Hundreds of private owners of forestland who want to do their part for salmon recovery may be eligible for more help than they imagined was available.
Three state agencies – Washington Department of Natural Resources, Recreation and Conservation Office, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – have released a new video showing small forest landowners how they and their communities may benefit from a recently revitalized Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP). The state-funded program helps private forest landowners replace culverts and other stream crossing structures that keep trout, salmon, and other fish from reaching upstream habitat.
To help protect salmon and maintain the economic benefits of forestlands, state Forest Practices Rules require forest landowners to remove fish barriers by 2016. That deadline is not far off, but the FFFPP program is ready to help. The 2003 Legislature established the Family Forest Fish Passage Program because eliminating fish barriers, such as culverts, where roads cross streams can be costly for the small woodland owner. The program provides 75 to 100 percent of the cost of correcting a barrier by installing a new, fish-passable culvert or bridge. Since 2003, nearly 200 landowners have used the program to replace 244 barriers and open more than 530 miles of stream habitat. As the video shows, the program is poised to do a lot more.
Thanks to a new round of funding from the Legislature, the program will complete about 100 projects during the next two years. Replacement projects create construction jobs in rural communities, help revive salmon and trout populations and are a great asset to the landowner’s property. The video aims to increase the pool of applicants seeking funding so the most significant of the remaining stream barriers can be corrected.
See how local communities, fish and small forest landowners benefit from the Family Forest Fish Passage Program. Watch the video at: www.dnr.wa.gov/fffpp or by clicking below!