OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Longview resident and long-time salmon recovery advocate Jeff Breckel to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, a state board that administers grants to help return salmon, steelhead and bull trout from the brink of extinction.
Breckel has extensive experience in salmon recovery and natural resource issues. For 18 years, he served as the executive director of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, from its inception, through writing the first salmon recovery plan in Washington to be federally approved, to seeing that same plan implemented.
“We are very pleased to welcome Jeff to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the funding board’s grants. “He has a thorough understanding of the issues and the groups fighting to save salmon. He’s been a thoughtful and hard-working leader in the field for nearly two decades. That kind of steady leadership will be an asset to the board.”
Before leading the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, Breckel served as a nuclear waste policy advisor for the Governor’s Office and Washington State Department of Ecology. Previous to that, he was the executive director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, which protects the unique scenic, natural, historical and cultural features of the Columbia River Gorge. He came to the commission after serving in the Navy, where he earned rank of lieutenant.
The Washington State Legislature created the Salmon Recovery Funding Board in 1999. Composed of five citizens appointed by the Governor, and five state agency directors, the board brings together the experiences and viewpoints of citizens and the major state natural resource agencies. The board provides grants to protect or restore salmon habitat and assist related activities. Since its start, the board has awarded nearly $760 million for more than 2,600 projects statewide.