11:30 AM EDT
Rick Larsen, D-WA 2nd

Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 1157.

I want to first off thank my colleagues, the gentleman from California (Mr. Thompson) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. INSLEE), on this side of the aisle, for the work they have done on the issue, and my colleagues, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST) and the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. SIMPSON), for the hard work they have done as well on this issue. I am pleased to join them in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Having served in local government before being in Congress and having worked with those who are in the trenches on this issue of salmon recovery, I can tell the Members that solutions need to come from the bottom up and not the top down. The funds provided by this bill will empower local communities to deal with salmon recovery efforts at the local level. That is the proper approach, and that is why I support this bill.

As an example, the Haskell Slough project along the Skykomish River in my district is considered many a model of what successful salmon recovery can look like throughout the Pacific Northwest. A coalition of private landowners, local governments, businesses, and tribes use Federal dollars to restore a critical piece of freshwater habitat, and the fish have come back by the thousands.

Passing this legislation will help fund hundreds of individual projects like the Haskell Slough project, and continue to move us in the right direction on salmon recovery.

So again, I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for this work, for their work on this issue, and urge my colleagues to vote yes on H.R. 1157.