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Fish and Wildlife Losses and Hydroelectric System Responsibility January 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Fish and Wildlife Losses and Hydroelectric System Responsibility January 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fish and Wildlife Losses and Hydroelectric System Responsibility January 2004

2 Purpose of Presentation u Describe Northwest Power Planning Council process to determine losses and hydropower responsibility –Salmon and steelhead –Resident fish –Wildlife u Assess progress in meeting interim goal

3 Northwest Power Act u Fish and Wildlife Program measures must: …protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife, including related spawning grounds, and habitat, affected by the development and operation of any hydroelectric project on the Columbia River and its tributaries Section 4(h)(2)(A)

4 Northwest Power Act u Principles: Consumers of electric power shall bear the cost of measures designed to deal with the adverse impacts caused by the development and operation of electric power facilities and programs only. Section 4(h)(8)(B)

5 Northwest Power Act u BPA implementation : The Administrator shall use the Bonneville Power Administration fund and the authorities available to the Administrator under this chapter and other laws administered by the Administrator to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife to the extent affected by the development and operation of any hydroelectric project of the Columbia River or its tributaries in a manner consistent with the Plan…adopted by the Council. 4(h)(10)(A)

6 Background: Salmon and Steelhead u 1985: Council began detailed assessment of the causes of salmon and steelhead losses –Reviewed all available records –Public debate on nature and limitations of information u 1986: Council published Compilation of Information on Salmon and Steelhead Losses in the Columbia River Basin – Extensive public comment u Council developed Numerical Estimates of Hydropower- Related Losses –Identified alternative ways to estimate hydro responsibility –Extensive public comment u Council adopted losses estimate and hydro responsibility in 1987 Program u Council also adopted interim goal of doubling the runs

7 Salmon and Steelhead Losses

8 u Net Basin-wide decline of 7 to 14 million salmon and steelhead u Primary causes: –Habitat loss »Habitat Loss from Grand Coulee and Hells Canyon: u 30 percent of entire Columbia Basin u 35 percent of Basin above Bonneville Dam u Did not address habitat loss in reservoirs »Logging, agriculture, urbanization, etc. –Adult and juvenile mortality passing through mainstem dams and reservoirs »15 to 30 percent per dam for juveniles »5 to 10 percent per dam for adults –Mixed stock fishery

9 Hydro Related Losses u Dams responsible for the loss of 5 to 11 million adult fish –About 4 million were produced in blocked areas above Grand Coulee and Hells Canyon –About 4 million caused by mainstem dam operations

10 Interim Goal u Council set interim goal: –Increase from 2.5 million to 5 million returning adults –Double the runs u Council review: If 5 million more adult fish are produced as a result of this program, the Council may review its analysis of the hydropower ratepayers share for protecting, mitigating, and enhancing salmon and steelhead to judge whether the range can be narrowed Fish and Wildlife Program, page 39

11 Progress Toward Interim Goal

12 Annual Returns to Columbia River Interim Goal Average 1.5 million

13 Resident Fish u Loss of salmon in areas blocked by dams u Loss of habitat throughout Basin u Earlier Programs contained specific actions u 2000 FW Program: –Complete assessments of resident fish losses, –Maintain and restore healthy ecosystems and watersheds, –Protect and expand habitat and ecosystem functions, –Achieve population characteristics of these species within 100 years that represent on average full mitigation for losses of resident fish.

14 Wildlife u Loss of wildlife habitat due to construction and operation of dams u Early Programs set objectives for restoring equivalent habitat units and allocated funding u 2000 Program: –Quantify wildlife losses caused by the construction, inundation, and operation of the hydropower projects. –Develop and implement habitat acquisition and enhancement projects to fully mitigate for identified losses. –Coordinate mitigation activities throughout the basin and with fish mitigation and restoration efforts, Maintain existing and created habitat values. –Monitor and evaluate habitat and species responses to mitigation actions.

15 Wildlife Strategies u Habitat agreements –Achieve 200 percent of remaining lost habitat units u Allocation of habitat units –2000 Program allocates among subbasins u Enhancement Credit –Credit BPA when net increase in habitat u Assessment of operational losses –Address mitigation in subbasin plans

16 Status of Resident Fish and Wildlife u Resident fish –Resident fish loss assessments not complete –Objectives and strategies being addressed in Subbasin Planning u Wildlife –Progress on initial wildlife losses –Controversy on whether to achieve 200 percent of habitat units lost on remaining projects –Controversy on crediting –Wildlife operation and secondary loss assessments not complete –Objectives and strategies being addressed in Subbasin Planning u Resident fish and wildlife project funding affected by ESA priorities

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