Northwest Power Conservation Council

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Rick LaRiviere, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Hey all,

    A short time ago, I received an email from The Friends Of The Skykomish regarding some current efforts by special interest groups to gain exemptions to the 2009 Fish & Wildlife Protected Areas which would have enabled licensing of new hydro power station(s) on the Skykomish. Special interest groups are also seeking to gain exemptions on other waterways in the Columbia River Basin that are covered in this protective program.

    I just received another email regarding these efforts which would have drastic consequences for waters in WA, OR, ID and MT. I've contacted NWPCC to voice my support of the recommendations from all of the conservation groups that are urging them to disregard any efforts to gain exemptions, and to keep all of these Protected Areas free from anything that would negatively affect these ecosystems.

    I didn't want to post this email here and cause any issues with the owner(s) of the website, BUT I did want to mention that the comment period for NWPCC recommendations closes on Nov. 20th. I'd also like to offer anyone who is interested in making their voice heard and lending support to TU, Audubon Society, and the other groups that have already submitted their recommendations to NWPCC, an opportunity to do so. Please feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to forward the email on to you. Or, if posting this email here would be all right, if I were given permission, I would go ahead and do so.

    There are links in this email to the correspondences from each of these groups to NWPCC. You can simply click on them, read their recommendations, and voice your agreement with them. This is just a small part that we can do individually and together have a bigger impact to ensure that salmon and steelhead fisheries aren't negatively affected any further. Thanks,

  2. As I haven't heard otherwise from anyone, I'm posting the email that I received. Please read and consider lending your support. Thanks...

    Citizens did a fantastic job of making their recommendations to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to NOT reduce current protections on environmentally sensitive rivers.

    Now, we have the opportunity to comment on all of the other recommendations. These comments are due no later than November 20, 2013

    Consider commenting against the SnoPUD recommendation at the following link:

    Also please consider endorsing one or more of the following comments:
    Take a moment to click on the links below and add your comment such as
    “ I support these recommendations. Thank you, ”

    American Rivers:

    American Whitewater:

    Conservation Groups:

    Conservation NW:

    Audubon Society:

    Snoqualmie Tribe:

    The Lands Council:

    Trout Unlimited:

    Talking Points for commenters contacting NWPCC directly [ ] :

    The Council should continue to exclude any process for obtaining exemptions in Protected Areas, as per the 2009 Fish and Wildlife Program.

    Protected Areas cover just 20% of the Northwest’s river and stream mileage and were established after careful consideration and study by the Council. Low-power hydro does not belong in these critical areas for fish and wildlife where development would have major negative impacts that could not be reversed.

    Protected Areas were established outside of the Columbia River Basin to “help minimize the expense and controversy involved in [hydropower] development, help guide development toward environmentally benign projects, and protect critical fish and wildlife resources.” Additionally, the Council concluded that Protected Areas outside of the Columbia Basin helped to meet U.S.- Canada treaty commitments to rebuild salmon and steelhead stocks, and help avoid disproportionate harvest pressure on fish and wildlife in the Basin.

    Promoting new low-power hydro development in these Protected Areas is highly controversial and costly. Allowing exemptions would be counterproductive to steering new development to less sensitive locations. By denying access to an exemption from a Protected Area, the Council meets its responsibilities to maximize policy and program benefits and minimize process costs.

    The Protected Areas program continues to meet its goals, and is an important part of mitigating the impacts to and rebuilding the populations of fish and wildlife that have been damaged by hydroelectric development throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. To date, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), charged with issuing hydropower permits and licenses to utilities and private developers, has followed the recommendation of the Council and has declined to issue a single hydropower license for a project located within a Protected Area.

    This message was sent by Friends of The Skykomish River.
  3. Hey all,

    Just received the following and thought I'd put it up in the event anyone wants to make their concerns heard.

    Dear Northwest Resident:
    The Northwest Power and Conservation Council closed the formal comment period on the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program recommendations on November 20.
    Under the Northwest Power Act, the Council develops a program to protect and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of the hydrosystem, while also ensuring the region's power supply. The Act requires the Council to call for recommendations to amend the program at least every five years prior to the Council's review of its regional power plan.
    The Council will begin reviewing the recommendations and comments and prepare its draft program, which we expect to release for public comment sometime in the first half of 2014. Interested parties may continue to share their views with us about any issue related to the program.
    We appreciate your interest and look forward to hearing from you.
    Steve Crow, Executive Director, Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.

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