Tag Archives: Recreation and Conservation Office

Lake, River, Saltwater Access Work Among Projects Funded Thru Rec-Conservation Board

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of nearly $116 million in grants to a suite of 276 projects that build and maintain outdoor recreation facilities and conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests around the state.

PLANS SHOW THE REDESIGNED AND IMPROVED FISHING ACCESS AND BOAT RAMP AT ROSES LAKE, NEAR CHELAN, WORK FUNDED THROUGH THE RECENTLY PASSED AND SIGNED 2017 WASHINGTON CAPITAL BUDGET. (RCO)

“These grants are important to strengthening Washington’s economy and retaining our way of life,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “They will build parks, trails and boating facilities, and conserve working farms and critical wildlife habitat – all the things that make Washington a great place to live, work and operate a business.”

With the Legislature’s recent approval of the capital budget, grants are being distributed to cities, counties, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects in 35 of the state’s 39 counties.

The grants were awarded through nine different grant programs. Revenue comes from a mix of federal grants, the sale of state bonds, gas taxes and user fees.

Click below to see descriptions of each grant:

Benton County…………………………… $390,969

Chelan County……………………….. $4,157,049

Clallam County……………………….. $1,882,520

Clark County…………………………… $4,999,788

Columbia County…………………………. $75,000

Cowlitz County………………………… $1,809,436

Douglas County………………………. $4,263,945

Ferry County………………………………… $82,000

Garfield County……………………………. $76,903

Grant County…………………………… $1,078,600

Grays Harbor County………………. $3,237,345

Island County………………………….. $3,185,312

Jefferson County…………………….. $4,048,679

King County………………………….. $15,240,822

Kitsap County………………………….. $2,833,306

Kittitas County…………………………. $4,486,957

Klickitat County……………………….. $9,393,175

Lincoln County…………………………….. $65,000

Mason County…………………………. $3,556,688

Okanogan County…………………… $2,496,171

Pacific County…………………………. $2,853,803

Pierce County…………………………. $2,424,080

San Juan County……………………. $7,992,265

Skagit County………………………….. $2,944,830

Skamania County……………………. $1,000,000

Snohomish County…………………. $9,046,418

Spokane County……………………… $4,476,108

Stevens County…………………………. $373,500

Thurston County……………………… $8,585,079

Whatcom County…………………….. $1,282,565

Whitman County………………………… $198,000

Yakima County……………………….. $3,626,088

Multiple Counties…………………... $3,527,952

 A recent study1 noted that outdoor recreation is a huge part of the state’s economy with $21.6 billion spent in Washington on recreation trips and equipment annually, including $3.4 billion by out-of-state visitors. Outdoor recreation also supports nearly 200,000 jobs, rivaling the technology and aerospace industries.

“Investments in outdoor recreation pay many dividends,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers these grants. “Not only do these grants bring money and jobs to the economy, but spending time outdoors improves the mental and physical health of both kids and adults, and that saves money down the line in costs for health care. Equally important, preserving and protecting natural areas for us to enjoy conserves habitat for fish and other animals, protects clean air and water and reduces pollution.”

All of the funded projects were evaluated and ranked through a competitive process in which citizen committees with expertise in recreation and conservation issues evaluated the grant proposals and created ranked lists for the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, and in some cases, the Governor and state Legislature to consider for funding.

“Overall, we have funding only for about half the demand,” Cottingham said. “The process ensures that the state invests strategically in only the best projects.”

The office accepted applications for 529 projects, requesting nearly $239 million. Most of the grant programs require grant applicants to contribute matching resources. This year, the matching resources totaled nearly $107 million, nearly doubling the state’s investment in Washington’s outdoor recreation and conservation efforts.

Of the nearly $116 million in grants, more than $38 million goes to build or improve parks, more than $19 million goes each to improve facilities for boaters and to maintain trails, nearly $7 million goes to conserve working farms and another $31 million goes to protect important wildlife habitat. New this year were grants to protect commercial forests: Two projects were awarded funding for $700,000.

“Our population is growing, and prices are going nowhere but up,” Cottingham said. “The best time to invest in outdoor recreation is right now. The more we invest now, the more we save in the future, and the more future generations will benefit.”

[1]Tania Briceno and Greg Schundler,“Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State,” Earth Economics, Tacoma, WA, January 2015, pp. ix-xi.

SE WA Man Appointed Head Of State Salmon Recovery Office

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON RECREATION AND CONSERVATION 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 MARTIN. (RCO)

“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.”