Salmon swim in the Columbia River at the Bonneville Dam fish-counting window near North Bonneville, Wash. Idaho Gov. Brad Little says a salmon and steelhead recovery workgroup he formed should focus on achievable goals that can bolster the state's struggling fish populations.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s new Salmon Workgroup is slated to hold its first meeting June 28 at the State Museum in Boise.

The meeting will start at 8 a.m., and Little is scheduled to speak at 8:30. 

Little in April directed his Office of Species Conservation to assemble a working group of diverse stakeholders to develop a unified recommendation to assist him in shaping state policy on salmon recovery.

Lewiston, Idaho, is the most inland seaport on a Snake and Columbia river system, which has ports, dams and diverse economic and community impacts.

Group members include Paul Arrington, Idaho Water Users Association; Merrill Beyeler, rancher and former state representative; John Simpson, Barker Rosholt & Simpson LLP law firm; Brett Dumas, Idaho Power; David Doeringsfeld, Port of Lewiston; Will Hart, Idaho Consumer Owner Utilities Association; Jim Yost, Northwest Power and Conservation Council; Scott Hauser, Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation; Ladd Edmo, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; and Joe Oatman, Nez Perce Tribe.

Also serving on the Salmon Workgroup are Kira Finkler, Trout Unlimited; Justin Hayes, Idaho Conservation League; Mark Menlove, The Nature Conservancy; Brian Brooks, Idaho Wildlife Federation; Stacey Satterlee, Idaho Grain Producers Association; Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, Senate Pro-Tem designee; Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, House Speaker designee; Richard Scully, sportsman; Aaron Lieberman, Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association; Roy Akin, Idaho River Community Alliance; and Office of Species Conservation Administrator Scott Pugrud.

“Idaho has shown time after time we are a leader in collaborative conservation efforts in the Northwest,” Little said in a news release. “I sincerely look forward to receiving the policy recommendations from my Salmon Workgroup. Together we will develop effective salmon and steelhead policy for Idaho to ensure that abundant and sustainable populations of salmon and steelhead exist for present and future generations to enjoy.”

The group will host several meetings throughout the state, to be announced in coming weeks.

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