Preventing the extinction of California’s fast-disappearing coho salmon populations is the goal of AB 1961, which just passed the State Assembly and is headed for the Governor’s desk.
Authored by Jared Huffman (San Rafael), the bill speeds permitting of voluntary habitat improvements for California’s fast-failing coho salmon, and will help landowners quickly provide habitat improvements for these iconic fish (from Huffman’s web page):
Coho salmon have virtually disappeared in some areas of California; in other areas they are teetering on the brink of extinction. AB 1961, the Coho Salmon Habitat Enhancement Leading to Preservation Act (Coho HELP Act) could be a vital step towards arresting that slide. It empowers the California Department of Fish and Game to use a one-stop process for approving immediate on-the-ground habitat restoration projects proposed by governmental and non-governmental partners to aid California’s struggling coho salmon populations.
“Coho salmon cannot afford to wait and neither can the communities where these restoration projects would provide much needed jobs,” said Huffman. “This bill lets us work together in a new way so that immediate actions can yield near-term results.”
CalTrout’s Conservation Director Curtis Knight said:
“Declining coastal salmon populations need immediate attention,” said Curtis Knight, Conservation Director for California Trout. “These fish need abundant water. They need access to spawning habitat. And they need wood in the streams to create shelter and cool, deep pools. AB 1961 will help us and our partners provide some of these basic needs in our coastal streams.”
California’s coho salmon stocks face a host of challenges; AB 1961 will simply make it easier to solve some of them more quickly than before.
For more information, visit Jared Huffman’s web page.