Direct expenses in fiscal year 2019 by the Bonneville Power Administration for costs it incurred by funding the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program amounted to $240.4 million, some $19 million lower than its direct expenses in FY 2018, according to a draft report released this week for public review by the Council.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, is seeking public comment on the draft Finding of No Significant Impact for The Dalles and John Day Mitigation Program Limited Reevaluation Report and Environmental Assessment. The program produces and releases hatchery fall chinook as mitigation for impacts to fisheries.
Washington State’s final “Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement Report,” a compilation of views and information about the dams, was released last week.
Conservation groups filed suit in federal court Thursday to stop a process by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allocate the water in its Willamette River basin reservoirs among irrigators, cities and fish, saying such an order is necessary to protect imperiled spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead.
Both a U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have recently ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must set temperature limits for the Columbia and Snake rivers to protect salmon and steelhead, but the agency is returning to the Appeals Court to challenge the latest decision.
Breaching all four lower Snake River dams – Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams – would result in the highest benefits for Snake River salmon and steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, according to an assessment by federal dam operating agencies released last week.
Dam operating agencies released for public review this morning a long-awaited draft environmental impact statement that describes the impacts of 14 federal Columbia and Snake river dams on salmon, steelhead and lamprey.
Reservoir fill operations will change this spring for two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Middle Fork Willamette River. Worried that a catastrophic earthquake, such as an anticipated Cascadia Subduction Zone quake, could damage the dams, the agency says it will not allow Hills Creek and Lookout Point dams reservoirs to fully fill.
A diverse group of river users, utilities and environmentalists is calling on Northwest governors to lead the way to find collaborative solutions to recover Columbia/Snake River Basin salmon and steelhead populations listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.