Yukon River Panel Restoration and Enhancement Fund (REF)
The Yukon River Salmon Agreement (the Agreement) specifies that the Restoration and Enhancement Fund (REF) must support programs, projects and associated research and management activities directed towards restoration, conservation and enhancement of Canadian-origin salmon stocks of the Yukon River in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, including the Porcupine River system.
Within the Canadian portion of the Yukon River drainage, programs and projects can also be directed at developing stewardship of salmon habitat and resources, and for maintaining viable salmon fisheries. Through these efforts both countries hope to see a return to productive salmon stocks and the long-term sustainability of the salmon fisheries.
The REF is guided by the following principles:
- Restoration, conservation and enhancement programs and projects shall be consistent with the protection of existing wild salmon stocks and the habitats upon which they depend;
- Given the wild nature of the Yukon River and its salmon stocks, and the substantial risks associated with the large-scale enhancement through artificial propagation, such enhancement activities are inappropriate at this time; and
- Artificial propagation shall not be used as a substitute for effective fishery regulation, stock, and habitat management or protection.
Priorities for implementing REF programs and projects are:
- restoring habitat and wild stocks;
- conserving habitat and wild stocks;
- enhancing habitat; and
- enhancing wild stocks.
The REF funding process is initiated each fall with a call for conceptual proposals. The conceptual proposals are reviewed by the Joint Technical Committee of the Yukon River Panel, in relation to the Yukon River Panel's (YRP) priorities, and in December of each year, the YRP decides which applicants may submit a detailed project proposal. The YRP makes final funding decisions in March of every year.
Currently, the YRP is implementing a proposal through the Pacific Salmon Commission which would provide for the administration of the REF. Through this process, the YRP would still maintain its responsibility for final decisions with respect to proposals, but the call for proposals and the technical review would be administered through the Pacific Salmon Commission in the same was as are the Northern and Southern Funds established by the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
Acting Area Director and Yukon River Panel Co-Chair
Yukon/Transboundary Rivers Area
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