The Governor’s Office, with support from RCO, the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is leading an effort to update the Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon: Extinction is not an Option. The strategy lays out Washington State’s approach to bringing this iconic fish back from the brink of extinction. It includes an assessment of the status of salmon, how the recovery partners should organize, action areas, and measures of progress.
The update will honor the achievements and investments made during the past 20 years while acknowledging new improvements, approaches, and perspectives.
Twenty years ago, Governor Gary Locke adopted the Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon: Extinction is not an Option and Governor Christine Gregoire added to it in 2006. This strategy was put in place to address a growing crisis: the listing of salmon under the federal Endangered Species Act.
This strategy was the first of its kind in the nation: a collaborative initiative to restore and protect salmon runs across Washington State anchored in local expertise, experience, partnerships, and on-the-ground leadership. During the past 20 years, regional, scientifically rigorous, and locally produced recovery strategies have supported salmon recovery progress.
Washington has made great strides, with some species showing signs of recovery. Yet some salmon runs are continuing to decline. While many factors have changed across the social, political, and physical landscape, the sense of urgency has remained. In 2019, Governor Jay Inslee committed to updating the Statewide Salmon Strategy. Salmon are Washington’s legacy and a re-dedication of energy and updated strategy is needed to protect and restore this legacy and put all salmon runs on the road to recovery.
Senior Policy Advisor
Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office