Portland, Ore. – 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 up to four more years.
The original agreements, signed in 2008, provided states and tribes more than $900 million to implement projects benefitting 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 over 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 Accord 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; 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 Corps dams. The agreements also committed funding for hatcheries.
“The ratepayer dollars spent and hard work of our partners has made a huge difference for endangered fish,” says Elliot Mainzer, Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. “We now see fish returning to spawn in Northwest rivers and streams where they haven’t been in decades.”
“These agreements continue to represent a significant, regional partnership,” says Lorri Gray, Pacific Northwest Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation. “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.”
"With this renewed commitment, we look forward to building on the momentum and progress of the past 10 years," said Brig. Gen. Pete Helmlinger, commander of the Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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, the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.