A group of Washington state agricultural organizations sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and state House and Senate leaders offering suggestions on actions that would significantly increase riparian enhancement and protections for salmon.
“Our farmers have implemented conservation on their lands for decades and generations with help and in partnership with local conservation districts, local watershed and salmon enhancement groups, in partnership with many tribes, and state and federal agencies. Many of these conservation programs have never been fully funded,” the letter said.
Some of the suggestions include funding for the Voluntary Stewardship Program and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program; funding for coordinated resource management that would establish goals between local parties for riparian restoration in several watersheds and river basins; funding for small forest landowners who are required to leave timber that protects fish habitat; funding to address a backlog of Family Forest Fish Passage Program projects that assist small forestland owners in removing culverts and stream obstructions; and funding to expand the Commodity Buffer Program.
Besides the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, other signatories include the Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, Western Washington Agricultural Association, the Washington State Dairy Federation, Washington Winegrowers Association and the Washington State Cattlemen’s Association.