Lower Columbia River
- Human Population: 544,000
- Counties: Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania, and Wahkiakum, and portions of Pacific and Klickitat
- Water Resources Inventory Area WRIAs: Willapa (24 - Chinook and Wallacut Rivers), Grays-Elochoman (25), Cowlitz (26), Lewis (27), Salmon-Washougal (28), and Wind/White Salmon (29)
- Federally Recognized Tribes: Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Regional Recovery Organization
Origins and Organization
Local governments, primarily five counties (Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania, and Wahkiakum), requested the formation of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, which resulted in the 1998 Legislature authorizing the board. The board charter is contained in Revised Code of Washington 77.85, which officially recognizes the board as a regional organization. The law authorizes the board to prepare recovery plans and to implement the habitat portion of such plans for steelhead and other Endangered Species Act-listed species at an Evoluntionary Significant Unit scale. Board membership is also spelled out in statute and consists of five county commissioners, five citizens appointed by the commissioners (one from each county), one city representative, one state legislator, and one representative each from the Cowlitz Tribe, hydropower utilities, and the environmental community. A Recovery Planning Steering Committee under the auspices of the board consists of six representatives from the board, including two county commissioners, the Cowlitz Tribe's chairman, a mayor, and two citizen representatives; staff representing the Cowlitz Tribe and Yakama Nation; representatives from hydropower and forestry; and representatives from the Governor's Salmon Recovery Office, Lower Columbia River Estuary Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Salmon Recovery Plan
The board serves as the Northwest Power and Conservation Council sub-basin planning organization, lead entity for the state habitat protection and restoration program, and lead agency for state watershed planning in two planning units - Water Resource Inventory Areas 25-26 and 27-28. The board has particular responsibility for habitat portions of a recovery plan related to local government responsibilities, but its recovery plan addresses all four H's (habitat, hatcheries, harvest, and hydropower). In February 2006, the National Marine Fisheries Service adopted the board’s recovery plan as the Washington portion of the full Evolutionarily Significant Unit plan. The board now is coordinating with Oregon and the National Marine Fisheries Service in development of a full Evolutionarily Significant Unit-scale recovery plan (i.e. both Washington and Oregon portions).
Recovery Plan (as of 1/07)
- Plan timeframe: 25 years
- Estimated cost: $127 million (next 6 years, Tier one reaches only)
- Actions to implement plan: More than 650
- Status: Adopted as federal recovery plan by National Marine Fisheries Service in February 2006 for Washington's portion of Evolutionarily Significant Units and Distinct Population Segments.