Klicker bill to encourage salmon recovery to get public hearing this week

Rep. Mark Klicker is set to testify later this week on behalf of his bill that would help improve salmon recovery in the state of Washington through voluntary stewardship.

House Bill 1076, which would provide an option for cities and counties looking to incorporate salmon recovery into their planning under the Growth Management Act, will have a public hearing this Thursday, Jan. 12. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Environment & Energy Committee at 8:00 a.m.

“This bill would provide meaningful and measurable improvement in the protection and enhancement of habitat for anadromous fish, including salmon,” said Klicker, R-Walla Walla. “We all know we need to help the fish recovery efforts in our state. But we need to do it in a way that doesn't cause new problems.”

If the bill passes, city and county governments would be authorized to include comprehensive salmon recovery elements in their land use plans. Local municipalities that voluntarily choose this option would be required to have work plans that are designed to result in an improvement to salmon habitat.

When plans are approved, counties and cities can implement those plans as state funding is provided. If funding is not provided, they would still be in compliance, unlike previous rules and regulations that potentially places local governments into legal consequences.

The work plans would have input from tribes and agency technical advisors. They would also require measurable benchmarks that, within 10 years after the receipt of funding, are designed to result in improved function of the natural environment for supporting salmon survival.

The bill would accomplish this without increasing the liability of local governments and their taxpayers, and in a way that encourages rather than discourages the voluntary participation of private landowners in projects that would improve habitat in a watershed.

“Salmon recovery is an important issue and it effects everyone,” added Klicker. “But we must make sure our recovery efforts help fish, and at the same time don't hurt local governments and their taxpayers. This bill would be a positive step in the right direction.”

The 2023 legislative session began Jan. 9 and is scheduled to last 105 consecutive days.


Washington State House Republican Communications