recommended that Bonneville contribute to the project to
relocate the tern colony on Rice Island away from known concentrations
of juvenile salmon and steelhead.
For the last three years, the Council has participated in funding
the relocation project being undertaken by the Corps of Engineers and
the National Marine Fisheries Service. In September 1999, concerned
that the agencies were not moving quickly enough, the Council announced
it would withhold its share of the funding--$642,000--unless an
acceptable management plan to address the problem this year were
completed by November 1999.
The Council recommended that predation by terns be reduced to less
than 5 percent of the migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead in the
estuary. Last year, terns nesting on Rice Island are believed to have
consumed about 11 percent of the migrating juvenile fish. We were
concerned then, and we remain concerned today, that predation by terns
has a severe impact on the fish the public is paying to produce and on
the naturally spawning fish we are trying to protect. In short, the
Council acted in defense of the ratepayers' substantial investment in
mitigating the impact of hydropower. In November, as requested, the
Federal agencies completed their management plan for 2000, and the
Council approved its share of the funding. We continue to watch
developments in the tern relocation project with interest.
This concludes my testimony. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for the
opportunity to be here today. I would be pleased to answer any
questions you may have.
STATEMENT OF VICTOR W. KACZYNSKI, SCIENTIST
Senator Gorton. Dr. Kaczynski.
Dr. Kaczynski. Thank you, Senator, Congressman.
My name is Vic Kaczynski, and I reside in St. Helens, OR.
I'm a practicing fish scientist with 31 years of professional
experience with salmon issues from Alaska to California.
I understand the committee is interested in the effects of
climate and ocean on our salmon. My understanding that the
relative importance of climate and ocean on salmon has evolved
from the time that I began work in here in 1969 as relevant
information became available.
When I first came to the University of Washington, I was
struck with a great abundance of food for salmon in our area.
In my mind at that time, from 1969 to 1972, the ocean appeared
as an unlimited resource. The California current was strong,
nutrients were good for phytoplankton growth and primary
production rates were very high. Zooplankton were abundant and
Krill were noticeably large and abundant. Krill were, and Krill
are, an especially good favorite food for juvenile salmon.
Herring, anchovy, and sandlance were in high abundance.
If you were a sport fisherman, you would remember the
baitfish constantly hitting your line. All three of these small
fish species are favorite food for larger salmon as they
approach adulthood and start the return journeys back to their
home rivers. Seabirds were in great abundance. You saw
individual flocks of murres that numbered in the thousands, and
salmon were big, and they were abundant.
In the late 1970 era, something began to happen. It took
longer to catch unlimited salmon, and some days you couldn't
catch a limit, and the coho were not as large.
By the mid 1980 era it became hard to catch unlimited
salmon. In 1985, I was the senior author of the Klamath River
Basin Fisheries Research Plan, a project done for the
Department of the Interior, which evaluated the causes for the
declines of salmon runs in the Klamath Basin in Northern
We recognized at that time that El Nino events occurred in
1982, 1983 and 1984, and that those events recognizably caused
declines in ocean salmon catches and escapement runs along the
entire coast. And we recognized that the basin had suffered
drought notably in 1977, 1978 and 1981. The 1977 drought year
was the work on record, but we still concluded--and this was a
quote directly from our report--the results of the information
search indicate that the current constraints on anadromous fish
production in the Klamath Basin involved overfishing and
habitat loss or degradation. Our report conclusion echoed the
thinking of salmon biologists at that time.
Let's skip forward to 1993, when I was the senior author of
a major report that evaluated the cause for declines in salmon
that still had abundance in Oregon, and the reasons for the
lack of recovery. And I was a junior author of a similar report
Our conclusion in both of those reports were that multiple
factors were responsible for the salmon problem. No one factor
was responsible by itself, and all factors needed to be
addressed for significant salmon recovery.
In both of these reports we were able to relate that inland
climate changes had impacts on the freshwater stages of salmon
and that ocean-related impacts affected the saltwater stages of
salmon growth and survival.
We recognized that natural variability was occurring and
that they were parts of the problem. However, in both of these
reports, we tended to focus more on human-caused impacts, such
as overfishing, dam, flood control, water use and land use.
With hindsight, in 1993 we still did not appreciate the
relative importance of climate and oceans and the very
important and apparent salmon declines.
After completing those 1993 reports, something really
nagged me. I wasn't satisfied that we had fully understood the
problems. In particular, there are obvious patterns with
southern chinook--that is, all chinook salmon from the Rogue
River south--compared to northern chinook salmon, all chinook
salmon north of the Rogue River.
All the southern chinook populations were declining; the
northern chinook populations were either growing or holding
steady. Furthermore, year-to-year differences in abundance were
well correlated within each group but not from group to group.
Further, the coastal coho populations were following the same
trends as the southern chinook populations.
Some broad geographic factors were affecting Pacific
Northwest salmon. The effects were major. No land use or water
use or fishing pressure information could explain these broad
geographic trends and year-to-year variations in salmon
abundance. This was a major very important realization for me,
and these observations are important in understanding our
Northwest salmon problems.
I defy any salmon biologist to try to explain these broad
decade-scale, geographic trends and year-to-year in salmon
abundance through changes in hydroelectric use, flood control,
irrigation, farming, logging or fishing pressure. One can only
explain these decade-scale trends and year-to-year differences
in abundance to a combination of inland climate and ocean
This is not to say that human-caused impacts haven't been
important. They have been important, and human impacts need to
be addressed. This says that we have grossly undervalued the
importance of climate and ocean productivity. Their impacts on
salmon have been grossly ignored. Too many people have blamed
the salmon declines wholly on human impacts, the 4H's; habitat,
hydroelectric, hatcheries, and harvest.
Condition of the California Current is a primary
productivity constraint for coastal coho and southern chinook
salmon. And salmon and steelhead stocks that swim through the
California Current to reach their ocean pastures in the North
Pacific Ocean of Alaskan marine waters have also been affected.
I describe my conclusions more in my written testimony. And
I also refer to a paper that I presented----
Senator Gorton. Go ahead. I haven't called time on anyone
Dr. Kaczynski. And salmon and steelhead stocks must swim to
the California Current to reach their ocean pastures in the
North Pacific Ocean.
When we've had a California Current that was strong and
cool, we've had good salmon survival and growth. When the
California Current was weak, from about 1976 to 1995--and 1997
and 1998 are confusion years because we had very strong
independent El Ninos in those years--we had warmer surface
waters, lowered nutrient availability, lowered upwelling, poor
phytoplankton production, poor zooplankton abundance, poor
baitfish abundance, low seabird numbers, poor salmon survival
and poor salmon growth.
When the California Current is strong, cool and productive,
we have cool and relatively wet inland climate conditions in
the Northwest. Cool and wet inland is also good for freshwater
salmon survival and growth.
When the California Current is weak and warm and
unproductive, we have warm and relatively dry inland climate
conditions. Droughts have not been uncommon. Warm and dry
inland is poor for freshwater salmon survival and growth.
These ocean and climate relationships are easiest to see in
coastal coho and southern chinook salmon. In 1998, I was able
to gather much available information--all that I could find at
the time--and presented this information in a paper at the 49th
Annual Pacific Northwest Fish Culture Conference. That paper is
appended to my written testimony.
The paper presents and discusses the importance of changing
ocean conditions for salmon survival in fairly good detail and
the importance of climate in less detail. I am more confident
in dealing with ocean phenomena and much less confident in
dealing with climate phenomena.
Finally, NOAA scientists have now reported that the
California Current was relatively strong and cool and very
productive in 1999, upwelling was very good, phytoplankton
production was very high, zooplankton were abundant, and this
includes the larger desirable krill species. Jack chinook
salmon returns at Bonneville Dam fish ladder were very high
These jack salmon entered the California Current as smolts
in the spring of 1999 and spent some 6 months at sea. They
entered a very friendly ocean with a good food supply compared
to the previous 25 years. A strong jack salmon run predicts a
strong adult return 1 year later. I am hopeful that we've
returned to a cool, productive, salmon friendly California
Current, and that we will see a proportionate turnaround on our
Northwest salmon populations.
I sincerely hope that my testimony provided you with some
reasonable information that can assist you in your
deliberations and that can be helpful to you in producing a
legislation that benefits our society.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Victor W. Kaczynski
My name is Victor W. Kaczynski and I reside in St. Helens, Oregon.
I am a practicing fisheries scientist with 31 years of professional
experience with salmon issues in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and
California. I began my professional career here in 1969 as an Assistant
Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of Washington. I
studied the early marine life history of coho, chum and pink salmon and
their invertebrate prey. I also studied zooplankton productivity in the
North Pacific Ocean, and along the coast of Oregon and Washington
associated with upwelling. After that, I have worked as a consultant
with practically all entities affecting and managing salmon in the
Pacific Northwest. I have been the Environmental Technical Director for
Texas Instruments, President of Beak Consultants Inc., and Director of
Environmental Sciences for CH2M-Hill. For the last 10 years, I have had
my own firm. My resume is attached and it more fully describes my
I understand that the Committee is interested in the effects of
climate and ocean on our salmon. (I use salmon to refer to all the
northwest species of the genus Onchorynchus.) My understanding of the
relative importance of climate and oceans on salmon has evolved with
time and the availability of relevant information. From 1969 to 1972
when I was an active researcher on the early marine life history of
salmon in Puget Sound and zooplankton (a primary food item for juvenile
salmon) abundance related to upwelling along the coasts of Oregon and
Washington, I was struck with the great abundance of food for salmon
locally. Zooplankton in Lake Cayuga in central New York (where I had
spent the last five years) was very sparse in comparison. In my mind at
the time (1969-1972) the ocean appeared as an unlimited resource for
salmon. The California Current was strong in those days. Nutrients were
good for phytoplankton growth and primary production rates were very
high. Zooplankton were abundant and krill were notably large and
abundant. Krill were and are an especially good favorite food for
juvenile salmon. Herring, anchovy and sand lance were very abundant. If
you were a sport fisherman during those years you would remember these
baitfish almost constantly hitting your fishing line. All three of
these small fish species are favored food for larger salmon as they
approach adulthood and start their return journey back towards their
home rivers. Sea birds were in great abundance; you saw individual
flocks of murres that numbered in the thousands. And the salmon were
big and they were abundant. It was usual to catch coho in those years
that weighed fifteen pounds and a twenty pounder was quite possible.
You could catch your limit of coho salmon at the mouth of the Columbia
River in an hour and I think the limit was four or five salmon at that
time. The general consensus in the fisheries profession was that the
ocean was an unlimited black box for salmon. Freshwater conditions were
the only limiting factors for salmon populations.
Then in the late 1970-era something began to happen. It took longer
to catch a limit of salmon and some days you couldn't catch a limit.
And the coho salmon were not as large. By the mid 1980-era, it became
hard to catch a limit of salmon and the limit had been reduced to two
salmon. Baitfish weren't hitting your fishing line anymore and the sea
birds were noticeably fewer. But we fisheries biologists didn't make
the connection. In 1984 we had a major El Nino which really whacked the
baitfish and birds and this time we did make a connection when the
coastal coho salmon and southern chinook salmon were whacked too. But
we thought it was an isolated incidence separate from the gradual
decline in coho salmon and southern chinook salmon from the mid 1970-
In 1985, I was the senior author of the ``Klamath River Basin
Fisheries Resource Plan''. This report was the outcome of a project
done for the Department of the Interior which evaluated causes for the
decline of salmon runs in the Klamath Basin in northern California.
Fall chinook salmon was the primary species of concern. We recognized
that El Nino events occurred in 1982, 1983 and 1984 and that these
events recognizably caused declines in ocean salmon catches and
escapement runs to rivers along the entire coast from California to
Washington. And we had recognized that the basin had suffered recent
droughts notably in 1977, 1978 and 1981. The 1977 drought was the worst
on record. But we still concluded that, ``The results of the
information search indicate that the current constraints on anadromous;
fish production in the Klamath basin involve overfishing (particularly
for fall chinook salmon) and habitat loss or degradation.'' Our report
conclusion echoed the thinking of salmon biologists at that time. We
knew there was a drought effect and we knew there was an ocean effect
but we gave less weight to this knowledge and more weight to the state
and Federal agency biologists opinion that the problems had to be
overfishing and freshwater habitat problems. The report became Federal
Law Public Law 99-552, The Klamath Act with 20 years of funding to
primarily address identified freshwater habitat problems (and there
were plenty of those).
Let's skip forward to 1993 when I was the senior author of a major
report that evaluated the causes for the declines in salmon and
steelhead abundances in Oregon and the reasons for the lack of
recovery. And I was the junior author of a similar report in
Washington. Our conclusions in both reports were that multiple factors
were responsible for the salmon problems. No one factor was responsible
by itself. And that all factors needed to be addressed for significant
salmon recovery. In both of these reports, we were able to relate
inland climate impacts on the freshwater stage of salmon and ocean
related impacts on the saltwater stage of salmon growth and survival.
We did recognize that natural climate and ocean changes were parts of
the problems and that these factors needed to be addressed as well. But
in both reports we tended to focus more on human caused impacts such as
overfishing, dams, flood control, water use, and land uses. With
hindsight, we still did not appreciate the relative importance of
climate and oceans in the very apparent salmon declines.
After completing these 1993 reports, something nagged me. I wasn't
satisfied that we had fully understood the problems. In particular,
there were some obvious patterns with southern-chinook (all chinook
salmon from the Rogue River south) compared to northern chinook salmon
(all chinook salmon north of the Rogue River). While the southern
chinook populations were declining, the northern chinook populations
were either growing or holding steady. Furthermore, year to year
differences in abundances were well correlated within each group but
not from group to group. Further the coastal coho populations were
following the same trends as the southern chinook populations. And if
you looked closer at the northern chinook populations, most of these
had correlated year to year trends from the Fraser river in British
Columbia, the Columbia River groups, the Washington coastal rivers, and
the Oregon coastal rivers down to the Umpqua River. And if you looked
further into the Alaska salmon fisheries , they were 100 percent
opposite of the lower U.S. salmon fisheries. Some broad geographic
factor(s) were affecting Pacific Northwest and Alaska salmon. The
effects were major. No land use or water use or fishing pressure
information could explain these broad geographic trends and year to
year variations in salmon abundance. This was a very major, very
important realization for me and these observations are important in
understanding our Northwest salmon problems. I defy any salmon
biologist to try to explain these broad decade-scale geographic trends
and year to year variations in salmon abundance through changes in
hydroelectric use, flood control, irrigation, farming, logging, or
One can only explain these decade-scale trends and year to year
differences in abundance through a combination of inland climate and
ocean productivity. This is not to say that human-caused impacts
haven't been important. They have and they need to be addressed. This
says that we have grossly under valued the importance of climate and
ocean productivity. Their impacts on salmon have been grossly ignored.
Too many people have blamed the salmon declines wholly on human
impacts, the four H's (habitat, hydroelectric, hatcheries, and
harvest). Climate and ocean impacts on salmon have probably masked the
habitat benefits that we have made here in the Northwest through
advances in conservation practices in agriculture and forestry,
advances in wastewater treatment, and advances made to decrease salmon
impacts at the dams in operating projects for flood control,
irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation.
Inland climate and ocean productivity are linked; they are not
independent phenomena. The condition of the California Current is the
primary productivity consideration for coastal coho and southern
chinook salmon. And salmon and steelhead stocks that must swim through
the California Current to reach their ocean pastures in the North
Pacific Ocean and Alaska marine waters have also been affected. When
the California Current was strong (eg., from about 1960 through 1975)
we had cool, nutrient rich, coastal waters from Washington to
California. And under these physical conditions we had good upwelling
which helps keep the surface waters cool and replenishes nutrients. We
had high phytoplankton growth, high zooplankton abundance, high bait
fish abundance, high sea bird, numbers, high salmon.survival, and good
When the California Current was weak, from about 1976 through 1995
(1997 and 1998 are confusion years because of independent strong El
Nino events and adverse impacts on marine productivity and salmon
survival), we had warmer surface waters, lowered nutrient availability,
lowered upwelling, poor phytoplankton production, poor zooplankton
abundance, poor baitfish abundance, low sea bird numbers, poor salmon
survival, and poor salmon growth.
When the California Current is strong cool and productive, we have
cool and relatively wet inland climate conditions. Cool and wet inland
is also good for freshwater salmon growth and survival. Tributary.
streams have higher surface flows, more cool groundwater inflows, pools
are larger and deeper, and the waters are cooler. There is physically
more stream habitat available and it is better in quality. The
mainstems of rivers such as the Snake and Columbia Rivers have higher
flows and the waters are cooler and juvenile salmon migrating
downstream and adults migrating upstream have higher survival.
When the California Current is weak warm and unproductive, we have
warm and relatively dry inland climate conditions. Droughts are not
uncommon. Warm and dry inland is poor for freshwater salmon survival
and growth. Tributary surface flows are lower, groundwater inflows are
lower, pools are smaller and shallower, and the stream waters are
warmer. Many stream temperature water quality violations occurred
during strong drought years. There is less stream habitat available for
juvenile salmon and it is lower in quality in such years.
More information on the importance of inland climate and ocean
productivity has become available, especially in recent years. Now many
salmon biologists and politicians recognize that these natural factors
are important in affecting salmon abundance. But some people do not
want to recognize that they have any effect on salmon or they minimize
their importance. These people apparently have special agendas and the
role of climate and ocean variability and their effects on salmon do no
fit their agendas. I try not to postulate but I become frustrated at
times with special agendas and politically correct science that
permeates the salmon debate.
These ocean and climate relationships are easiest to see in coastal
coho and southern chinook salmon. In 1998, 1 was able to gather much
available (all that I could find at the time) relevant information on
the coastal coho salmon problem and I presented this information in a
paper at the 49th Annual Pacific Northwest Fish Culture Conference.
That paper is appended to this summary testimony. The paper presents
and discusses the importance of changing ocean conditions for salmon
survival in fairly good detail and the importance of climate in less
detail. I am more confident dealing with ocean phenomena than with
Finally, NOAA scientists have reported that the California Current
was relatively strong, cool, and very productive in 1999. Upwelling was
also good. Phytoplankton production was high and zooplankton were
abundant (including the desirable large krill). Jack chinook salmon
returns at the Bonneville Darn fish ladder were very high last fall.
These jack salmon entered the California Current as smolts in Spring,
1999 and spent some six months at sea. They entered a very friendly
ocean with a good food supply compared to the previous 25 years. A
strong jack salmon run predicts a strong adult return one year later
(plus 2 and 3 years later for chinook salmon). And right now St. Helens
sports fishermen are catching an unusually high number of summer
steelhead in the Multnomah Channel, part of the lower Willamette River.
This is another good sign that ocean conditions have changed for the
I sincerely hope that my testimony provides you with information
that can assist you in your deliberations and that is useful to help
produce legislation that benefits our society.
Senator Gorton. Dr. Kaczynski, let me put my first question
to you then.
Does this very recent--you say 1999--return to a cooling
trend have anything to do with the healthy run of sphinx
chinook this year in the Columbia.
Dr. Kaczynski. It appears to be. I live in St. Helens, and
the people there fish a lot in the Multnomah Channel, and
unusual number of summer steelhead have showed up in their
catch. In fact, none of the people can ever remember catching
as many summer steelhead as they're catching this spring. And
they've also caught quite a few spring chinook as well.
And so, yes, you do have an apparent relationship.
Senator Gorton. Even though it only started last year. So
those fish that are being caught now were going downstream
while you still had the warmth.
Dr. Kaczynski. Yes, that's correct.
Senator Gorton. So do you expect that if this continued for
2 or 3 more years, the numbers would increase even more?
Dr. Kaczynski. They should. It generally takes two to three
cycles of salmon or steelhead to start a really good
turnaround. You should start to see the benefits of the
advances that have been made in agricultural conservation
practices, forestry conservation, the many things that Larry
talked about in terms of the advancements that have been made
at the facilities on the Columbia-Snake Rivers.
Senator Gorton. Thank you.
Mr. Cassidy. One additional comment too, Senator. On the
outbound migrant period of 1997 that most of these spring
chinook went out, we had really good flows then too. And we
think that made a significant contribution to getting these
fish out quickly. It's pretty clear that the faster you can
move them down the system and get them to the ocean, the better
chance you have for survival. It isn't the only answer, but
it's very important, and we had a good flow year.
Senator Gorton. Well, my next question is for you and Mr.
Diggs. And I may be missing something, but I see a dramatic
You have told us that you now have a better survival going
down river than you did before the Snake River dams were
created. And you have indicated to us a very serious concern
with the terns on Rice Island.
We have something that the Fish and Wildlife Service put
out not long go that States that there's a 40 to 80 percent
mortality from the hydropower system on the Columbia River in
these matters, and that the Caspian terns hardly matter at all.
I'd like both of you to discuss that rather dramatic
Mr. Cassidy. Sure. I must say also, the Fish and Wildlife
Service has been particularly cooperative in this issue. I'm
not here to bash them at all. There are people in Portland who
we've mainly worked with that have been very cooperative
working out the agreement that I described about relocating the
terns from Rice Island to East Sand Island.
The statistics about whether they're wildfish or hatchery
fish that they're eating, whether the mortality occurs or
doesn't occur is very difficult to define. You can ask Vic
Kaczynski, you get 12 fisheries biologists in one room, you've
got 24 opinions on the fishery source.
And so I do know that the particular statistic that
indicates or supports their contention on hatchery consumption
is that they find pit tags in the feces of the terns. Well, the
wildfish aren't tagged, and so, obviously, that could be a
I can't give you with authority whether his contentions are
correct or not. It just is clear that they're eating them. I've
been down there watching them eat them. And they're now the
largest colony of terns in North America, if not the world, and
we're feeding them the finest ice cream that we can, paid for
by the public. That doesn't make sense to me, when we can
successfully move them to another location to reduce that diet,
which everybody, including Fish and Wildlife agreed to.
Fish and Wildlife Service does have the responsibility of
representing these terns, and I don't argue that at all, nor do
I contend they're the only problem with regard to salmon. But
this particular issue's a disappointment for us, simply because
we worked so hard to get to sort of ameliorated position, and
here we are losing now because a private representative group
sued the Corps of Engineers, which may require an EIS, which
means we maybe will lose two seasons before we get back to the
Senator Gorton. But I did here accurately, your statement,
that you feel the down river loss due to hydropower now is less
than it was?
Mr. Cassidy. The indications from the Corps, Bureau of
Reclamation Service, and the State agencies, which I believe
all signed off on, is that the outbound migrant survival rate
is as good as it was in the 1960s with all the tweaks we've
done to the system.
Mr. Dicks. This is a transportation system you're talking
Mr. Cassidy. Part transportation, part flowing through the
turbines, part escapement down the fish ladders--the whole
variant ways that they travel down the river, that escapement.
And, of course, remember, we're piling a lot of artificial fish
into that system. But they claim that the number of outbound
migrants reaching the mouth of the river is equal to what we
had in the 1960s and 1970s when the dam construction really got
Senator Gorton. Mr. Diggs.
Mr. Diggs. Yes, when the Service took a look at this issue,
we immediately went to try to find out what we knew and
understood about the effects of avian predation on salmonid
production; and one of the only long-term work and examples we
had to look at was a similar situation on the East Coast, where
there was a cormorant problem on Atlantic salmon, and a 10-year
effort to control cormorants as an aid to Atlantic salmon
recovery. So the conclusion of that operation was that, it did
not help. It did not aid.
Now, that doesn't automatically translate to what the
situation here is in the Columbia, and the figures of predation
are alarming in terms of the size of their numbers. But the key
point we are trying to understand, as well as everyone involved
in this project, is how does this smolt predation--the millions
of smolts--how does that translate into reduced adult
production or reduced ability to recover these fish?
And that's an issue that we don't have the final answer to
at this point. And it obviously could go two ways. What
biologists like to talk about at this point in the estuary is,
is this predation what we call compensatory mortality? That is,
is it occurring on fish that may already be predisposed to die
or are going to suffer predation from the other sources of
predation that salmon hit in the ocean? And that is an answer
we do not have at this point.
But nonetheless, we've taken, I think, a very aggressive
approach to try to control this problem, a target of 20 to 40
percent reduction. If we could see that type of result in any
of the other 4H's in the next couple of years, I think we would
say we've done a pretty good job. So we're committed to trying
to continue this effort.
Mr. Dicks. But Mr. Diggs, it appears to me you still don't
Did you hear what the doctor said down there on the other
end about the ocean conditions may have more to do with this
than the apparent fixation that some people have on the 4H's?
Mr. Diggs. Absolutely. I heard it and I agree that ocean
conditions absolutely have an effect on salmonid production
along the coast, in the Columbia River Basin and everywhere
else. But that does not mean that we stop all of our efforts to
deal with those issues of man-caused mortality that we can
I think as evidenced by what we heard here today from
everyone that's dealing with habitat restoration, hatchery
reform, all those issues--as a fisheries manager, we do not
manage on the margin of the uncertainty of what's going to
happen in the natural world in the ocean environment. That's,
to some extent, unpredictable and, obviously, uncontrollable.
But we can help control and restore and habitat, hatchery
reforms, control harvest, and we think those are absolutely
crucial to recovery.
Senator Gorton. Does Fish and Wildlife have one of the nine
representatives on Dr. Bergman's science group?
Mr. Diggs. Yes, Dr. Don Campton is on that committee. We've
participated since the beginning and have been absolutely
delighted to be there and to work with this group. It's an
issue near and dear to the heart of the Fish and Wildlife
Service not just in Washington State but across the West Coast
We are working very, very hard--not just here in this
region, but within the Fish and Wildlife and Service and the
Federal Government across the country--to deal with the issues
of hatchery reform.
Very honestly, what we do here in the Northwest is
providing real leadership, I think, for this issue across the
country, and I know the eyes are upon us, and we're very
pleased to be a part of that.
Mr. Dicks. It still bothers me. This whole thing bothers
me. Here we're spending all this money, the Bonneville Power
Administration is paying hundreds of millions of dollars a
year, and the Corps of Engineers creates an island--from the
perspective of protecting this fish--in a very poor place. And
you all talk about invasives.
It's very hard to get people in Olympia, particularly, in
leadership positions, to even say we've got to put any money
into this issue if they don't think we're serious about dealing
with these terns.
Just like Hershel the Sea Lion in front of the locks; these
are things people can understand and see happening, and they
want to know, ``You're going to make us do what?'' and then not
deal with this problem.
Now, I think the plan was a good plan. I was at Bonneville,
and was briefed on the problem. I think the plan has a good
chance of working. But I hope we're going to stay committed to
this thing. I understand the problem with the judge, but we're
going to have to try to work that out.
Mr. Diggs. We agree.
Mr. Dicks. Even though I'm getting heat in Grays Harbor.
They don't want them all on Grays Harbor either.
You might want to address that, Larry.
Mr. Cassidy. If you'd like me to, Congressman Dicks.
The idea of relocating some terns nesting sites to Katy
Island and Grays Harbor involved about 300 pair of terns. We're
talking close to 10,000 pair in the mouth of Columbia.
Mr. Dicks. But how many will 300 pairs be 5 years from now?
Mr. Cassidy. Well, we've committed in the working group to
reduce the habitat to one acre. And also, in meeting with Dan
Roby yesterday, he indicated that we could control the number
of nests--and we met with D&R and Fish and Wildlife yesterday--
control the number of nesting terns by simply reducing the
habitat further if they begin to grow.
But as you know, public information tends to get askew
sometimes, and the last story I heard was that we were sending
all 10,000 nesting pairs to Grays Harbor, et cetera, and it
never was the intention nor the goal.
But I also would tell you that without the Katy Island
component, which was most important to study their diet than
anything, the idea of moving them to East Sand Island has real
benefit. And I once again emphasize, this was an ameliorated
position. We talked about some much more stringent resolutions
to this issue on the Power Council; and it was through the Fish
and Wildlife contribution, and other people, that we came to
sort of a mediated result, and now to see that go down the tube
is very disappointing to us. And I suspect that Fish and
Wildlife feels the same way; I don't know.
I would like to mention that I just was passed a note that
our Governor's office has cleared the fact that Washington
State will file as a friend of the court and the Corps of
Engineers, which doesn't happen very often, on this particular
issue. And I understand from Governor Kitzhaber, the person on
the Power Council who I talked to an hour ago, they're going to
join tomorrow morning as well. Maybe we can up the pressure a
little bit with regard to the importance of this issue.
Mr. Dicks. Let me ask Dr. Kaczynski. I believe that what
you're talking about probably has much to do with this problem.
Ocean conditions have got to be a major factor.
How much research have we done on ocean conditions? Has
NOAA, has the National Marine Fisheries Service, have we done
anything about monitoring ocean conditions to look at all these
Dr. Kaczynski. They are monitoring it now.
Mr. Dicks. Are they doing it now? Was there a big period
there where not very much was done?
Dr. Kaczynski. There was a period of inactivity, a period
of relatively light activity.
Mr. Dicks. Why is that?
Dr. Kaczynski. I don't know.
Mr. Dicks. We just didn't understand it? Should we have
Dr. Kaczynski. Yes, quite frankly, we screwed up. And I'm
speaking as a member of the scientific community. We missed it.
Mr. Dicks. I'm going to look at your paper. I want to read
How would you evaluate the 4H's versus ocean conditions?
How do you balance this? Is it 80/20, 50/50? Can you give us
any help so we know something or have at least a better feeling
for the significance of this?
Dr. Kaczynski. The only way I could even try would be with
the relative survival of coho salmon in freshwater, which the
best estimates put it around 3 percent. And that's from about a
half dozen scientific studies.
In contrast, the survival in the ocean for coho salmon,
coastal coho salmon, has been as low as perhaps as \1/2\ of 1
percent here in the 1990s, when you had really deleterious
conditions, to as high as, perhaps, 14 percent back in the
Mr. Dicks. You're talking about return fish; 1.5 percent
were returning and then it went up to 14 percent coming back?
Dr. Kaczynski. No, I'm just talking about the survival in
freshwater. The best estimates say it's about 3 percent, and
those estimates don't have as much variation about them as the
estimates from rain survival, that is the period when----
Senator Gorton. When you say freshwater survival, you mean
fish that never leave fresh water; is that right?
Dr. Kaczynski. No. No. I mean from the time the egg is laid
in the gravel until the smolt goes out.
Senator Gorton. The survival's 3 percent.
Dr. Kaczynski. About 3 percent is the best estimate.
Senator Gorton. And then of that 3 percent, the \1/2\
percent to 14 percent is figured?
Dr. Kaczynski. No. When the fish enter the ocean as the
smolt, until the time they return as the adult, here is where
your survival really bounced all over the place.
Senator Gorton. Because of ocean conditions.
Dr. Kaczynski. Because of ocean conditions. About \1/2\ a
percent we've observed in the 1990s when the oceans were the
warmest, conditions were the worst----
Senator Gorton. And that's \1/2\ of 1 percent--of the 3
percent who get there?
Dr. Kaczynski. Exactly. And to a high of perhaps 14
percent. So if I look at the magnitude of the range of
survival, which is very high in the ocean and not as high in
freshwater, would suggest to me that the most important thing
is happening in the ocean. That's the only way I have to
Mr. Dicks. Larry.
Mr. Cassidy. Congressman Dicks, I'd support what Dick says,
but I would give it to you in maybe simpler terms because I'm
not a fisheries biologist, I'm a businessman.
We can't have salmon runs without some sort of freshwater
component that's receptive to them. But the process in the
1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in the Columbia-Snake Basis where
I do most of my work, was that we changed the component of the
river for social and solid economic reasons. And then as we
changed the tributaries we said, let's not worry about that,
we'll artificially produce these fish and pour them into the
system. And then we sat there and ignored the ocean as a black
hole for all the time I've been involved in this issue.
There is a Canadian oceanographer named David Welch--who, I
agree, doesn't have peer review of his work yet, but he's very
exciting to talk to. And I would urge you to read his material
and get in touch with him, and of course, consult your own
scientist as well--who has come up with serious work in the
ocean about where these fish are migrating, what the food
supply is, what the global warming issue may be impacting with
regard to the North Pacific and the food supply for salmon.
And there is a possibility that we could be doing all this
work, which is, of course, beneficial--clean water in our State
is a component to the lifestyle we all enjoy--but there's the
possibility we could do all this and still have trouble in the
ocean. And if there's anything I think the three of you could
work on, would be to contribute the significant amount of the
funds we now spend to where we really find out the story of the
ocean, what's going on and why we ignored this black hole all
these years. We need to know.
A salmon spends 75 percent of his life in the ocean and 25
percent in freshwater either going out or coming back. To me
that makes basic sense. We need to study the ocean now, and it
needs to be, I think, urgent.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you.
We've all been worrying and concerned about this decision
on the Snake River Dam. I mean, to me this is just another--
this, and the fact that the transportation system is working,
surface collection is working, a lot of these other things that
we can do to get these fish down the river are working, and we
haven't looked at the ocean--I mean, to me, I don't see how we
could possibly make a decision to take those dams out without
knowing the impact of the ocean conditions on this equation.
This seems to me it would be a serious mistake in judgment.
Senator Gorton. Congressman Inslee.
Statement of Representative Jay Inslee
Mr. Inslee. I want to ask a question, but would you allow
me to make a brief statement? Is that allowed for freshmen
Senator Gorton. Yes, I certainly will.
Mr. Inslee. I appreciate that.
I just want to say something that listening to this
discussion and all of the other discussions I've been involved
with for salmon for some time, I think we can get in the wrong
mind-set a little bit. And I want to comment on it, because it
reminds me a little bit about the defense propounded by the six
fellows involved in the bank robbery, who all defended
themselves, by saying the other guy took more money than I did;
and therefore, I am innocent.
And in our salmon discussions, that syndrome of
essentially, no matter what we're talking about, asserting some
other cause as being a greater contribution to the problem than
ours, is self-defeating and doomed to defeat of our mutual
efforts to restore these stocks.
And I really think that if we spend our time on that
discussion, that if we wait until the last somebody else who
had not exhausted what they should be doing to recover these
stocks, disappear, the salmon will too.
And I just think that in our discussions we've started
we've got to stop asking what somebody should do to recover
these stocks, and start asking what we should do individually
to recover these stocks. And I think we ought to keep that
tenor in these discussions.
And this discussion--and I don't want to cast dispersions
because this is an extremely important discussion. But I just
don't think we can even lose site of the fact that the Creator
may have some bearing with temporary climate conditions as
well, and to deviate 1 second, one heartbeat, one moment, to
deviate, trying to figure out what we should do to recover
these stocks. And I just want to make that comment because I
think it's an important one.
And I want to turn to the science of this because I think
this is an intriguing discussion.
Doctor, first off, how do you characterize the extent of
reduction in the stocks versus pre-European arrival levels, if
you will. If you were going to put it at a percentage, where
would you put it? Let's take Columbia or Puget Sound
separately, if you can----
Dr. Kaczynski. I'd rather stay with Columbia Basin.
Columbia Basin, you might be at 30 percent historical pre-
European settlement. And much of that has to do with all of the
historical habitat you have cut off. There's just no way to
replace that kind of production.
Mr. Inslee. Well, I guess you've said we've had somewhere
in the order of a 70 percent reduction----
Dr. Kaczynski. Something like that.
Mr. Inslee [continuing]. Associated, at least to some
degree, with habitat.
Dr. Kaczynski. If not more.
Mr. Inslee. The reason I ask is, are you asserting or are
you of the belief that there is some transient, climatic,
ocean-related problem that just occurs on a period-like basis
that would cause a 70 percent reduction?
Dr. Kaczynski. That's reasonably--well, I don't think you
could say that it's all ocean. I agree with the statement, you
must also address your human impacts as well. You cannot ignore
them. But you can see these periods of ocean and climate
They've been traced back with good correlations between sea
surface temperatures and growth rates of Eastern Oregon
Juniper, and then you can take the growth rates of the Eastern
Oregon Juniper by taking a core, a plug of wood out of that,
and looking at the growth rates in the Eastern Oregon Juniper.
You can go back 500 years, and you can see that for 500
years you have had these cycles of cool, wet, inland climate
associated with a cool productive ocean and a dry warm inland
climate associated with a weak, warm California current. And on
average over the last 500 years, these cycles have averaged 17
Mr. Inslee. But have you also seen a 70 percent collapse on
salmon stocks in the Columbia Basin on a periodic basis? And
the reason I ask is, frankly, I find it hard to believe that's
occurred or man may have been extinct besides the salmon,
frankly, for all those years.
Dr. Kaczynski. I want to take a look at that a little bit
harder to see if you can go back in. It's very hard to go back
into the historic record to see this. The historical fishing,
which occurred at the turn of the century, I mean, basically,
came pretty close to wiping a lot of stocks out. And you had a
very low period of activity in the 1940s and 1950s. And then
starting in the late 1950s you appeared to have an increase in
productivity which carried through until about 1975. And then
in 1976, which is a little bit closer than some of the
installation and operations of the dams up river, you had these
disappearances. It's coincidental.
Mr. Inslee. Knowing what you know, assuming that we as a
community have a goal to restore the salmon runs, are you
suggesting to us that we should diminish our efforts on all the
other 4H's at all?
Dr. Kaczynski. No. I say you proceed cautiously. You need
to factor the ocean survival very carefully into your allowable
harvest rates to ensure that you get your return runs that can
saturate--I want to see these fish saturate the environment
proportionate to their ecological capabilities. I don't want to
see these junk runs showing up in the stream; I want them
saturated with fish.
Mr. Inslee. Larry.
Mr. Cassidy. Jay, let me just share a couple statistics
that sort of registered in my mind, and I think it will make
sense to all of you too.
If I remember right, I think 16 million was the estimated
total amount of settlement at the best years ever in the
Columbia Basin, somewhere in that area, and we're down to about
2 million in the assorted species now. And I would refer you to
one chapter in Lichatowich's book, which deals with the Fraser
I believe in 1912, they had their best run ever of sockeyed
salmon. He estimates it at 100 million fish. Now remember, 16
million was the best estimate that Columbia Basin ever had
clear into Canada. There were 100 million sockeye in a river in
Canada, the Fraser River.
Then they had a landslide, Hellsgate landslide, which cut
the river down to 80 yards in width several miles up. Four
years later the sockeye run was 8 million fish, and it never
recovered. Now, they took the slide out. They went in there
with machineries in later years, removed it, put the habitat
back to the way it was, but they never recovered from that one
impact on habitat in the river.
So the ocean is a key component, but we can't ignore what
we're doing, and we can't stop what we're doing in our State.
I think the real problem is, as many people as there are in
Washington State that enjoy the salmon resources, there are
many people, particularly in Eastern Washington--where
significant impacts are going to have to occur--that aren't
aware of this issue; and they're struggling economically to
begin with. And how we bring that public awareness to them is
the real issue.
I think that if we can bang a billion bucks between Bangkok
and Beirut by computer and send guys to the moon, we can solve
this salmon issue, but it's going to have to be a joint effort.
Everybody's going to have to be working together. It's going to
be your folks in Puget Sound reaching over the mountains to the
people in Eastern Washington, saying, we've got to do this
together. Because it ends up with NMFS forcing it down people's
throat, which is a likely alternative if we don't get this
worked out in advance--and that's what Governor Locke's trying
to do--then it's going to be extremely more difficult if not
impossible. And the Okanogan and the Methow are examples.
But this is a partnership, and it really has to happen. And
that's the role I think all of us--you and I and everyone
else--must play. We have to bring all these issues out and
continue this public education.
And frankly, I think it's going along well. I see my
grandkids talking about salmon and working on issues that
didn't even exist. I've been around this camp for a while. I
could be Bill Frank's brother I've been around this camp for a
But in any event, it's just important to know that the
public awareness is now, and this issue is before us for
perhaps the best opportunity in any time before or after. Now
is the time to get it done. The next few years are very
critical to getting this done. I think we have public energy.
Mr. Inslee. I have one more question, Senator, if we've got
time for one more question.
Doctor, I was reading some issue about climate change
issues the other day. And I've read that some of the modeling
that's been done to try to predict atmospheric temperature
associated with CO2 density or concentrations, that
for a long time the models predicted a high atmospheric
temperature, and there's always been a question, where is that
missing energy from the models.
And I just read about a week or two ago that there was some
new research that indicated that they'd done a rather pretty
fantastic global sorting of old records about oceanic
temperatures, and that this research came back to suggest that
that missing energy is in the oceans essentially.
Dr. Kaczynski. I read the same report.
Mr. Inslee. First off, does that have any meaning to you?
Is it significant in this issue? Could it be associated with
Dr. Kaczynski. It scares me, yes.
Mr. Inslee. Tell me why. What do you mean?
Dr. Kaczynski. Because if that's correct, then we're
heading to this scenario that Larry talked about, Dr. Walsh's
scenario, that the oceans are going to continue to warm in
response to this global warming, and if it's being driven to
greenhouse gases or whatever. And if his scenario is right,
there's not going to be a salmon left alive in the entire
northeast Pacific Ocean; they're only going to be alive from
Mr. Inslee. Do you think the science is credible enough
that is a realistic concern of yours? I'm just going to ask
your personal opinion?
Dr. Kaczynski. I'm concerned. And there's one thing that
kind of bothers me about removing of the dams. If that
scenario's correct, how do you replace that electricity other
than by fossil fuels, which increase CO2, which
increase the gashouse effect? I don't know how do we valuate
that. I would like a atmospheric scientist to take a serious
look at that.
How much would you spike the CO2 greenhouse
effect if you had to replace the hydroelectricity in the
Columbia-Snake Basin with fossil fuel production? I cannot
answer it; I'd really like it addressed.
Mr. Inslee. Well, I'm going to end my questioning, so we
can save lights and save energy through conservation. How's
Senator Gorton. Thank you. This has been an interesting
I guess, Mr. Diggs, you stay.
Mr. Diggs. I stay.
Senator Gorton. You stay. And Will, if you and Bill
Ruckelshaus would come up.
STATEMENT OF WILL STELLE, REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR,
NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
Senator Gorton. This last group--the audience isn't here to
give a formal testimony, but to hear from Bill Ruckelshaus
who's been here all day and from Will Stelle, who's been here
most of the day, what their reaction is to what's going on
Bill, you were here first. We're going to give you the
privilege of going last.
Will, do you have any informal reaction, at least, to what
you've heard this afternoon?
Mr. Stelle. Yes. And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the
opportunity to appear here. This has been a great day, a great
My name is William Stelle, and I'm the regional
administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service for the
Pacific Northwest, and I live day and night in salmon land, as
you might well appreciate.
Let me give you some summary observations on where we are
now, a year after listing chinook in Puget Sound. And I will
focus my remarks largely on the Puget Sound work that is
First, obviously, the most important reference point is the
listing itself and what it means. The heart of the listing
decision is the scientific judgment that if we keep doing what
we're doing, there is a high probability that Puget Sound
chinook will go extinct. What we learn from that most
fundamental point is that we must change what we're doing if we
are going to have salmon in our future. The status quo equals
That change must be comprehensive and it must be durable.
And you understand the point about comprehensiveness; the issue
of durability is of equal significance.
The solution here will not be a flash in the plan. The
solution here will be a permanent change that will effectuate
improvements in salmon survivals on the health of our river
systems over decades. This is a long-term proposition that we
face, and we should organize ourselves and prepare for the
long-term because it will require long-term durable
Do not expect success in a year or to because it will not
be forthcoming. Expect progress and insist upon it but
understand that we must gear ourselves for the long haul
because it will be a long haul, and it can be a successful long
At this point in time, my own view is that we have cause
for substantial optimism in the effort underway here in Puget
Sound. Why? It is because we are making substantial progress in
constructing the basic building blocks for that long haul, and
it is just that simple.
Have we fully constructed all those building blocks? No,
sir, we have not. Will it take more time? Yes, sir, it will.
But we have made substantial progress in them.
What are those building blocks for a long-term successful
Science capabilities. We are putting into place more
sophisticated, more focused science capabilities at the Federal
level, the State and tribal level and at the local and private
level to help guide us in our efforts. Building those science
capabilities is essential because they will be headlights on
the automobile that help us steer through the darkness.
Second, we are building the institutional capacities that
will be necessary in order to achieve success at all levels.
You've heard here today about those capacity limits that a
number of different levels of effort are encountering. Those
capacity limits are real, but nevertheless, we are building
that capacity at the local level through the watershed
councils, in the tribal governments, in State capacity and in
the Federal capacity.
So again, the second key building block is building the
institutional capacity to get the job done, and we are making
Third. Are we doing what all of this should be focused
upon, which is putting into place the protective mechanisms to
help protect the fish and rebuild the productivity of this
system? And the answer is, yes, we are, as you have heard this
On hatchery reform, we have made huge reforms and are in
the process of huge and substantial reforms in the hatchery
system here in Puget Sound. Those reforms are essential, they
will contribute to the rebuilding of chinook populations here
in Puget Sound, and we will put them into place.
In answer to the earlier questions of, is NMFS a part of
this effort, and we will use our abilities to help put them
into place? The answer is yes on both counts, and you can count
on it. So you can check yes in that column, unequivocally.
On harvest reform. Have we made substantial changes in the
way we approach the management of our fisheries here in Puget
Sound to build towards that new paradigm? And the answer again
is yes. We're not 100 percent there, but I would say we are
about three-quarters there in developing new, more
sophisticated, more weak-stock sensitive harvest management
regimes so that we protect the necessary escapements to rebuild
the populations which themselves will be the building block for
long-term, health Puget Sound chinook ESUs. So in the harvest
column, check yes.
On habitat. Habitat, as you all know, is the tough nut to
crack, and I do not think that we should expect that we will
fix the habitat problem in a day or a week or a year or even
longer, but we have substantial efforts underway in taking a
hard look at the habitat issue and developing strategies to
address it. And I think the showcase for that is the Forest and
Fish agreement here in the State of Washington, which frankly,
10 years ago would have been filed in the fictional category.
It is now real, it is committed to, and we are implementing it.
So again, on the habitat strategies, we are making
progress, and it is a cause for optimism.
Planning for future efforts. While we get on with the case
of implementing the early actions that we know will benefit
fish, are we building the planning mechanisms to make us
smarter, better, more efficient? And the answer there, again,
is yes. At the Federal level, at the State level, at the county
level, and at the private level, planning efforts are underway
to get the job done and to get it done most efficiently.
Another key building block for a long-term campaign to
rebuild Puget Sound chinook is funding. This will not happen if
it does not have the funding to make it happen. Have we begun
to build the funding mechanisms that we will need to be
successful? And the answer there is, again, yes, we have, due
in no small part to your contributions.
They are absolutely essential. They are not sufficient, but
the State has stepped up with funding mechanisms. The private
sector is set up through the establishment of the Puget Sound
Salmon Foundation, and all the necessary building blocks for
funding are being put into place. And again, that is a case of
Finally, public education, public support and the taking of
responsibility at the end of the day will be the key to
success. And I would offer as exhibit B on that point
Look at the quality of the sophisticated questioning that
you are bringing to bear to these panels here and the quality
of this debate. And ask yourselves, are we getting educated on
what it's going to take? And the answer is, yes, we are, across
That education coupled with the plain old public commitment
that the public wants salmon in our future will be the key to
success, and we are making huge strides there.
So my report card to you a year after listing Puget Sound
chinook is that I think that we are making huge efforts in
putting together the basic building blocks.
Is the perfect salmon recovery machine developed and
implemented? No, it is not, and it will take several years. We
are in a period of incubation, we are in a period of
experimentation, and from my own personal view we should not
rush to freeze out that period of incubation because seeds are
being planted through the watershed councils and through
private efforts that will grow into solutions that we today
can't imagine. And I think we need to be a little patient in
not trying to over-engineer the system. We are fertilizing it
with the efforts that we need now. Let those seeds of
creativity grow. Let inventiveness occur, and in 5 years we
will have strategies and institutional capabilities that we are
not even thinking of today; and that is all for the good.
I would be happy to go over some key issues, but I think in
deference to the time here, I turn it over to the other.
Mr. Dicks. What about your staffing level?
Mr. Stelle. A couple other key issues, one of which is
bottlenecks. Are there problems with bottlenecks? Absolutely.
And again, they are very serious with my agency. My agency's a
little agency. We have about 130 people running all of our
regulatory programs in Oregon, Washington, and California, and
that's not enough to do the job. It's just not enough.
So there are bottleneck problems, and they are significant.
And if you'd look at the simple map of these listings and
understand what it means, you will understand that those
bottlenecks are real and getting more and more challenging. We
need to deal with that.
Having said that, issues with Federal capabilities are not
the only issues where there are bottlenecks or capacity
problems. As you've heard from some of the earlier panels, some
of the counties absolutely need better technical assistance in
order to do the planning work that they need to build their
homegrown solutions; so too with the local lead entities.
So the capacity issue is not unique to the Federal
agencies, it is shared with the other entities in the effort.
But it is a serious problem, Congressman.
Senator Gorton. Mr. Diggs, do you have any more further
comments at this point?
Mr. Diggs. Yes, I do, frankly. Can I have a few moments?
Senator Gorton. You go right ahead.
Mr. Diggs. I'm going to give my comments in the context of
the Fish and Wildlife Service's role in salmon recovery and
restoration. Just to make sure everyone is not confused and
understands what that distinction is. I get this question
And we understand what NMFS is doing with salmon and ESA,
but what do you guys do--well, obviously, we're working very
closely with NMFS on the ESA aspects of salmon recovery, but
also this agency that I work for is an action agency in regards
to salmon restoration recovery.
We've been out here on the west for over 100 years, and so
the comments I'm going to give you today at this point are kind
of my perspectives on what do we need to be doing as an action
agency. And related to the comments I heard earlier today from
particularly the first panel, I found that an extremely
informative and fascinating discussion.
First of all, it hit me, listening to the people, such as
Mr. Ruckelshaus and Mr. Sims, that we here in the government
agencies are not communicating past each other any more. We're
not talking past each other with the people that we're working
with. I heard from that panel a lot of the same types of
things, the same type of language, the same type of commitment
to salmon recovery and restoration that we have. So that was
very heartening to me.
So just a couple of issues. I'd like to focus on some of
the habitat issues and then hatchery reform.
When it comes to what we're doing to try to restore
habitat, whether it's salmon or bull trout, we in this
profession have some idols. And there was one fellow some years
ago that said, ``If you're not focusing on the watersheds,
you're really missing the picture'', Mr. Aldo Leopold. And so
that's absolutely the first message.
As we deal with these issues here, we need to be focusing
on the watersheds, not just the species, but the watersheds.
And that's a message I really want to deliver from the Fish and
Wildlife Service. We're focused on everything that happens in
that watershed, and there's a lot of benefits to that.
I mean, there's just been an assault of listings under the
Endangered Species Act, but if we're addressing fixing
watersheds, fixing water quality, fixing habitat, that should
be ameliorated over the long run.
So I heard mentioned that we need a common watershed
assessment process. As part of everything that's ongoing up
here in Puget Sound and coastal Washington, I believe that's an
absolute must, and we're committed to assisting and helping
develop that process in whatever forums that takes place.
Second, Mr. Ruckelshaus said, increasingly science is
informing our decision. Well, this is music to a biologist's
ears like myself.
Absolutely, we have to have good information and good
science, and there are obvious reasons for that. First, we want
to make sure that what we're doing is going to work. Second, if
we don't have good science we get called to task for it and
quite regularly. We end up in court. We end up a lot of places
we don't want to be if we're not doing things right and
operating on good science.
So we encourage and support all those efforts that are
ongoing, as in the hatchery reform effort to increase the
quality of our science and all those efforts in habitat
restoration and get a better understanding of what works best
and when is the right time to apply it.
Third. A key to this and habitat restoration is the
development of partnerships, and we heard a lot about that
today at the local and State level. And I want you to know that
the Fish and Wildlife Service is absolutely committed to that.
We are participating in all those forums you heard today;
Timber Fish and Wildlife, Agricultural Fish and Water, The Tri-
County agreement, Salmon Recovery Board, the forest fish and
report process. We're there, and we're committed to being
there. We get spread thin, no doubt about that, and maybe I'll
get the same question that Mr. Stelle did a moment ago.
Fourth. This is an area we think and that we heard today
that probably we need to do more of and do better on, and
that's this program coordination. There's a plethora of efforts
underway out there. We've got to make sure that they're
coordinated, that they make sense, and that what we're doing is
having the results that we expect and need.
I've spent 25 years in the Fish and Wildlife Service and
most of that in Pacific salmon restoration. And we're hearing
the criticism about how much money it's costing down in the
Columbia River, the billions of dollars that are being thrown
around. We're sensitive to that. I think everyone is sensitive
to that; that these dollars don't come easy, it's not cheap.
And the public and the Congress should expect that there will
And so one of the things that's going to help facilitate
particularly is there's a sense of urgency--and we are seeing
more funding come this way--is to make sure that it's done
right, make sure that it's spent right. So coordination overall
is a key thing we need to do.
Fifth, maybe finally. We need to provide oversight and
review to ensure that when we are investing habitat
restoration, again, that we're getting the results. So
monitoring and evaluation is an absolutely crucial thing that
we need. I know that's a great frustration in my agency. As we
work on the front end of these issues and develop habitat
conservation plans, whether it's the forest plan, whatever,
that the key to that long-term success is getting out there and
see if it works. And very honestly, that's one of the areas we
have not been funded well into; and it's something that, not
just at the Federal level, but at the State level and the local
level, we all really need to focus on. We need to monitor, we
need to evaluate the results, and I believe this is still kind
of an unmet need that we face.
Finally, just on the issue of hatch reform. I spoke to that
on the last panel, but it's an opportunity for me to just
I recently finished visiting every congressional district
in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, every Senate office here. We're
making visits to you up on the Hill. And one of the things
you're hearing from the Fish and Wildlife Service is this is an
extremely high priority for us, not just in this region, but
We're ecstatic about what we're seeing in terms of the
collaboration between the States, between the tribal partners
and between the Federal agencies, and we're linked together
now, I think stronger than we ever have been before. And there
are keys to making that a long-term success, and one of those
is the fact that we have created these independent scientific
reviews. We're bringing science into the culture of salmonids
in a way that we've never have before.
And I just want to thank you, Senator Gorton, for your
efforts in supporting that, and know that the Fish and Wildlife
Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service is committed
to ensuring that, when we're operating hatcheries we're doing
that in a way that it's part of the solution, not part of the
problem. We're meeting those multiple objectives that we have,
whether it's creating fisheries for tribal harvests, sport
harvests or help in restoring endangered species. And we're
just committed to that. Thank you very much.
Senator Gorton. Bill.
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Mr. Chairman, let me make just really one
point, and that is, I think what you've heard here all day, and
what I've heard here all day listening, is the imperative of
the need for a shared strategy for what we're doing.
When the Endangered Species Act was passed, and the Clean
Water Act was passed and a lot of other laws that we're trying
to implement together and regulations under these laws and
counterpart laws at the State level, none of these acts
contemplated something as complex as these multiple species
that had been declared threatened and endangered, that
overlapped one another. And there are ranges that affect
metropolitan, suburban, rural, forested areas throughout our
This is not what the drafters of these laws had in mind
when they were passed. So in my judgment, at least, it's little
wonder that we're having trouble with all of the various
agencies and departments that are involved in trying to
administer these laws, in a set of conditions that weren't
understood when the laws were originally passed, are having
trouble doing that. They're stumbling around over one another
and pursuing their own jurisdictions, and it's difficult to a
rational strategy or a rational set of approaches to bringing
these fish back that take into account things like decadal
oscillations in ocean conditions and how should we think about
What NMFS says in its status document which declared the
chinook as threatened is that, yes, these decadal oscillations
exist. They're not even decadal. Why they are called decadal, I
don't know, because sometimes they last a lot longer than that.
But what happens that, we've seen when they're coming
back--if this is a normal run--then they drop off when the
ocean conditions change, and they come back, but they don't
come back as far. And then they drop off again, and they drop
down further. So that the trend over several decades, if that's
the right measurement period, is downward.
Now, is that right? Is that challengeable? We ought to find
out if it is. And if we're, therefore, wasting money because
we're dealing with a problem that's beyond us, all right. But
that's where the science is as far as that status document is
It seems to me that I think this is a very good thing that
you've done here, Mr. Chairman, in pulling us all together,
just like you did a year ago and that Congressman Dicks and
Congressman Inslee are participating. Through your political
leadership, you're forcing attention to be paid by all the
various agencies, including the SRF Board, that is trying to
deal with a mix of these issues, and to come together and come
to you and try to say what's positive about what's going on,
and at the same time pledge to you that something like this is
what we need.
We need a strategy that says, here are the things that
we've got to address, here's the sequence in which we ought to
address those, and we're all committed to do it so as to cause
as little disruption--the human kind--in this area as possible.
This won't happen unless we develop a shared strategy. I'll
guarantee you it's not going to happen, unless we all say,
these are the things we need to do in this sequence, and we're
all going to pull together in doing that. Because if we don't
do that, we're going to have serious problems. There are
positive things that are happening, and those things ought to
make us feel good about the last year.
Those positive things--the 4(d) rule issues, when the co-
managers established their rules, their goals, when the
technical review team for Puget Sound establishes its rules,
unless those are all coordinated--those are just three things,
and those are all harmonized with the hatchery reform, with the
harvest--not necessarily harvest reform; there is reform going
on. But there needs to be a lot more transparency in our whole
harvest process and decisions that are made, not just here in
this State, but between us and Canada and Alaska; that all
needs to be understood and harmonized. If that isn't
coordinated, we're going to have serious problems.
Now, we're trying very hard to coordinate it in the process
that I mentioned, and here's the early stages of that
coordination. We're trying to bring this to fruition by the end
of next month. That's a very ambitious undertaking on the part
of the people involved in that. We're then trying to expose a
much broader group of people to get them to buy into the same
If we can do that, then we have, I think, a real chance of
success. But pulling all these pieces together and drilling
down into these individuals, and finding where the conflicts
lie and trying to resolve those and get us all on the same
stage is a very large undertaking, a very complex one.
We need political leadership in order to get this done. We
need to have our feet held to the fire. We need to have people
continue to say, I understand what you're up to, and we need to
see some success in this. We need to have you come back to us
with a strategy that we understand and that we can communicate
to our constituents and that everybody else can understand.
I agree with what was said. I think planets are lining up
here, and we have an opportunity to accomplish a lot, but it's
just a moment in time. And if that moment passes us, all this
enthusiasm that many of us have seen and pointed out, what's
going on in these lead entity watershed groups by restoring
habitat, could stop in a hurry if the government's efforts are
not coordinated and fitted together neatly and pushed forward.
And I think it's your pressure and political leadership that is
needed, and it's needed across the board or we're not going to
Senator Gorton. Will, I've got just two questions for you.
I'm not sure whether you were here during the first panel, but
the two county executives both reflected what we read in The
Wall Street Journal yesterday, the Tri-County effort----
You haven't seen that?
Mr. Stelle. No, I haven't. I'm not sure it was all true
Senator Gorton. That the Tri-County effort that they had
hoped to be done by the first of June really can't be done by
then. And both they here and their spokespeople in this Wall
Street Journal article were expressing the hope that there was
some flexibility in announcing and implementing 4(d) rules so
that they could get their act together and be a part of it.
And I'd just like your comment on that desire and that
Mr. Stelle. I was here, and I did hear those comments, and
I understand that circumstance.
And the question is, are we going to be able to accommodate
the need for more time before the 4(d) rule for chinook in
Puget Sound gets into place or takes effect? And I am
optimistic that the answer to that is yes.
Senator Gorton. That's wonderful. I'm not going to pursue
it any further.
Mr. Stelle. I have to have some conversations with my
lawyers, but they're in the works.
Senator Gorton. Fine. And the second that you also heard
here was a fairly, widely expressed frustration on the part of
these citizen groups against the governmental groups that they
were being subject to section 7 consultations even when--as
they put it at least--they were talking about positive projects
rather than the kind of projects that might threaten salmon
And because they are a citizens group mostly operating
through volunteers and on very, very small budgets, don't we
face the very situation that Bill warned us of? If we subject
these citizen groups to too many frustrations and too many
procedural requirements, do we lose their enthusiasm and their
ability to do good things, particularly for our habitat? Is
there a way around that so that they can continue in the future
to do the kind of things they've done in the past?
Mr. Stelle. Senator, it's a real issue. It's one that I
absolutely acknowledge, and we need to try to figure out how to
minimize the risks of that happening. From my perspective, I
see a couple of choices here.
First of all, for those restoration projects or
undertakings that require Federal permits--and a lot of the in-
stream work require 404 permits, just plain and simple--that
requirement does trigger consultation obligations.
That's unavoidable; it's the law. So the obligation for us
and the Corps of Engineers, who is the permitting entity here,
is to figure out a way to go programmatic, put into place the
guidelines for restoration activities, that if the projects are
properly designed in accordance with those guidelines, you
avoid case-by-case, project-by-project reviews.
Senator Gorton. Are you close to reaching that goal?
Mr. Stelle. We have serious negotiations with the Corps on
that subject, largely in the Oregon district because it's the
same issue in Oregon as it is up here. And I don't want to
leave you with any happy talk; it's hard. It's hard. But that
is the course that we need to pursue.
The second is, where there aren't Federal permits, so you
don't get caught into this section 7 consultation obligation,
then what about the take liabilities? I know that in our
proposed 4(d) rule we had a whole series of fairly complex
limitations that would have been proposed in order to avoid as
a formal matter potential take liabilities for restoration
activities over the short-term and over the longer term.
In the final rule that we will release later on, I think
that we will reshape the way we approach that subject, to add a
little bit of--and this is not really a legal issue; it's a
common sense issue.
If local groups are engaged in watershed restoration
activities that are consistent with watershed planning
guidelines developed by the State and funded through the board;
and if they happen to have the potential to cause injury to
fish, which is really the legal issue on take--if that's
happening, what is the remedy? What is the fix for that?
The fix for that isn't some sort of law enforcement action
against that watershed group, that's a nutty idea. The fix for
that is to take a look at those guidelines and make adjustments
in them so that you reduce the likelihood that there may be
some adverse injury that nobody wants.
So in that case, that's not a legal solution; it's a
practical solution. It's a statement by us that the remedy, in
the event that there's some potential take liabilities for
those problems, is to work with the State to develop the right
kind of guidelines to avoid it. It's not lawsuits; that makes
no sense at all.
And I think that if we come out with a fairly formal
statement along those lines, then that will take a lot of the
pressure off of the local watershed groups, that they may be in
some sort of hot water with NMFS enforcement on those types of
activities. Again, there are four far more higher priorities,
from my perspective, on enforcement action, not that stuff. So
a little dose of common sense here.
Senator Gorton. I do have one more.
Are we're going to be able to avoid this year the highly
localized, but nonetheless locally catastrophic kind of
situation we faced in the Methow last year?
Mr. Stelle. A couple of responses.
The first one, which is the safest one, is I sure hope so.
The second is that we are, in fact--we're in a couple of the
ditches making some very substantial progress in negotiating
longer-term strategies that can solve the problems and obviate
the need for short-term shutdowns. And I'm hopeful that those
agreements are going to be cemented fairly soon, in which case,
again, that's a solution that we need to put into place.
Part of the problem in the Methow is going to be some
funding from some source in order to try to finance the putting
into place of a longer-term, more comprehensive water
management strategy for the Federal ditches and the non-Federal
ditches so that it's more fair and more effective. I think that
discussions are underway very actively to try to identify how
we can solve that problem in that particular sense.
Senator Gorton. Good.
Mr. Dicks. Bill, you heard the complaints about the
matching requirements. It's clearly a problem, especially for
some of the groups that are nonprofits and don't have a lot of
What do you think we should do about that? Are we causing
this problem at the Federal level?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Well, I listened hard to what people had
to say about the SRF Board policies, and I take it to heart.
Our first process wasn't perfect; we've got a lot to learn. And
we're going to try to adjust to some of these because we really
do see our role as being in a partnership with these groups
that are making application.
As I mentioned, undoubtedly, somebody will come up and tell
you after the hearing. But I was not aware that anybody
withheld a project because they weren't able to meet the 15-
percent matching requirements for the SRF Board funding.
Mr. Dicks. They have to have one-on-one. They have to have
100 percent match.
Mr. Ruckelshaus. But that's part of the requirement from
the Congress in the agreement that they have. So they'll be
funding a somewhat different kind of project maybe than we
would. We had a lot of discussion of this, and we put it out
for public comment and review. We got some negative comments
back from people about the 15-percent match that the SRF Board
I was just a little reluctant to go ahead and spend
taxpayer's money without any match coming from the grant, and
other members of the board were too. Because if people don't
have any skin in the game, they don't tend to pay as much
attention to other people's money. And we were able, I think,
as a result of that match to get a very good mix of projects.
And they use imagination in matching the money, but that's all
right. I mean, we're willing to be flexible on that score.
Mr. Dicks. Well, I think the idea of building up capability
is also important. As I said, I've got some counties out there
where they just literally have one person. Barbara Woods,
sitting right here in the front row, is the one person from
And what are you doing here today? You should be back
Do you still think we need a coordinator?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We need a coordination policy. We need a
We're trying to do that. Let me make clear, everybody's
that involved in this who's testified here today is in favor of
bringing the fish back. There's nobody standing here saying,
this is all a lot of nonsense, a waste of time, forget it.
Everybody involved in this wants to get these fish back. They
want to fish to recover.
The people in this State are--not 100 percent by any
means--but are overwhelmingly in favor seeing the salmon
recover. It's really a question of how to do it, not whether we
ought to do it. And there is a way to do it in an orderly
sequenced way, where all these agencies are cooperating
I mean, if you don't have the political leadership and you
don't have the requirement to coordinate, you're essentially
asking people with overlapping jurisdictions to commit a
unnatural act, and that is to work in a coordinated way without
anybody telling them what to do. That is a tough----
Mr. Dicks. Is it possible--do you have meetings?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We meet all the time. This is a result of
Mr. Dicks. Of your 199 people that got together?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. Well, that's where it started. And since
then, Will Stelle has the people I've listed.
Mr. Dicks. And you intend to keep that going?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. We're going. We intend to have this filled
out so that by the end of May we have a shared strategy.
Whether we'll be able to get there or not, I don't know.
Everybody's voluntary that has shown up at these meetings.
Nobody's forcing anybody.
Mr. Dicks. So what you're saying is that coordination is
Mr. Ruckelshaus. It is occurring. We're making progress,
and we are committed to have a shared strategy by the end of
Mr. Dicks. Does Fish and Wildlife Service have enough
Mr. Diggs. No. Simple answer.
Mr. Stelle. Senator, I want to amend my comment on the
Senator Gorton. OK.
Mr. Stelle. We, NMFS, alone don't have the ability to solve
the problem in the Methow. And so to answer your question of,
are we going to have another train wreck in the Methow this
spring or this summer, the answer is, it depends. It depends on
whether or not we can get the types of commitments. The State
is essential, the Department of Ecology is essential here, and
they're working hard on it, the right local mix----
Senator Gorton. Are you the only Federal agency?
Mr. Stelle. I believe Fish and Wildlife Service is involved
in the effort as well. I think NMFS is probably the lead on
this because it's a salmonid issue.
But we really need to construct a solution, and it is not a
solution we can do unilaterally.
Senator Gorton. Right. Thank you.
Mr. Inslee. I just want to comment.
We've got this Puget Sound Ecosystem Restoration Bill.
We're trying to get the Army Corps involved in this process as
well, I'm sure you're familiar with. I just want to let you
know we've got a 75/25 match situation, and the administration
has put this in their first cut of the bill for $10 million. We
appreciate that too, at least get this idea going.
I hear a lot of concern about landowners and folks in
development transportation projects; that they're concerned
getting the permitting process going. And what I've explained
to them--and I want you to tell me if I'm right--that basically
Congress has not given you enough people to process the permits
really in a timely fashion. And that the problem is as much
with Congress' failure to give you the mechanism to process
these permits as it is perhaps with the statutory requirements.
Is that an accurate read? And No. 2, why do you think we're
missing at least your message in this regard?
Mr. Stelle. Thank you, Congressman. No, I didn't plant this
Mr. Inslee. Well, I have this conversation a lot.
Mr. Stelle. It's a serious issue. The administration has
asked for an increase in $30 million in order to build the
capacity here. If we don't have the capacity, we have train
wrecks. And train wrecks don't help anybody, and it won't get
the job done.
If you want a train wreck, don't fund this, because the law
won't go away, the requirements won't go away, and it just
won't get done. And if those consultations don't occur, the
permits won't ensue; and if the permits don't ensue, the
projects don't go forward. And if they go forward without them,
they'll get sued.
Mr. Dicks. How many loaned staff do you have from other
Mr. Stelle. In the Olympia office, just to give you a sense
of this--well, we have received about, I believe it was a $9-
million increase covering Oregon, Washington, California, and
Idaho. And understand that we make a policy judgment--and it is
a policy judgment--that we spend generally about 50 to 60 cents
of every dollar on science.
Why do that when we're facing these bottlenecks? Because if
you don't make a commitment to investing into science, and if
you start to let it slip, you'll never get it back. So we put
about half of our dollars into science because of our
commitment to the science underscoring the program. But when
you spread that money out, it doesn't go far.
The administration has repeated its request for this coming
appropriations cycle, and we'll just have to see how it pans
Mr. Inslee. Well, I'll just tell you, I'm going to do
anything I can. My transportation projects--everybody knows the
transportation problem we've got right now. And it's getting
worse because we have not given the infrastructure it requires
to issue those permits. And I still fear--even though I'm a
person with great optimism and hope--there are those who think
if they can starve this agency and a train wreck occurs, that
ESA is going to collapse and go away.
That is not going to happen. ESA is not going to evaporate.
For those who may be interested, I can share that reality with
them; this is not a way to solve this problem. And I just want
to let you know where I'm coming from on this.
I want to ask, unfortunately, a controversial question at
the end of this.
I want to ask about the Snake River issues, and I want to
ask about the State of the science on the dam and dam bridging
prospect of being part of a recovery plan. And I guess I would
like any three who can assist me on that, to just tell me your
best assessment of the State of the biological science as to
probabilities of success.
I've tried to educate myself on this. I've read the Path
report, at least the executive summary that I could get into.
I'd like you just to tell me what your belief or your rate
of the existing biological science on probabilities of success
with or without dam breaching as part of the recovery plan. And
just allude to any science you think we ought to read in this
regard. I realize there are huge economic issues on this, there
are huge transportation issues. I'd just like you to talk about
the science, if you can.
Mr. Stelle. Bill, do you want to take that?
Mr. Ruckelshaus. The SRF Board doesn't have enough money to
Mr. Inslee. Well, let me tell you why I asked. When I read
the Path Report, what I see are a range of numbers. And when I
read that report--and there's another biological report, and I
can't remember which one it was--would suggest that the highest
probability of the variety of the menus of what we could do--
that the highest probability included dam bridging within part
of that plan.
And I guess my real question is, are there other credible
scientific assessments that indicate that that is not true;
that, in fact, it has a less probability of success, and I
would just ask for you to educate us on the state of the
science in that regard.
Mr. Stelle. Let me try. Obviously, this is a hugely
complicated subject. A couple of initial observations,
We have just recently released several weeks ago a new more
comprehensive risk assessment of the risks of extinction of all
but one of the populations of salmonids listed in the Columbia
and the Snake. And the prognosis is very bad.
This is a hugely important diagnostic tool because it tries
to use the same measuring stick for risk predictions for the
Snake River stocks, and for the first time, for the upper
Columbia stocks, the mid Columbia stocks and the lower Columbia
stocks, so we have the ability to compare apples and apples.
And the short form of the prognosis is that the stocks
facing the highest risk of extinction in the Columbia system
are the upper Columbia chinook stocks and steelhead stocks in
the upper and lower Columbia and the Snake.
If your strategy is to put your greatest effort on those
stocks that are facing the greatest risks, Snake river dam
removal doesn't do it because Snake River dam removal doesn't
do much for the upper Columbia or lower Columbia stocks. That's
What about those Snake River stocks though? Let's just
focus now on the Snake River and not the upper or lower
Can we conclude with confidence that breaching Snake River
dams is not necessary to recover these stocks? No. Is the
science fairly clear on that point? In my view, yes.
Can we recover these stocks without breaching the Snake
River dams? The question is answered by what you believe the
progress we can make in improving habitat productivity. And it
is a tall order.
What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is, from a
purely arithmetic perspective, the area where you get the
biggest bang for your buck is the area in the life stages of
salmonids where you lose the most. So a 1-percent or a 5-
percent or a 10-percent improvement in those areas yields the
biggest bang for the buck.
What are those areas for the spring/summer chinook stocks
and steelhead stocks in the Snake? The area is not mainstem
migration, down or up. The area is in the survivals in that
first year life stage in the tributaries and in the estuaries
because that's where we lose the biggest percentages.
So if the recovery equation for the snake, as it is for the
other stocks, is to try to calculate how many pounds of
survival improvements we need--and we've made substantial
progress in those calculations--then you have an allocation
question. Where do you think we can get those pounds of
Do you believe that we have the will, the fortitude, to
make the changes in the way we manage our land and our water in
those tributaries to rebuild the productivity so that we don't
need to take out dams? If you do, and if we are successful,
then that answers your question. If we are not, then the other
area of major survival improvements is dam removal.
So in some respects, the question of is the removal of
Snake River dams necessary is answered by what types of
undertakings are we prepared to make in the other sectors in
order to get those pounds of improvements that we need and are
we prepared to make those commitments or not? And that is the
$64,000 question. And it is not a $64,000 question; it's more.
Mr. Inslee. In summary form, I take it you're telling us
that if we as a community make a decision not to breach the
dams, we won't escape cost, we will be incurring in other
places in the salmon's life cycle? Fair statement?
Mr. Stelle. Absolutely.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you.
Senator Gorton. Well, I think you stated that proposition
accurately, particularly as you expand beyond that to determine
whether or not our society values these relatively high costs
at a greater level than it does those particular stocks. And
while you disagreed with me last week when we put them before a
Senate committee, it seems to me, the unstated implication of
what Mr. Stelle says is, we may be looking at taking down
mainstem Columbia River dams as well, as the single most
endangered run is on a part of the upper Columbia, unless these
other alternatives end up being easier. And I do not think this
society or this State is prepared to do that.
I'm sorry, I told you I had only a couple of questions; I
do have one more on a different subject.
One of the earlier panelists, if you heard, Jack Kaeding at
Fish First, referred to a programmatic biological assessment
that the Fish and Wildlife Service adopted that is more
streamlined than your process at the National Marine Fisheries
Is it possible for the Fisheries Service to use a similar,
more streamlined biological assessment for projects that are
either designed to help fish or would have no effect?
Mr. Stelle. Senator, I don't know the facts of that
particular matter, so I can only surmise in my answer. I'd be
happy to take a look at answering that question for you.
Senator Gorton. Do you have any comment on that? Do you
know what he was talking about?
Mr. Diggs. I guess I'm not sure about ``the'' specific
case, but doing programmatic biological assessments and
opinions is an approach that both NMFS and the Fish and
Wildlife Service uses very commonly to try to batch projects
together, take like kinds of projects--do one assessment and
opinion, again, to expedite the process and remove the
Senator Gorton. If you'd take a look at that and see if
there's any difference?
Mr. Stelle. I will do so, Mr. Chairman, absolutely.
Mr. Dicks. I would just like to read this out of his
statement, Mr. Kaeding:
Now we find ourselves stopped in our tracks because of
National Marine Fisheries Service's interpretation of the
Endangered Species Act, which requires us to do a biological
assessment on each project. This, we are told, takes from 18
months to 2 years to complete.
Apparently, they were working before with the Fish and
Wildlife Service, as I understood what he was saying, and they
were able to go forward and do these projects.
I think we have to take a look at that.
Mr. Stelle. I will take a look at it. If we can batch and
bundle and secure some efficiencies from that, absolutely.
Because I can promise you, the bottlenecks are more painful for
us or as painful for us as for anybody else. So we are
constantly probing for efficiencies, and I will take a look at
Senator Gorton. That's a constructive answer, and I believe
we'd made some very real progress today. There has been a good
deal of listening, and the degree of coordination that we've
had without our following Bill Ruckelshaus' advice of last year
to create a formal facilitator seems to me to have been very
impressive. And I think my colleagues join in that.
And we thank you for your hard work and for your help
CONCLUSION OF HEARING
Thank you all very much for being here, that concludes our
hearing. The subcommittee will stand in recess subject to the
call of the Chair.
[Whereupon, at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 20, the hearing
was concluded, and the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene
subject to the call of the Chair.]