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Public hearing set for Thursday regarding displaced fishers grants
Newport News Times 11/29/06

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board will accept comments at a public hearing set for 1 p.m. Thursday on proposed rules to establish criteria for various fish habitat improvement grants that employ displaced fishers.

The public hearing will be held in the Guin Library Seminar Room at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in South Beach. Written comments will be accepted through Dec. 6.

A number of grants awarded earlier this year were issued according to temporary rules adopted by the OWEB Board in July. The rules currently proposed would make the criteria in the temporary rules permanent.

A copy of the proposed rules may be obtained by visiting the OWEB office in Salem at 775 Summer St. NE; by calling and requesting a copy from Maribeth Mattson at (503) 986-0202; and by downloading them from www.oregon.gov/OWEB. Click on “Rules & Statutes” in the left index column.

Send written comments to Melissa Leoni, or send comments by e-mail to melissa.leoni@state.or.us, with the phrase “Salmon Season Rules” in the subject line. Questions concerning the rules or this process may be directed to Leoni, at (503) 986-0179.

In June 2006, the OWEB Board authorized $2.2 million in lottery funds to support five new programs to employ displaced fishers. The programs respond to a governor's executive order declaring a state of emergency due to limits on ocean commercial fishing.

The programs allow fishing crews to help rebuild salmon populations to restore the fishery. The board allocated an additional $500,000 for the program in September due to strong response.

The five programs have been under way since early July. They involve two contracts with Oregon State University and three competitive grant programs administered by OWEB. To date, the new programs have supported the employment of more than 100 displaced fishers.

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