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NW Fishletter #315, March 29, 2013

[6] Power Council Calls For Amendments To F&W Program

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has begun its twice-a-decade process of amending the BPA-funded fish and wildlife program for the Columbia Basin. With costs approaching $250 million a year for the direct program, the Council will be soliciting the review as overseer of the spending and scientific review of habitat projects, hatchery programs, and much of the research involved in salmon recovery.

Though most recommendations come from regional tribes, and state and federal F&W agencies, individuals may also recommend changes to the program. In its announcement, the Council said wants to "encourage a regional conversation about the future direction and oversight of the program," and even suggested a few questions--What should be the focus of the program over the next decade? In what way should the Council exercise its responsibilities to maximize policy and program benefits and minimize process costs? In what way can the Council and the regional program be more effective, efficient and streamlined, and generate more value?

More information, including a letter requesting recommendations and directions for submitting them, is available on the Council's program-amendment webpage. Comments will be received until July 19. By mid-November, the Council will develop a draft program, with public comments solicited through mid-January 2014, with the new program adopted in April. -B. R.

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