HB 2286, to provide additional support for salmon runs near recovery or extinction

Feb 5, 2024

Key Findings

  1. Targeting salmon recovery funding in Washington has been caught between two strategies: funding all salmon runs or target runs near extinction or recovery.
  2. Currently the state has prioritized funding all salmon runs in a strategy called “no watershed left behind.”
  3. This misses opportunities to focus funding on salmon runs where a bit extra would prevent extinction or push a run over the threshold to recovery.
  4. HB 2286 creates a fund in the Capital Budget to provide additional resources for those watersheds that could benefit from further attention without taking away from other watersheds.
  5. Although it is targeted to certain high-priority salmon runs, grants would be allocated to projects using science-based metrics.


As populations of salmon and steelhead continue to struggle in Washington state, existing funding programs have focused on ensuring we don’t lose ground with existing populations. While important, that philosophy – sometimes called the “no watershed left behind” concept – makes it difficult to put additional focus on salmon runs that are near recovery or those that are at risk of extinction.

The tension between spreading the available money to all salmon runs or targeting those areas with more immediate needs has created conflict over how the limited amount of salmon recovery funding should be spent.

A proposal to create a targeted fund within the Capital Budget for salmon and steelhead populations that need additional help would fill this need. HB 2286 would focus additional funding on populations that scientific assessment indicates are near a threshold. 

Rather than just adding more money into existing programs, HB 2286 would address a disagreement about where to focus our efforts and potentially help some salmon runs cross the sustainability threshold and achieve recovery.


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