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Published on Friday, March 21, 2014

Fish passage barrier bill squeaks through at the last minute

In the last three days of session, we saw passage of HB 2251 sponsored by Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm).  This is the bill requiring the state to coordinate a holistic strategy to fish passage barrier removals that focuses on clearing whole streams and recognizes the need for local government barriers to be addressed if the investments will pay dividends.  As the state looks to invest billions in culvert replacement pursuant to a recent federal injunction, this bill will help ensure that the need to take care of city culverts is also considered.  

It should be noted there was also a proviso in the supplemental transportation budget containing language similar to that of HB 2251.  This is a clear signal that the Chairs of the Transportation Committees are also supportive of this approach to addressing fish passage barriers.