Volunteers have been beavering away for several years to improve steelhead and salmon habitat on the Little Salmon River but the work will go a lot faster now that federal fisheries funds have been granted to the project. The volunteer effort, led by Volunteer Service Coordinator Mary Dudley, has involved dozens of workers donating time, equipment and materials to improve fish habitat along the Little Salmon for the last several years. Dudley applied to the National Marine Fisheries Service last year for a grant to expand the effort. Dudley's application was one of the few approved by the federal fisheries agency. The grant of $35,000 will triple the budget Dudley has had, she said. One of several uses for the money includes the purchase of a machine to make planting willows along the river faster. Dudley said the grant will help her use more volunteers and to speed the work to improve fish habitat along the Little Salmon. The Little Salmon River is important to steelhead and salmon runs as well as to the anglers who enjoy fishing the southwest Idaho stream.