On August 7, 2004 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved Clark County's Routine Road Maintenance Program and determined that it was compliant with the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The program is designed to protect salmon and steelhead while allowing for the routine maintenance of streets, roads, and associated stormwater infrastructure. This approach relies on the extensive use of pre-approved Best Management Practices (BMP's) for routine maintenance activities. The county road crews and design staff have received extensive training both in the field and in the classroom. The training helps people better understand how to properly select, apply, maintain, and monitor BMP's for the range of situations where they are applied.
Each of the county's road maintenance crews report on their use and application of BMP's on a daily basis. These numbers are compiled on a quarterly basis and summarized in a biennial report that is submitted to NMFS. The information that is gathered is also used to track maintenance activities and learn how well BMP's work when they get used. The information in the reports is used to make sure that the program continues to meet its objectives over time, and that BMP's are modified when it can be demonstrated that they could be more effective.
Clark County is one of thirty agencies in Washington State that has had its routine road maintenance programs approved by NMFS. With this many agencies across the state performing routine road maintenance activities in a manner that is not harmful to salmon and steelhead and the habitat they require, the benefits to the fish are substantial. This is an example of how individual jurisdictions can each make a contribution to the actions necessary to protect these fish, many of which are listed under the Federal ESA.