- Policy development and decision-making play a critical role in natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest. To realise my internship requirements for the Professional Science Masters in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration, I completed internships with: the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Portland State University – National Policy Process Seminar, conducted interviews with industry and policy professionals while researching the annuals costs of salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia River Basin, attended 2019 Salmon Recovery Conference, and volunteered with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment: Fisheries Branch. My internship included deliverables in the form of a white paper on the annual costs of salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin, a follow-up presentation on these costs at the Oregon American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting in Bend, Oregon, and a policy review evaluation and presentation for the Ministry of Environment. My annual cost of salmon recovery report stressed that the $1.25 billion spent on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia River Bain is only an estimate and based solely on my calculations of costs. Throughout my internship journey I learned many policy related lessons. Lessons learned included: Policy making is divisive, difficult, and time-consuming; policy equals funding and funding equals policy; multiple stakeholders have an impact on the policy making process and each brings their own perspective and set of issues; policy can be right/good, wrong/bad, or neither at the same time depending on your fundamental objective; everyone and every organization has an agenda, value, or belief that impacts their actions; policy development is affected by relationships and trust or the lack of between stakeholders; public opinion is important from a support and funding perspective; support and collaboration during policy development is advantageous for creating successful policy; policy that lasts is well-designed, well-supported, well-funded, and adaptive over time; and good policy analysts stay policy neutral.