Photo Credit: Washington State Department of Ecology
In March 2018, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order that directed state agencies to take “immediate” action to help the critically-endangered Southern Resident orcas and formed a nearly 50-member Southern Resident Orca Task Force (the “Task Force”). The Executive Order recognized the inextricable link between the orca and its main prey—the endangered Chinook salmon. The Task Force released a 148-page report in November 2018, with prioritized recommendations for orca recovery (the “Report”). The recommendations and their order of importance was the result of compromise—a natural consequence of the diverse composition of the Task Force. About 20 percent of Task Force members are state agency employees.