U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to contract out some of its salmon habitat restoration efforts to local nonprofit groups.
The bill, named the Fundamentally Improving Salmon Habitat Act, would allow the Corps to pass those projects off to a nonprofit group if the project costs less than $2 million. Supporters of the bill say the Corps, which is responsible for salmon restoration projects, is good at handling large-scale projects but has trouble carrying out smaller restoration projects in the Northwest.
Groups eligible to contract with the Corps include the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board and the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group.
Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., cosponsored the bill.