States, tribes and three federal agencies continue to work side by side for the good of endangered salmon and steelhead as they extend the historic Columbia Basin Fish Accords for as many as four more years.
The original agreements, signed in 2008, provided states and tribes more than $900 million to implement projects benefiting salmon, steelhead, and other fish and wildlife, and $50 million for Pacific lamprey passage improvements at federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
The Accords partnerships in the past 10 years balanced the agencies’ needs to perform their missions of navigation, flood risk management, hydropower production, fish and wildlife mitigation, recreation, water supply and irrigation in a manner consistent with tribal trust and treaty rights.
The new Accords extensions could run through September 2022 and will set aside more than $400 million for fish and wildlife mitigation and protection.
Since 2008, Accord dollars have: protected more than 36,000 acres of riparian habitat and improved nearly 7,000 acres; protected nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water; restored nearly 600 miles of streams and tributaries; opened access to nearly 2,000 miles of blocked fish habitat; and improved Pacific lamprey passage at dams operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The agreements also committed funding for hatcheries.
“With this renewed commitment, we look forward to building on the momentum and progress of the past 10 years,” Commander of the Corps’ Northwestern Division Brig. Gen. Pete Helmlinger said.
“These agreements continue to represent a significant, regional partnership,” Pacific Northwest Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation Lorri Gray said. “The work we’ve accomplished with the Accords illustrates the progress we can make for fish when we work together. We’ve seen that spending dollars on improving habitat is good for the fish and good for the region.”
Accord agreements were extended with the Shoshone Bannock Tribes, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the states of Idaho and Montana, BPA, the Corps and Reclamation.
To read the new agreements, go to www.bpa.gov/goto/FishAccordsExtensions.