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What’s Next for Shared Strategy?

Creation of the new Puget Sound Partnership marks an end and a beginning.

Shared Strategy for Puget Sound has achieved its goals of developing a regional salmon recovery strategy, getting it adopted as a federal plan and finding a successor organization to carry out the program. Shared Strategy’s staff functions will transfer to the Partnership on January 1, 2008. The Puget Sound Recovery Council will suggest to the Partnership that the Council continue to meet as the policy group providing leadership, direction and regional adaptive management for salmon recovery. The Council, in conjunction with the watershed leads group, plans to suggest additional steps the Partnership can take to implement the Salmon Plan effectively under the new structure created by the legislature.

The Puget Sound Action Team, the state’s coordinating body for Puget Sound, also is slated to transfer its functions to the Partnership, effective July 1 of this year.

Until we close our doors on December 31, Shared Strategy will remain busy. Staff will be wrapping up the planning work and assisting the Recovery Council and watershed groups with the transition to the new Partnership.

The Recovery Council will complete the development and adoption of an adaptive management plan that sets recovery benchmarks and targets for the next 10 years. This tool will make it clear to everyone involved in recovery work—as well as to the public—if the effort is on track. The adaptive management process will address shortfalls as well as recognize and celebrate success.

We’ll also be reviewing past efforts to protect habitat, to find out what has worked and what has not. Have incentives motivated people to take action? Has public education been effective? Where are regulatory programs most effective and where are there shortcomings? The findings will be used to increase the coordination of programs that use incentives, education and regulation to achieve targeted, site-specific outcomes.

Watershed leaders, project sponsors and others will be protecting and restoring salmon habitat across Puget Sound with the infusion of funds from Congress, the state and local governments. We will be looking at ways to expedite projects, to build support among the public and landowners for protection and restoration actions, and to create databases and management structures to track projects and evaluate the results.  

As Shared Strategy begins this transitional work, we can reflect with pride on our accomplishments. Our work began in 2001 with a vision from the founding leaders:

  • Bill Ruckelshaus, Chair of the Salmon Recovery Board
  • Donna Darm, Acting Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Services
  • Billy Frank, Jr., Chair, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
  • Curt Smitch, Special Assistant to the Governor for Natural Resources, Governor’s Executive Policy Office
  • Jeff Koenings, Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Gerry Jackson, Manager, Western Washington Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Chris Endresen, Commissioner, Kitsap County
  • Ron Sims, Executive, King County

These leaders took a risk. They envisioned a new way to respond to the federal government’s warning that the icon of the Pacific Northwest, our salmon, was threatened with extinction. They wanted to build support and harness existing efforts while developing a vision and a plan for salmon recovery. They believed that affected communities—working in partnership with federal, state and tribal agencies—must lead the effort to bring back salmon.

The founders, along with more than 1,000 people in the 14 major watersheds of Puget Sound, turned vision into reality over the past five years. As a result of everyone’s work and the support of state leaders, we are now taking actions that will make a real difference for Puget Sound and salmon.

     

Shared Strategy for Puget Sound | 1411 4th Avenue, Suite 1015 | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.447.3336