- The goal of this project was to estimate the total annual cost of salmon recovery efforts throughout the Columbia River Basin from all stakeholders, including direct and indirect costs. How much is spent on salmon recovery efforts each year in the Columbia River Basin? Depending on who you ask, you will likely get a different number. There is no clearly defined cost for how much is spent on salmon recovery efforts each year in the Columbia River Basin. There are multiple federal, state, private, and tribal agencies throughout the Columbia River Basin that work with salmon restoration. Besides, there are numerous stakeholders indirectly involved with salmon restoration efforts. While many stakeholders work together to restore wild salmon populations, their costs are not easily identifiable and often not reported or distinguished from each other. Multiple state and federal agencies work with similar sources of federal funding that is often reported as a single value that also includes funding that supports other fish and wildlife activities. Various industries, including dam operation, transportation, agriculture, and tourism, all participate in salmon restoration but infrequently report the costs associated with those efforts. Even more important is how someone defines “cost.” More specifically, how one defines an indirect cost is vital to calculating total salmon recovery efforts. One specific example of debate is forgone revenues of stakeholders. These forgone economic opportunities – lost electricity, transportation, farming, and Tribal over-the-bank salmon sales must be included to capture an overall restoration cost. There can also be lost intangibles that cannot easily be converted to economic measures (e.g., tribal ceremonial value). I conclude that a minimum of $1.25 billion is spent annually throughout the Columbia River Basin by direct and indirect methods to recover salmon runs.