State Still Ignores Fish-Blocking Culverts -Billie Frank Jr.

Habitat is the key to salmon recovery, but ongoing loss and damage of salmon habitat is driving down salmon populations across western Washington and threatening tribal treaty rights. No matter how well we manage harvest and hatcheries, if there is no habitat, both the salmon and our treaty-reserved rights are lost.

Unfortunately, the state of Washington continues to ignore its obligation to enforce one of the first laws on its books that requires fish passage at culverts under roads. The state has been ignoring that obligation for more than 100 years. Today, hundreds of state-owned culverts block fish passage throughout western Washington. Meanwhile, the state has been unwilling to hold its own agencies accountable, refusing to enforce its own environmental laws.

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