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Public invited to give input on White Salmon River fish

Goals and priority focus areas to conserve fish habitat in the lower White Salmon River are being sought this month through an interactive online discussion.

The online meeting is part of a process to develop a Fish Habitat Conservation Strategy for the lower six miles of the White Salmon River. Input from landowners, residents, recreationists, businesses and land managers is needed to design a successful strategy.

“We have an opportunity now to influence the future of the lower river,” said Margaret Neuman, executive director of the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group. “We designed this online meeting to allow anyone from throughout the region to easily participate in the discussion and help us craft a conservation strategy.”

Online participants will be able to view presentations about current river conditions, share their visions for the future of the area and give input on fish habitat goals and focus areas. Comments collected will be used to draft a strategy document for use by landowners, land managers, conservation groups and local governments when making plans or decisions that affect the watershed.

A final strategy is expected in late 2014 following additional public input. The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group is sponsoring the online meeting, which is designed to collect input on a long-term vision for habitat conservation in the Lower White Salmon River.

The online meeting presents the same information as presented in May at a public meeting Husum. It is intended to provide an opportunity for those unable to attend the May meeting to engage in the public discussion. People who attended the meeting also may participate.

The online meeting can be accessed at any time through July 20. Visit www.midcolumbiarfeg.com to learn how to join the meeting. Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group received a grant from Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board to create a plan for the protection of key salmonid habitat in the lower six miles of the White Salmon River. This effort builds on other watershed planning efforts. In addition, river users and others are interested in long-term public access to the river, trails and land ownership. These are all issues that could affect fish habitat and populations. For more information, contact Margaret Neuman at Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, 509-281- 1322

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