S-4145.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6569



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators Jacobsen, Spanel, Prentice and Fraser


Read first time 01/21/98.  Referred to Committee on Natural Resources & Parks.

Creating the scientific salmon and steelhead funding review panel.

    AN ACT Relating to creating a scientific salmon and steelhead funding review panel; and creating new sections.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that it is of paramount importance to the people of Washington to rebuild salmon and steelhead runs to sustainable levels.  The legislature further finds that fish recovery efforts have a higher success rate when decisions are based upon sound scientific information.  The legislature also finds that funding decisions made within state programs that assist with anadromous fish recovery should be made based upon sound scientific criteria and prioritized based upon a project's cost-to-benefit ratio.  It is the intent of the legislature to create a scientific review panel to develop project funding criteria on a program level that ensures that state recovery efforts are based upon sound science and directed to high priority projects.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1) The scientific salmon and steelhead funding review panel is created.  The panel shall be appointed by the governor and composed of five members of the scientific community with expertise in salmon and steelhead recovery chosen from a list of qualified candidates submitted by the dean of the school of fisheries at the University of Washington; one member representing the department of fish and wildlife; one member representing the department of natural resources; one member representing the conservation commission; one member representing the department of community, trade, and economic development; and one member representing the office of financial management.

    (2) The purpose of the panel is to examine state programs that provide funding for projects that benefit salmon and steelhead and to work within the existing intent of the program to revise funding criteria to ensure that state funds go toward projects that are based upon sound science, that benefit stocks of high priority, and ensure an advantageous cost-to-benefit ratio.

    (3) By September 1, 1998, the panel shall provide its initial recommendations to the director of each agency in which a program criteria change has been recommended.  By December 1, 1998, the panel shall provide its final recommendations to each affected agency.

    (4) The panel shall review the following:  Water quality and habitat restoration programs within the state conservation commission, the public works trust fund within the department of community, trade, and economic development, the water quality and environmental assistance programs within the department of ecology, the salmonid screening, habitat enhancement, and restoration program, the lands and restoration services programs, the fish passage program, the cooperative enhancement program, and the regional fisheries enhancement group program within the department of fish and wildlife, the Washington wildlife and recreation program within the interagency committee for outdoor recreation, the aquatic resources, jobs for the environment, landowner assistance, and natural areas programs within the department of natural resources, and the storm water, watershed, wetlands, and fish passage programs within the department of transportation.

    (5) By January 1, 1999, the panel shall submit a report to the governor and the natural resources committee in the house of representatives and the senate natural resources and parks committee regarding the funding criteria changes made to state programs and the need for additional legislative action.

    (6) The panel expires June 30, 1999.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  Agency programs specified in section 2(4) of this act shall immediately revise program funding criteria upon the receipt of same from the salmon and steelhead funding review panel.  Funding criteria changes remain in effect until January 1, 2000.


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