the film
Commentaries and editorials

Gorton's local salmon recovery efforts
in the Interior Bill

by U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, Press Release - September 20, 1999

This week, the Senate is expected to pass the Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2000.

This year, as in previous years, a great deal of media attention has been placed on the more controversial measures contained in the bill, such as Gorton's efforts on behalf of timber dependent communities and families, for example.

Lost in the debate, but of critical importance to Washington State and its future however, are Gorton's considerable (some would say unprecedented and historic) salmon recovery efforts contained in the legislation.

Gorton, the senior senator of our delegation, and chairman of a key appropriations committee that wields considerable influence over the issue of salmon recovery, has used his position to focus on ways to empower local decision making in the area of salmon recovery. Accordingly, when he crafted this bill, Gorton placed specific emphasis on local salmon enhancement groups and organizations that best know how to restore salmon in their own area.

The following is a list of some of the specific allocations for local salmon recovery:

Gorton's position on salmon recovery is quite clear. He has said, time and again, "After listening to Washingtonians from all corners of the state, one thing is clear: we must restore our vibrant salmn fishery. The debate on how we restore our salmon runs is the question. I believe that Washingtonians and local salmon restoration organization -- not bureaucracies in Washington, D.C. -- are in the best position to make decisions that will return salmon. My salmon vishion sends the money and decision-making authority back to Washington state communities, so they can decide how to restore the fisheries. It's time for the federal government to let those who will be affected by the decsions make these decisions."

Earlier this year, a member of the media reported that Gorton's foray into the area of salmon recovery is his attempt to "take a more peaceful stance" on a key environmental issue in light of an upcoming re-election.

Gorton's stance is neither peaceful nor hostile. Rather, it's sensible. Local communities - rather than DC bureaucracies - do know best. This is Gorton's philosophy on issues as wide-ranging as salmon recovery and river governance and education.

In addition to his specific Interior Bill efforts, Gorton has spent an extensive amount of time and energy on the salmon recovery issue. In fact, it is fair to say this issue is one of Gorton's top priorities in the 106th Congress.

Note: Timeline of Gorton's salmon recovery efforts is in press release but not included here.

by U.S. Senator Slade Gorton
Gorton's local salmon recovery efforts in the Interior Bill and throughout the year
Press Release - September 20, 1999

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