Meacham Creek in the Umatilla River Basin, northeast Oregon
This spring, Council staff and members of its Independent Scientific Review Panel toured a number fish and wildlife projects in the Columbia River Basin.
The Council's fish and wildlife program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, works to protect and enhance fish and wildlife that have been affected by hydropower dams. Bonneville’s direct spending on projects that implement the program totaled $250 million in Fiscal Year 2012.
The purpose of these geographic reviews of habitat restoration in the basin is to check on their progress and assess how well they're meeting the goals of the program, and how well they align with federal and state recovery efforts.
"Getting a broad base of people to work together has been the key to progress," says Erik Merrill, ISRP coordinator for the Council. "There are a lot of interests involved in the work, from tribes and landowners to state and federal agencies."
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation sponsor work to reconnect channels and plant vegetation along streams.
Pole Creek, with the Sawtooth Mountains in the distance, in southwestern Idaho. Work along the creek includes irrigation diversions and grazing management.
The Lemhi River in east-central Idaho and the Beaverhead Mountains, part of the Bitterroot Mountain Range, in the distance. Work to reconnect stream channels is done through a coordinated effort by the Idaho Office of Species Conservation, Idaho Fish and Game, the Idaho Department of Water Resources, and the Custer Soil and Water District.
Council staff and ISRP members visit project sites to check on progress. Lemhi Mountains in the distance.
Lemhi Mountains and view of riparian fencing.
Even cowgirls get to tour!