February 10, 2005

Crapo: Breakthrough In Salmon Recovery

Language from Senatorâ??s bill included in final Appropriations measure

Washington, DC â?? Action by the U.S. Congress this weekend included Idaho in the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. Until now, this salmon recovery program supported efforts only in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California. To extend support to Idaho, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo earlier this year introduced S. 2788. Crapo and Idaho Senator Larry Craig included language from his bill in the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations measure, which passed the Senate on Saturday night and is likely to go to President Bush after Thanksgiving. Crapo said, â??This makes sense for the entire recovery effort in the Columbia River Basin and certainly strengthens Idaho's role in particular. Nearly half of the Columbia River salmon and steelhead spawn here and it is about time that Idaho received funding through this program. I thank Senators Craig and Ted Stevens, who were indispensable in making this happen." The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund was created in 2000. This year's spending bill maintains level funding for the program and allocates $4.5 million for Idaho. Crapo, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water, noted that Idaho received federal salmon funding for the first time in the last fiscal year 2004. â??But Idaho is now in a stronger position to continue receiving support as an official participant in the Fund,â?? Crapo said. â??We have Administration support. President Bush included Idaho in the fund when he submitted his budget to Congress last winter. This makes Idaho a full partner with Oregon, Washington, California, and Alaska. I am pleased Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Stevens, co-sponsored this bill and helped to ensure the language from the bill was included in the final version of the appropriations measure passed this weekend.â?? Crapo added, â??This is a big step toward improving habitat by reconnecting more Idaho waterways like the Lemhi tributaries, more streambank protections, and other habitat improvements in consort with Idaho landowners.â?? # # #