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Jul-14-2006 11:26printcomments

Smith, Wyden Secure $10 Million to Aid Oregon Salmon Fishermen

Funding is a start to direct aid for coastal communities.


Photo courtesy: fishermansexpress.com

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - After months pressuring the Administration and their Senate colleagues, U.S. Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced $10 million has been secured in a funding bill that is ready for consideration by the full Senate to help salmon fishermen and related businesses cope with the financial impact of the restricted salmon season.

“We have a down payment,” Smith said. “These funds will go directly to our fishermen and local businesses impacted by the restricted season. Oregon’s fishermen have tough months ahead of them. We need to continue to work toward a basin wide solution that improves the situation. As long as there are problems with the Klamath, our fishermen will need our help.”

“This is the beginning, not the end, of our work to get direct assistance for our fishermen and coastal communities,” Wyden said. “Earlier this week we asked the Committee to help our fishermen with direct aid, and this is a good start. We will keep working to get the additional funding our coastal communities so desperately need.”

Both Senators have met with fishermen, owners of impacted businesses and local leaders about the restricted salmon season. Following those discussions, Senators Smith and Wyden have lobbied the Administration and their colleagues for aid; Senate leaders agreed earlier this year to work with Senators Smith and Wyden to find funding. To improve the likelihood of securing direct aid, the Senators included language in the Magnuson-Stevens fisheries legislation that qualifies the salmon fishermen and impacted businesses for aid. In addition, the language calls for a recovery plan for the Klamath River.

The $10 million in funding was secured as part of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. This legislation funds government agencies such as the Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction over America’s fisheries.

The legislation needs to be approved by the full Senate then reconciled with the U.S. House of Representative’s version, which includes $2 million in funding to support the salmon fishermen and impacted businesses. The Senators have pledged to work with their colleagues in the House and Senate to secure as much direct aid as possible.




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