A public meeting will be held Aug. 17 in Cusick to discuss state grant funding for Pend Oreille County projects to help recover threatened bull trout.
The meeting will be held at the Cusick School, 303 Monumental Way, starting at 6:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the Pend Oreille Conservation District (POCD) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), who hope to build an ongoing citizen committee from meeting attendees.
The bull trout is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act because its abundance and distribution has declined. As a salmonid species, it is included in the state's Salmon Recovery Planning Act, which was set up by the legislature to give local citizen-based groups the ability to guide and seek funding for restoration activities in their watersheds.
Up to $21 million in grant funding is available statewide this year, with project proposals due to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board by October 30. Projects eligible for funding include repairing culverts that block fish passage, stabilizing instream sediment to protect spawning areas, and restoring streamside or instream habitat. Groups or individuals applying for grants must provide a 15 percent match of the total requested. Private landowners, non-profit organizations, cities, counties, state agencies, native American tribes, and special purpose districts are eligible to apply.
The POCD was designated the lead entity for local bull trout recovery by the county, city of Newport, Kalispel Tribe, and funded by WDFW. Conservation district planning coordinator Steve Roberge will work with the citizen committee and a technical team to help evaluate and rank proposed projects to submit for funding. Grant awards will be made in January.