An emergency budgeting and funding mechanism for Columbia River basin fish and wildlife projects is in the process of getting a facelift. The Budget Oversight Group initially funded special projects or additions to projects already funded to the tune of $1 million a year.
A science panel recently completed reviews of Idaho and Montana habitat and mitigation projects for Libby Dam, the Kootenai River and Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir. All three reviews address resident fish projects under the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.
The timeline to review 124 Bonneville Power Administration-funded hatchery and habitat projects was laid out for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council at its meeting this week.
Another membership change for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council took place this month with Mike Milburn replacing Bo Downen as a Montana member.
Natural origin spring/summer chinook salmon adult returns to the Snake River basin are declining at a rate of 19 percent each year and 77 percent of Snake River spring/summer chinook populations will fall below a quasi-extinction risk threshold of 50 fish for each distinct population by 2025 without emergency actions, Nez Perce tribal fisheries biologists warned this week.
If the Bonneville Power Administration’s fish and wildlife budget is to remain flat – no increases through 2028 – that could impact an important maintenance program that keeps juvenile salmon and steelhead from being stranded in irrigation ditches, according to Idaho and Washington fish screen managers.
The Bonneville Power Administration’s ‘direct expenses’ in fiscal year 2020 for the cost of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife program was $238.1 million, very near what direct expenses were in FY2019 ($240.4 million) and more than $21 million less than in FY2018, according to a draft report for Northwest governors released this week for 30 days of public review.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is about to launch a 14-month process to review 134 hatchery and habitat projects that are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration through the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. It’s the largest the category of projects reviewed by the Council.
Approval of the Yakama Nation Hatchery Master Plan by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on December 6th was a long-awaited step towards restoring wild salmon runs above Bonneville Dam. . . 38 years to be exact. Why did it take so long?