Millie Judge, keynote speaker

We’re recording Milly’s talk, but here are some quick notes. Just a reminder, you can watch the live-stream all day at this link:

From the talk:

  • Are some areas of improvement. There is more to be done and habitat is still the driver.
  • Forest cover continues to decline. Where development happens, habitat declines.
  • If we don’t get a handle on habitat, especially forest cover, we aren’t going to get to salmon restoration.
  • Despite the best shoreline regulations in the nation, we’re still seeing declines in shoreline habitat. This is true outside of shoreline protection.
  • Funding for salmon recovery projects is even too low. We’re hitting a ceiling. Only 31 percent of the funding we actually need. Its actually a $1 billion project.
  • Funders like funding projects, not people or capacity to “do the work.” You can’t develop projects without people to do the work. So the bottleneck in restoration is people, not project money.
  • The problem with the growth management act is that is always plans for growth. There’s never an “enough is enough” step that creates shortages and forces people to move elsewhere.
  • Scientists should keep on saying what’s going on. Its hard when the status quo is criticized. She was told that if she criticized funding, it would be cut off. She doesn’t buy that.
  • We need to do a better job influencing people who hold the purse strings.

From the Q&A:

1. Can we redirect litigation funds to restoration funds? The idea behind the growth management hearing board is that it wasn’t supposed to be a legal process. But, it turned out to be a legal process.

2. In response to a question about possibly cutting operational funding, Judge says that one of the major things we do is outreach to legislators.

3. Do you agree that legislators don’t want to hear science, as opposed to what impacts people in their districts? Yes, unless its a crisis, the lawmakers want to hear good stories. Hire wonks.