2022 Salmon Recovery Funding Board Grant Round with logo and Yakima RIver Canyon in background

For release: Contact: Michael Horner

September 26, 2022 Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board

mhorner@ybfwrb.org / 509-453-4104 X 2

Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board Awards Over $4 million in Grants for Salmon Recovery
The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced the award of $4,042,032 in grants to Yakima Basin organizations to continue the work of bringing salmon back from the brink of extinction. This was a historic grant round as the state legislature doubled the funds approved for salmon restoration projects during the 2022 session. “It’s been great to double the funding amount available and see it fund both more projects and larger projects that meet critical recovery needs in our basin,” said Alex Conley, YBFWRB Executive Director. “This boost of funding will provide land managers a great opportunity to scale up and lay down foundational collaborative work in the Yakima Basin, not only for the benefit of salmon, but for local jobs and recreation access too”, added Kayla Gallentine, YBFWRB Operations and Outreach Manager.

The local grant review process is coordinated by the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board (YBFWRB), which serves as the lead entity for the Yakima Basin. Lead entities are community-based salmon recovery organizations working across the state of Washington to protect and restore species listed as threatened or endangered through the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While each of the 25 lead entities across the state operates somewhat differently, they all utilize committees made up of local technical experts to evaluate the scientific efficacy of habitat projects, and local leaders who evaluate socio-economic factors. In the Yakima Basin, our committees are made up of representatives from local, state, and federal technical agencies, including representatives from Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton counties, and the Yakama Nation. These committees utilize recovery and action plans developed with local, state, federal, and tribal partners to serve as road maps towards recovery of listed species like steelhead and bull trout. “We are fortunate in the Yakima Basin to be able to draw on a deep well of technical expertise and a group of community leaders who are deeply dedicated to salmon recovery. They are key to developing restoration projects that will make the biggest difference for salmon and benefit the community as a whole” said Michael Horner, Lead Entity Program Coordinator with YBFWRB.

The Yakima Basin includes Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton counties, and the Yakama Nation. This year, an award of over $4 million will be divided into $1,452,801 for six projects in Kittitas County, and $2,589,231 for five projects in Yakima County. These eleven projects were awarded funding through the 2022 grant round to address issues in all parts of the Yakima Basin. Challenges facing the basin range from simple habitat assessments to identify future restoration priorities, to massive levee setbacks in the “Gap-to-Gap” floodplain restoration construction project, which will improve spawning, rearing and winter outmigration habitat for salmon, while reducing flood risk to the local community.

FOR A STATE PRESS RELEASE WITH ADDITONAL PROJECT SPECIFIC INFO, SEE: State Board Awards Nearly $76 Million in Grants to Recover Salmon – RCO. Project descriptions are organized by county.