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March 05, 2009
Contact: Lauri Vigue, (360) 902-2549

Public event will honor citizens,
state employees for salmon recovery efforts

OLYMPIA – Citizens and state employees will be honored March 10 for their efforts in salmon recovery during a public event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Salmon Recovery Lead Entity Program.

Sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

During the celebration, members of the public will have an opportunity to learn more about lead entities, which are local, citizen-based organizations that develop salmon habitat protection and restoration projects with the help of technical experts.

Lead entity coordinators and volunteers from across the state will be on hand to discuss their work and provide displays of their projects. Citizen and technical assistance awards will be presented by Joe Stohr, WDFW deputy director and Sara LaBorde, WDFW special assistant to the director.

Established by the state Legislature in 1998, the program has grown to 27 lead entities across the state and is considered a national model for creating effective restoration projects at the local level, Stohr said.

“Salmon recovery and habitat restoration in our watersheds would not be possible without the partnerships and commitment created through this critical program,” Stohr said.

Lead entity groups submit projects to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for approval with funding provided through the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). WDFW implements the program through a contract with RCO and distributes funds to support infrastructure and project needs.