[August 6, 2004 memo to BPA]

At its July meeting in Spokane, the Council decided on its start-of-year recommendations to Bonneville to implement the Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program in Fiscal Year 2005. Attached to this letter is a document describing the Council's basic rationale or overall approach for arriving at this start-of-year planning budget and a number of policy issues underlying the recommendations that Bonneville and the Council need to address as Bonneville implements the program in this fiscal year.

The document is in the form of a staff memorandum to the Council, modified from the original as directed by the Council at the meeting. What the memorandum describes as staff recommendations should now be considered to be the Council's recommendations. Attached to that memorandum is a set of tables with a list of projects and estimated budgets by province that have been derived from the Council's provincial review recommendations, and which form the baseline from which to address the underlying issues and shape the implementation plan.

How the Council reviews projects and makes funding recommendations should change significantly again during and after FY05, as the Council adopts subbasin plans into the program. There are issues the Council, staff, Bonneville and others should be considering and working on now to make the transition work in FY06 and beyond to begin implementing subbasin plans. Some of these matters are discussed below (e.g., see the last issue in the decision document, recommending a particular type of project review in FY05). The Council will be considering the FY06 transition issues in more depth at its August meeting, and will have a proposal soon after.

We look forward to working with you and your staff to help Bonneville implement the program in the coming fiscal year.