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NW Fishletter #379, March 5, 2018

[11] BPA Proposes Deal With Idaho Over Operations At Albeni Falls Dam

BPA reached a proposed agreement with the State of Idaho that would cost the federal agency nearly $24 million to mitigate for environmental damages from construction, inundation and opera-tions at Albeni Falls Dam in northwestern Idaho.

Bill Booth, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official as well as one of the state's mem-bers of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, explained the draft proposal to the rest of the Council Feb. 13.

Booth said Bonneville spends about $600,000 annually to offset damages caused by operating the dam, mostly due to erosion to the shoreline on Lake Pend Oreille. Under the proposed agreement, he said, those costs would be eliminated, as funds would be put into a stewardship endowment account that would pay for continuing damage-control costs.

Chip Corsi, regional supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game, said the lake loses about 15 acres of prime wildlife habitat each year due to erosion. The state and others have been working to restore some eroded land along the Clark Fork River delta, with successful results. The agreement would re-solve remaining construction and inundation settlement, while operational costs would be revisited af-ter 30 years.

The proposed agreement was open for public comment until Feb. 23. -K.C. M.

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