Last Chance – Please help Oregon’s rivers now and in the future by showing your support for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Water Program!
Just a friendly reminder that ODFW is currently in the process of developing its 2019-2021 budget request.
Today, May 1, is the last chance to submit written comments.
Please send in comments asking ODFW to add a Policy Option Package (POP) to increase staff and resources for its Water Quality Water Quantity Program.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) Water Quality and Quantity Program plays a vital role in protecting water in our state’s iconic rivers. Whether it’s reviewing new water right applications to ensure that they won’t harm our rivers, securing new instream water rights to legally protect streamflows forever, or helping set water policy in every river basin statewide, ODFW works to protect water in our streams – and provides an invaluable service to all Oregonians.
Looking to the future, climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing Oregon’s rivers and streams and makes, ODFW’s Water Program work more important than ever. ODFW needs resources to prioritize streamflow restoration efforts, participate in collaborative processes to develop creative solutions to Oregon’s water conflicts, and plan for the future.
If you care about Oregon’s rivers, now is the time to speak up for additional funding for ODFW’s Water Program. It is critical that the agency hear your voice! Currently, not only does ODFW’s draft budget fail to propose additional funds for the Water Program, it considers a devastating 10% cut to this already understaffed program.
If you care about Oregon’s rivers and the many species and economies that depend upon them, now is the time to speak up for ODFW’s Water Program.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR POINTS TO MAKE:
A. Please add a POP to increase funding for ODFW’s Water Quantity and Water Quality Program so the agency can:
1. Conduct instream demand forecasts and instream prioritization to account for a changing climate. (This work is important because the state has never done an instream forecast, as compared to studies that have been done for municipal and agricultural needs. Additionally, the state has not set streamflow restoration prioritization for over twenty years).
2. Support staff and funding for ODFW’s work under the state’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy, including participating in collaborative processes to look at creative solutions and mitigation strategies as the state faces climate change.
3. Conduct instream flow studies across Oregon. (This work is important because the state has done flow studies on only 20% of Oregon’s rivers. We need to do better. The Integrated Water Resources Strategy tells ODFW to do this, now it’s time to fund it).
B. Please take the Water Program OFF the ODFW 10% cut list. ODFW has discretion where to apply the Governor’s mandated 10% cut, please urge them to back the Water Program off that list. The Water Quality Quantity Program is already sorely underfunded. Cutting any funds to this important work will have devastating consequences for Oregon’s rivers and streams, especially in the face of climate change.
Please comment today!!! Public comments are extremely important, and will be used to help refine the budget before it is presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 7. Once a proposed budget is approved by the Commission, it will be submitted to the Governor for her consideration. The budget will ultimately be determined by the 2019 legislature.
Comments on the agency proposed budget must be submitted by May 1st. Email to ODFW.TownHallComments@state.or.us or by mail to ODFW Director’s Office, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem, OR 97302-1142.
Thank you for showing your support and for helping to protect our rivers!
WaterWatch of Oregon