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Feds Seeking Nominations For New Salmon/Steelhead ‘Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force’
Posted on Friday, July 22, 2016 (PST)

NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations for a new Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force to provide information and advice on the establishment of long-term goals for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin.

 

The nomination process is open through Sept. 6.

 

The task force, says NOAA Fisheries, will assist the federal Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee to support its advisory work for the Secretary of Commerce. The committee advises the secretary “on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce.”

 

The Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force, says an announcement in the federal register, “is being created for state, tribal and stakeholder input to MAFAC to support development of quantitative goals for Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead at the species, stock, major population group (MPG), and population levels. The goals will be collaboratively developed to meet conservation needs while also providing harvest (including those necessary to satisfy tribal treaty rights).”

 

“Shared goals will enhance engagement and understanding by providing a concise, common definition of success, consistent means to measure progress, and improved public support for work across the Columbia River Basin.”

 

The scope of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force, says NOAA Fisheries, “is more comprehensive than any prior goal-setting effort in the Basin.”

 

It will include:

-- All Endangered Species Act-listed and non-listed salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin, above and below Bonneville Dam.

-- Ocean, mainstem, and tributary fisheries that harvest Columbia Basin stocks, including commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries.

-- Multiple geographic scales (Basin-wide, species, and major population group).

-- All impacts across the salmon and steelhead life-cycle (e.g., habitat, hatchery, hydro, and harvest).

-- Consideration of ecological conditions and of current and future habitat capacity.

 

NOAA Fisheries says the recommendations generated by the task force “will not result in any regulatory decision, obligate any party to undertake certain activities, or diminish treaty/trust obligations. The input of the Task Force will support efforts that seek common solutions that work for all sovereigns and stakeholders. The strength of the Task Force will hinge on the breadth of regional participation, collaboration, and commitment.”

 

The task force will consist of 25-35 individuals who have “demonstrated subject matter expertise regarding salmon and steelhead biology and management in the Columbia River Basin, as well as the interest and ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with other sovereigns and stakeholders to find solutions.”

 

Individuals, says the federal notice, should represent the geographic diversity of the Columbia River Basin, as well as the diversity of interests including state and tribal fish managers; NGO/environmental interests; commercial fishing interests; recreational fishing interests; utility interests; river industry interests; agricultural/irrigation interests; and local watershed or recovery planning interests.

 

For more information on the nominating process go to http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/columbia_river/index.html

 

A NOAA background and discussion paper on the Columbia Basin Partnership can be found at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/col_basin_partnership/columbiabasin_partnership_discussion_paper_10.8.15.pdf

 

Also see:

 

-- CBB, Oct. 30, 2015, “NOAA Fisheries Forms ‘Columbia Basin Partnership’ To Provide Collaborative Forum On Salmon/Steelhead” http://www.cbbulletin.com/435431.aspx

 

-- CBB, Dec. 14, 2012, “NOAA Launches ‘Situation Assessment’ Of Columbia River Basin Salmon, Steelhead Recovery” http://www.cbbulletin.com/424217.aspx

 

-- CBB, Dec. 20, 2013, “Salmon Recovery Assessment: Who Leads The Long-Term Way? A Re-Defined NW Power/Conservation Council?” http://www.cbbulletin.com/429314.aspx

 

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