The Council has determined adequate and dependable operation and maintenance support is needed to ensure ongoing proper functioning of past infrastructure investments by Bonneville and the action agencies intended to benefit fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin.
Adequate funding for operation and maintenance will ensure the existing program-funded infrastructure remains properly functioning and will continue to benefit fish and wildlife in the basin as well as continuing to meet Bonneville’s mitigation requirements.
There are several types of program-funded projects that require a long-term financial maintenance plan to ensure their longevity and integrity, including fish screens, fishways and traps, hatcheries, lands, and habitat actions.
Over time, changing regional priorities may result in the need to decommission or upgrade some fish or wildlife infrastructure emplacements. An adequately funded plan will help ensure that decommissioning will occur as necessary.
- Many projects’ biological benefits do not come to fruition with the completion of project construction or habitat protection, but require long-term maintenance to realize the biological potential. Thus, Bonneville’s financial responsibility for these projects continues over time. Bonneville, the Corps, the Bureau of Reclamation and FERC licensed projects must allocate sufficient funding to ongoing operations and maintenance, and also to decommissioning infrastructure when it is no longer useful or necessary.
- The Council will work with Bonneville and the other action agencies to ensure that past fish-and-wildlife-related investments are kept current or properly decommissioned.
- The federal action agencies shall define the comprehensive maintenance costs by fish and wildlife investment types for both the direct and reimbursable aspects of the program. Anticipated costs should be developed year by year within a 20-year timeframe and be provided annually to the Council.
- The Council will convene a work group comprising action agencies and agencies and tribes with expertise in fish screens, fishways and traps, hatcheries, lands, and habitat actions, to define and develop a long-term maintenance plan and process. This work group will be assisted by the IEAB, the Wildlife Advisory Committee, Fish Screening Oversight Committee, and federal action agencies. The work group shall report to the Council quarterly on its progress toward developing a long-term plan for protecting fish and wildlife investments. The long-term plans shall be completed at the end of one year from the initial meeting of the work group. The plan will be presented to the Council for review and recommendation to Bonneville and the action agencies. Bonneville shall fund the long-term maintenance plan as reviewed and recommended by the Council.
- The Council and the federal action agencies will work together to ensure that federal agencies provide adequate funds for long-term maintenance for facilities where they have responsibility (such as NOAA Fisheries for Mitchell Act hatcheries).
- Annual symposiums will be convened by the Council to ensure collaboration and efficiencies are achieved by all parties seeking to protect past investments in fish and wildlife by Bonneville and the action agencies under the program.
Link to Subbasin Plans
See the Council’s subbasin plans for subbasin-level measures pertaining to program-funded facilities.