Drop a few extra bucks on salmon conservation plates in Oregon, and you’d expect the money you invested was going toward the fish. But according to The Oregonian, a state agency that promised to use the cash “exclusively to undo roadblocks impairing salmon streams across Oregon” has failed to deliver.
“Instead, drivers have paid the salary and office expenses of OWEB’s small grants administrator in Salem. Drivers are also set to pay for a $150,000 website improvement to make it possible to apply online for grants from OWEB, another project that won’t retrofit a single culvert.”
Across the state, more than 30,000 drivers have purchased salmon plates. They pay an extra $30 every two years to buy or renew. Since the plates were created in the late 1990s, the effort has raised more than $9.5 million, divided equally between OWEB and state parks.
State parks, on the other hand, have used their share of the money on dozens of restoration projects.