On August 12, 2002, pursuant to Section 4(h) of the Northwest Power Act, the Council requested in writing that state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes and others submit recommendations for amendments to the Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. The Council requested recommendations for objectives and measures for the program at the subbasin level, to be submitted in the form of a subbasin plan for each subbasin or as possible elements for a subbasin plan.
On May 28, 2004, the Council received proposed subbasin plans for 59 subbasins of the Columbia River, formally recommended for amendment into the Council's fish and wildlife program. Following a lengthy public review process required by the Power Act and described in more detail below, the Council formally adopted as amendments into the program subbasin plans for 57 subbasins, based on the recommendations submitted.
In this section of the fish and wildlife program, the Council provides written findings explaining its disposition of the subbasin plan recommendations, as required by Section 4(h)(7) of the Power Act. When the Council rejected all or part of a recommendation, these findings explain how the Council's decision comports with the standards in that section of the act for rejecting recommendations. This document also explains how the Council responded to the public comments it received on the recommendations and on draft program amendments. In doing so, this document also serves as the "statement of basis and purpose" called for in Section 553 of the federal Administrative Procedures Act to accompany agency decisions on final rules. Along with the requirements in the Power Act, the Council follows the notice and comment rulemaking procedures of the APA in developing and adopting amendments to fish and wildlife program.