SE WA Man Appointed Head Of State Salmon Recovery Office


Steve Martin, a resident of Dayton, WA and a long-time salmon advocate, has been selected to lead the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, which coordinates regional efforts to return salmon from the brink of extinction.

The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office coordinates the efforts of 25 community-based watershed groups and 7 regional organizations across the state that are charged with implementing federally approved recovery plans for salmon, steelhead and bull trout.


“Steve has been and will continue to be a great leader of Washington’s salmon recovery effort,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which oversees the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. “He understands the very complicated world of salmon recovery and what it takes to return this iconic fish to healthy levels.”

Martin has been the executive director of the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board since 2001. Before that, he was a biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for many years. He has bachelor and master degrees in biology from Eastern Washington University.

“Steve has been in the trenches of salmon recovery since the beginning,” Cottingham said. “He brings great enthusiasm, energy and knowledge to the role.”

Across the Pacific Northwest, salmon populations have been decimated. As the number of people grew and demands for water, power and land increased, salmon habitat was altered. In the early 1990s, the federal government began listing salmon species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. By 1999, some salmon populations had disappeared completely and listings affected nearly three-fourths of the state. Today, federal agencies have listed 18 species of salmon, steelhead and bull trout as either threatened or endangered.

The federal Endangered Species Act and Washington State law require development of plans to recover salmon. Washington residents have been working for nearly 20 years to reverse the fate of salmon, and those efforts are beginning to pay off. Visit the State of Salmon Web site.

In addition to an iconic fish, salmon are big business in Washington. Many businesses, such as bait and tackle shops and charter fishing companies, rely on the world-renowned Pacific salmon. Today, commercial and recreational fishing are estimated to support 16,000 jobs and $540 million in personal income.

Raised in Dayton, in Columbia County, Martin is married with four children. He enjoys spending time with his family and is very active in his community. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and snow skiing.

“I am very excited about taking on this new role,” Martin said. “We have made a lot of progress in salmon recovery during the past two decades but there are still many challenges ahead of us. We know how to recover salmon and we have the people and resources in place. Salmon are ours to save.”

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