Statement of J. William McDonald
Regional Director, Pacific Northwest Region
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bureau of Reclamation††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† U.S. Department of the Interior
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Committee on Environment and Public Works
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† United States Senate
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† , 2003
I am pleased to
provide this progress report on Reclamationís implementation of actions to
benefit Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead listed under
the Endangered Species Act.
Reclamation has or shares responsibility for implementing over 60 of the 199 actions in the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) in NOAA Fisheries December 2000 Biological Opinion the operation of the and 19 Reclamation rojects .
is generally on track in implementing .
Our hydro efforts include the operation of Grand Coulee and Hungry Horse Dams and the annual acquisition of up to 427,000 acre feet of Snake River from willing participants to improve spring and summer streamflow conditions for juvenile fish migration.
Reclamation is schedule on the implementation of
restoration program.† initiated programs
in subbasins to
assist with migration
and securing instream flows .† Reclamationís ability
to fully accomplish this work hampered . ††
he Administration, in an October 30, 2002 letter from the
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, O†In the
meantime, includingBPA and state agencies
in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are providingfunding for the construction of these projects.
† Among other things, the court found that
certain BiOp actions were not reasonably certain to occur.† Reclamationís
lack of authority to provi de financial
assistance to private parties for the construction of fish passage and
screening is one area that contributes to the lack of certainty in the
implementation of certain actions for which the BiOpís RPA calls.† Thus, I would reiterate the need for this
We are also implementing research, monitoring, and
evaluation (RM&E) activities, primarily in priority subbasins.† This is important for determining the
effectiveness of our actions and the status of the listed fish.
Reclamation has received sufficient appropriations to date
to fund actions required in the FCRPS BiOp.†
Our appropriation for the Columbia/Snake Salmon Recovery P has risen from $5.6
million in FY2001 to $15 million in FY2003.†
The Presidentís proposed level of funding is $19 million for FY2004. †Most of this increase is needed to fund our
off-site habitat improvements in the tributary subbasins† We appreciate your continued support of
In conclusion, we are pleased with our progress to date implementing the actions in the FCRPS BiOp.