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
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
- 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
- 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