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Record No. 00015.

pdf
Coffey, Michael A NWD
From: Peters, Rock D NWD
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 10:00 AM
To: Lear, Gayle N NWD; Ponganis, David J NWD; 'Coby.Howell@usdoj.gov'; 'McNeil, Bridget
(ENRD)'; 'Majkut,Paul S - L-7'; 'Kathryn Puckett'; Sara McNary; 'Katherine.Cheney'; 'Merlin
Smith'; Bruce Suzumototo
Subject: Corps edits on the AMIP and Appendices 1(for now)

Attachments: AM Imp Plan 082609 DRAFT.docx; AM Imp Plan Appendix 1 082609 DRAFT.docx

AM Imp Plan AM Imp Plan


082609 DRAFT.docx
Appendix 1 082609 .

Rock

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FCRPS Adaptive
Management
Implementation Plan
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DISCUSSION DRAFT 8/26/2009

2008-2017
Federal Columbia River Power System
Biological Opinion

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This Page Intentionally Left Blank

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Table of Contents
I. Introduction
A. Summary of the Administration Review Process Leading to Development of the
AMIP
B. Summary of the Adaptive Management Approach
C. Relationship to the RPA Actions

II. Adaptive Management: Contingency Actions in Case of Severe


Fish Declines
A. Expanded Contingency Triggers
1. Severe Decline Trigger for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead
2. Early Warning Trigger for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead
B. Rapid Response Actions
C. Long-Term Contingency Actions

III. Enhanced Research Monitoring & Evaluation


A. Enhanced Life-cycle Model for Evaluation of Contingencies
B. Adult Status and Trend Modeling
C. Juvenile Status and Trend Monitoring
D. Habitat Condition Status and Trend Monitoring
E. Intensively Monitored Watersheds
F. Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation

IV. Acceleration of RPA Mitigation Actions


A. Estuary MOA with the State of Washington
B. Reintroduction
C. Predator Control and Invasive Species
D. Summer Spill

V. Adaptive Management: Transparency, Science Review and


Reporting

VI. Summary & Conclusions

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Court Challenges & Obama Administration Review

Exhibit A: Lists of participants


FCRPS Listening Sessions 1-5
FCRPS Science Workshop

Exhibit B: List of questions


Exhibit C: List of materials for FCRPS Science Workshop

Appendix 2: Adaptive Management Provisions from the FCRPS BA

Appendix 3: Estuary MOA with the State of Washington


Exhibit A: List of Projects

Appendix 4: Key Elements of Life-Cycle Model


Appendix 5: Development of the Severe Decline Trigger

Appendix 6: Implementation of the Early Warning Trigger

Appendix 7: Details of Rapid Response Actions

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I. Introduction

The 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (2008 FCRPS BiOp) and
Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) employ adaptive management provisions to ensure
that implementation decisions are based on the best information currently available. This
Adaptive Management Implementation Plan (AMIP) describes the implementation of the 2008
FCRPS BiOp adaptive management provisions and provides additional details and describing
enhancements within the provisions of the FCRPS BiOp and RPA. Jointly prepared by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA), and NOAA Fisheries, this AMIP is based on information and
perspectives presented during the Obama Administration’s consideration of the BiOp and the
RPA over the past several months. The FCRPS BiOp is supported by the analyses in the
Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis (SCA). As an implementation of the RPA within its
adaptive management provisions, the effects of this AMIP are consistent with those evaluated in
the SCA analysis. Thus, the SCA remains unchanged and continues to support the conclusions
of the FCRPS, Upper Snake, and United States v. Oregon Biological Opinions.

This document:
 Describes the Administration’s process to understand the science and issues pertaining to the
2008 FCRPS BiOp, which lead to development of the AMIP (Section I)

 Provides new biological triggers to respond to severe fish declines, and describes specific
Rapid Responses and Long-term Contingency Actions (Section II)

 In support of adaptive management, describes enhancements to the Research, Monitoring and


Evaluation (RM&E) actions, including the development of a life-cycle model to evaluate the
efficiency and effectiveness of the contingency actions (Section III)

 Includes accelerated RPA implementation actions (Section IV)

 Further describes processes for adaptive management transparency, science review and
reporting (Section V).

Seven appendices provide specific technical details that support the AMIP.

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A. Summary of the Administration Review Process Leading to Development of
the AMIP

This plan was prepared while the legal sufficiency of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, and the Action
Agencies’ reliance on it, is challenged in the federal courts. The courts have allowed the new
administration of President Obama time to fully understand the 2008 BiOp, and, especially, its
adaptive management provisions. Using that time, the Obama Administration1 has engaged in a
thorough and substantive consideration of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, the science on which it is
based, issues raised by litigants, independent scientists’ recommendations, and Judge Redden’s
perspectives in his May 18, 2009, letter. This review process highlighted several issues
centering on implementation of the RPA and the ability to provide a rapid response to any
indication of declining fish status. A detailed description of the review process is provided in
Appendix 1 of this document, which also includes a consideration of the points raised in the
Court’s letter.

The Administration’s review recognized that there are risks and uncertainties inherent in
implementing the ten-year BiOp. To address these risks, the federal agencies decided to further
define the implementation of the existing RPA’s adaptive management provision in the 2008
FCRPS BiOp. The BiOp’s RPA uses adaptive management to respond to results of new research
and scientific information on fish survival. As more is learned over time, mitigation actions and
studies are expected to be updated to reflect the best available scientific information and to
achieve the biological performance standards and survival improvements articulated in the 2008
FCRPS BiOp. The adaptive management provisions incorporated into the BiOp are an outgrowth
of the remand collaboration process directed by Judge Redden. Its specific components are
described in the August 2007 FCRPS Biological Assessment (BA) (See Appendix 2). The
provisions provide accountability for results in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:
specific hydro and habitat performance standards, an extensive research and monitoring
program, a transparent process for annual progress reporting to the region, and full involvement
of the sovereigns’ Regional Implementation Oversight Group (RIOG). It also includes a
contingency plan process to address severe declines in the abundance trends and/or productivity
of listed fish. Developed through the remand collaboration process, the contingency plan
includes biological triggers at the ESU level and an “All H Diagnosis” to determine appropriate
contingency actions.

Building on the 2008 FCRPS BiOp adaptive management provisions, the Administration’s
consideration of the BiOp, and in keeping with the Court’s suggestions in its May 18, 2009
letter, the federal agencies have decided to employ a “precautionary implementation” approach
                                                            
1
Four different Cabinet-level agencies and the White House were represented in this process. The lead official for
each agency in this review was: NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco for the Department of Commerce;
Council on Environmental Quality Chair, Nancy Sutley for the White House; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
of the Army, Terrence “Rock” Salt for the Department of Defense; and Associate Deputy Secretary, Laura Davis for
the Department of Interior; and, for the Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration Administrator
Steve Wright.

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through this AMIP. “Precautionary implementation” means that if ESA-listed salmon and
steelhead status is not responding as predicted in the BiOp, then “on-the-shelf” procedures and
actions are ready for immediate use to help address the problem. The AMIP provides a structured
response to the issues identified by the Administration by employing this “precautionary
implementation” approach. The Administration has concluded that, as implemented through this
AMIP, the BiOp and its RPA are biologically and legally sound, based on the best available
scientific information, and satisfy the ESA jeopardy standard, that is, the effects of the operation
of the FCRPS are neither likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the listed species (i.e.,
combined with the effects of the environmental baseline and cumulative effects the species are
expected to survive with an adequate potential for recovery) nor destroy or adversely modify
designated critical habitat.

B. Summary of the Adaptive Management Approach

Through this AMIP, the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries specify the development and
implementation of actions, research, and contingencies for Interior Columbia Basin species
within the 2008 FCRPS RPA adaptive management provisions. Key elements of these adaptive
management activities include:

1. Triggers for Initiating Contingencies

Severe Decline Trigger: The purpose of this trigger is to check each year for a severe,
unforeseen decline in the natural abundance of species, in which case Rapid Response Actions
(i.e., mitigation, described further below) can be implemented in a timely fashion. The Action
Agencies and NOAA Fisheries have developed an interim Severe Decline Trigger, which is
tripped if the running four-year mean of natural-origin adult abundance falls to very low levels
(< 10% likelihood of occurrence based on historical data). The agencies anticipate that this
interim Severe Decline Trigger will be modified during 2010 to incorporate a metric indicative
of trend.

Early Warning Triggers: The purpose of the Early Warning Trigger is to detect factors
indicating that a Severe Decline in natural adult abundance levels is likely to be reached within
one to two years. If the Early Warning Trigger is reached, the response will be closer scrutiny of
available scientific information, consideration of and preparation for Rapid Response Actions,
and direct implementation of appropriate Rapid Response Actions if the early warning is of
sufficient magnitude. The initial trigger is tripped if the running four-year mean of adult
abundance falls to low levels (< 20% likelihood of occurrence). The Action Agencies and
NOAA Fisheries commit to developing additional Early Warning Triggers in 2010.

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2. “On-the-shelf” Contingency Procedures & Actions

Rapid Response Actions: Identification of potential “Rapid Response Actions” to be


implemented immediately (within less than 12 months) in the event that the Severe Decline
trigger is tripped. Rapid Response Actions will be targeted to the ESU/MPG/population at issue.

Long-Term Contingency Plans: Providing a menu of potential Long-term Contingency Actions


for which a study plan and implementation milestones will be developed by 2012. “Long-Term
Contingency” Actions are items that would take more than 12 months to implement. The
appropriate Long-Term Contingency Actions would be implemented to address the targeted
ESU/DPS – at issue in the event that Rapid Response Actions prove insufficient.

3. Enhanced RM&E

Expanded life cycle model:


Adult Status and Trend Monitoring
Juvenile Status and Trend Monitoring
Habitat Status and Trend
IMWs
Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation

4. Acceleration of RPA Mitigation Actions:

Estuary MOA
Reintroduction
Predator Control

5. Regional Participation, Independent Science Review, & Regional Collaboration:

All of these AMIP activities will be discussed and vetted with the sovereign states and tribes
through the RIOG. Instances in which there is disagreement among sovereigns on specific
biologically significant scientific issues can be submitted for independent scientific review.
The addition of the Early Warning and Severe Decline triggers will ensure precautionary
implementation of the BiOp and increase its responsiveness to emerging climate change
information. This will ensure that there is a rapid response by the federal agencies collectively,
in collaboration with regional sovereigns and, when appropriate, independent science review, in
the event of a precipitous fish decline and/or extreme habitat disturbance affecting interior
Columbia Basin fish. The Action Agencies and/or NOAA Fisheries will implement the
appropriate Rapid Response and Long-term Contingency Actions to address the targeted ESU in
question.,.

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C. Relationship to the RPA Actions

As noted above, adaptive management is a key element of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and its RPA.
For each component of the AMIP, the applicable RPA action is identified and the adaptive
management application is described. The provisions of this AMIP inform the measures of the
2008 RPA with greater detail and specificity, but the agencies intend the AMIP to be consistent
with the objectives and requirements of the RPA. In the event of any conflict between an
explicit RPA measure and this AMIP, the RPA measure is intended to control unless and until
NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies expressly provide otherwise.

A graphic representation of how the AMIP expansions and implementation details in the AMIP
integrate into parts of the existing 2008 adaptive management provisions and process is shown in
Figure 1 (Refined Adaptive Management Implementation Provisions). Elements in blue
represent 2008 RPA actions. Elements in yellow represent implementation details, especially in
the area of contingencies.

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II. Adaptive Management: Contingency Plans In Case of Severe Fish


Declines

Through this AMIP, the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries specify the development and
implementation of actions, research, and contingencies for Columbia Basin species within the
2008 FCRPS RPA adaptive management provisions. Figure 2 (Adaptive Management Plan and
Contingency Process) illustrates the process and logic path that the federal agencies will use if
there is an unanticipated severe
decline in salmon status (or a
likely severe decline), as Guide to Figure 2: Adaptive Management Formatted: Highlight

determined by the biological Plan & Contingency Process


triggers defined in this plan. The
In Figure 2, elements in blue represent 2007 BA / 2008
details of the expanded
FCRPS BiOp actions. Elements in yellow represent
contingency process and actions
further refinements of these contingency processes.
are more fully explained below. 
Box 1: RM&E is an essential component of the
A. Expanded Contingency adaptive management provisions in the 2008 BiOp.
Triggers RM&E will inform the development of Rapid Response
and Long Term Contingency Plans and enhance our
The adaptive management scientific understanding for future decision-making.
provisions in the 2007 BA and RM&E will also include the development of a life-cycle
2008 RPA establish contingency model will be developed to better assess the likely
planning if fish abundance and effectiveness of alternative All-H actions
productivity are decreasing at the Boxes 2, 3 & 4: Rapid Response plans and actions
time of the 2013 and 2016 and Long Term Contingency Plans will be developed to
Comprehensive Evaluations ensure that the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries can
(RPA Action 3). Based on its rapidly implement effective actions if triggers are
review, the Administration has tripped. Ongoing BiOp evaluation of productivity,
decided to refine the adaptive biological, and environmental metrics and performance
management and contingency standards will provide essential information for assessing
planning processes to provide a triggers and the effectiveness of implemented actions.
more precautionary approach for
Boxes 5, 6 & 7: The biological triggers either cause
implementing the BiOp.
Specifically, the agencies will a Rapid Response Action, preparation for a Rapid
Response Action, or closer evaluation of salmon status.
annually evaluate a Severe
Decline Trigger, which, if Box 10 &11: If the Rapid Response Actions fail to
tripped, will result in work, then the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries
implementation of Rapid begin an all-H diagnosis process (including a life-cycle
Response Actions as indicated by analysis) and determine whether to implement long term
the life-cycle analysis. contingency plans or re-initiate consultations if
necessary.

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Additionally, the agencies will annually evaluate an Early Warning Trigger indicative of a likely
future severe decline. If the Early Warning Trigger is tripped, the response will be closer
scrutiny of available scientific information, consideration of and preparations for Rapid
Response Actions, and, potentially, direct implementation of appropriate Rapid Response
Actions if the early warning is of sufficient magnitude.

A summary of the new triggers follows and is depicted in the table below. Additional details are
included in Appendix 5.

Table 1. Summary of expanded contingency triggers.

Severe Decline Early Warning

Response Implement Rapid Response Actions Closer scrutiny of available scientific information;
as indicated by the life-cycle analysis consideration of and preparations for Rapid Response
Actions; and, potentially, direct implementation of
appropriate Rapid Response Actions if the early warning is
of sufficient magnitude

Interim Trigger 4-Year running average represents < 4-year running average represents < 20% of historical
10% of recent historical observations observations
of adult salmon abundance

Additional Add trend component Add components for two years of adult return information,
Components of preliminary biological information and environmental
Triggers To Be indicators, or known environmental disasters
Developed in 2010

Future Juvenile Evaluate development of a juvenile Evaluate development of a juvenile salmon status trigger
Triggers salmon status trigger and if feasible, and if feasible, implement in future, once RM&E is sufficient
implement in future, once RM&E is to support a juvenile trigger
sufficient to support a juvenile trigger

1. Severe Decline Trigger for Chinook Salmon & Steelhead 2

The purpose of the Severe Decline Trigger is to check annually for a severe, unforeseen decline
in the natural adult abundance of species3 so that Rapid Response Actions (i.e., actions that
minimize or mitigate for the decline) can be implemented in a timely manner.
                                                            
2
See Section II.A.3 for Snake River sockeye salmon and footnote 3 for Mid-Columbia River steelhead.
3
Species-level (i.e., ESU or DPS) adult abundance information is the most readily available information at present.
Future refinements of the Severe Decline trigger could potentially be extended to consider MPGs or key
populations.

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The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries developed an interim Severe Decline Trigger that
evaluates running four-year means of natural adult abundance and compares the most recent
mean to the historical distribution considered in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp. A severe decline will
occur if the most recent four-year mean is lower than that occurring in 10% or fewer years in the
historical record (i.e., depending upon the species, beginning with 1978-1980 and ending with
the most recent year available). 4 Specific abundance levels for each species that would trigger
Rapid Response Actions are included in Table 1 of Appendix 5. The Agencies anticipate that
this interim Severe Decline Trigger will be modified during 2010 to incorporate a metric
indicative of short-term abundance trends. This modification will be reviewed in coordination
with the RIOG, but is expected to conform to the level of risk (i.e., < 90% likelihood) used for
the abundance metric. Appendix 5 includes an example of a possible approach for a trend-based
trigger.

The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries also will evaluate the potential development of a
future Severe Decline Trigger based on information for juvenile salmon and steelhead. This is a
longer-term task because additional monitoring will be necessary to gather the data to support a
juvenile trigger. The process for developing this trigger, as well as its accompanying steps, is
described in Appendix 5.

2. Early Warning Trigger for Chinook Salmon & Steelhead

The purpose of the Early Warning Trigger is to detect if a severe decline in natural abundance is
likely to occur within one to two years. This trigger will be evaluated annually as a failsafe that
could be triggered before the Severe Decline Triggers are exceeded. If the Early Warning
Trigger is reached, the response will be closer scrutiny of available scientific information,
consideration of and preparations for Rapid Response Actions, and direct implementation of
appropriate Rapid Response Actions if the early warning is of sufficient magnitude.

The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries have developed an interim Early Warning Trigger
that is based on the same analysis and data as the Severe Decline Trigger, but occurs in 20% or
fewer years in the historical record (instead of 10% or fewer years). Specific abundance levels
for each species that trigger an early warning response are included in Table 1 of Appendix 5.
The Agencies anticipate that this interim Early Warning Trigger will be reviewed in coordination
with the RIOG during 2010 and may be revised pending additional analyses and discussion.
                                                            
4
Species-level (i.e., ESU or DPS) adult abundance information is the most readily available information at present -
excepting Mid-Columbia steelhead for which the Yakima River MPG data is most readily available. Mid-Columbia
River steelhead populations pass 1-4 mainstem dams and cannot be distinguished at those dams from other listed
species traveling further upstream. Prosser Dam is an adult counting site on the Yakima River that does provide a
census of adults in this MPG. The Yakima River MPG is a single MPG and may or may not be representative of the
DPS as a whole; therefore this trigger will initiate a rapid review to determine whether the problem is limited to the
MPG or represents a DPS-wide decline. In addition to the Yakima River MPG, it may be possible to develop MPG
level indices for other MPGs in the relatively near future.

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The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries commit to developing additional Early Warning
Triggers in 2010. Specifically, the additional Early Warning Triggers would evaluate whether an
ESU is likely to have substantially reduced abundance (and productivity) in the future, based on
two years of adult return information, preliminary biological information and environmental
indicators or known environmental disasters. These indicators may include, but are not limited
to, low jack counts or numbers of juvenile outmigrants (biological), indicators of ocean
conditions predicting very low abundance of adult returns for recent outmigrants (environmental
indicators), or wide-spread forest fires, increased distribution and virulence of pathogens, new
invasive species, prolonged severe droughts, etc. (environmental disasters). Unlike the interim
Early Warning Trigger, which evaluates information at the ESU level, the additional Early
Warning Triggers may use information more representative of effects on populations or major
population groups (MPG). Responses to impacts affecting a specific MPG or subset of key
populations would be tailored to the appropriate scale.

3. Contingency Plan Implementation for Snake River Sockeye Salmon

The Administration does not propose any triggers for Snake River Sockeye salmon at this time.
This species, after falling to extremely low levels in the early 1990s, is effectively managed
under ongoing contingency actions. The contingency actions include continuation of the safety
net hatchery program; further expansion of the sockeye program (up to 1 million fish released as
smolts), investigation the feasibility of transporting adults from Lower Granite Dam to Sawtooth
Valley lakes or artificial production facilities; and investigation of highly variable juvenile
mortality rates between Sawtooth Valley and Lower Granite Dam.

B. Rapid Response Actions (Immediate Implementation within 6-12 Months)

Rapid Response Actions for immediate implementation have been developed by the Action
Agencies, NOAA Fisheries, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (collectively the
“Agencies”), within their respective authorities. The Rapid Responses Actions below are a menu
of short term contingency actions and a decision-making process for implementing these actions
within 12 months. If a biological trigger is tripped, the Agencies, in coordination with the RIOG, Deleted: a

will use a life-cycle model to analyze the effects of potential Rapid Response Actions, to select
the appropriate actions, and to determine whether the actions are sufficient to halt and reverse the
severe decline. Most, if not all, Rapid Response actions will be temporary in nature. Within four
to six months, if the Rapid Response Action(s) is determined insufficient or is inconclusive, the
Agencies will conduct an All-H Diagnosis and life-cycle model of potential long-term Deleted: a

contingencies. More details for each of these actions are identified in Appendix 7.

The Rapid Response Actions have been identified for their potential to immediately improve fish
survival. The needed regulatory process for their implementation is largely in place. In other
words, they are actions that could be implemented relatively quickly (within one year) and
provide immediate survival benefits, if the evaluations of productivity, biological, and

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environmental metrics (Figure 2, Box 4 indicates that triggers have been tripped (Figure 2, Boxes
5 – 8). The Rapid Response Actions will be held ready, and implemented, if necessary (Figure 2,
Box 9).

The following are the identified Rapid Response Actions. More details for each of these actions
are laid out in Appendix 7.

1. Hydro Actions: The Corps will implement, within the adaptive management provisions of Deleted: Action Agencies

the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, additional hydrosystem actions that will increase the survival of the Deleted:

species in question, beyond the juvenile dam passage performance standards. Specific
actions will be based on the most recent data available and might include targeted spill and
changes in fish transportation operations based on recent survival data. The Agencies, in
collaboration with the RIOG and appropriate technical groups, will review the current status
of the biological research and discuss where additional project survival benefits could be
gained in relation to the specific ESU in question.

2. Predator Control: The Action Agencies, in combination with the USFWS and the States,
will implement more aggressive targeted efforts to control and eradicate predatory fish, birds,
and invasive species to increase survival of listed fish. This will include a temporary increase
in the pikeminnow sport fishery bounty program and increased hazing of birds in close
proximity to the dams.

3. Harvest: All fisheries that affect the species of concern will be reviewed by NOAA
Fisheries to assess whether existing harvest management agreements provide adequate
protection. If it is determined that additional protection is necessary, NOAA fisheries will
use existing procedural provisions of the agreements to seek the consensus among the parties
to modify the agreements.

4. Safety Net Hatchery Programs: The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries use safety net
hatchery programs to address short term extinction risk. During 2010, the agencies will
consult with the RIOG and identify opportunities and further processes to implement safety
net programs that could be used for each interior species.
Comment [U1]: Rock, if we are
C. Long-term Contingency Actions (Greater than One Year to Implement) adjusting specific dates this sentence will
need to be removed.
Deleted: Action Agencies, NOAA
Potential Long-term Contingency Actions have been identified by the Agencies These Long- Fisheries, and USFWS. By the end of
term Contingency Actions will be evaluated for implementation in coordination with the RIOG calendar year 2012, the Action Agencies
will complete study plans to include
following an All-H Diagnosis and life-cycle modeling (See Figure 2, Box 11). milestones, scope and schedule, as well
as a decision-making process as
appropriate.
In the ultimate selection of Long-term Contingencies for a particular species. Emphasis will be Formatted: Highlight
on actions that would significantly improve the survival of the fish experiencing the severe Deleted: l
decline. Implementation of Long-term Contingency Actions will likely require negotiations to Deleted: er
modify existing agreements, regulatory compliance (e.g., permits), and administrative planning Deleted: a

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(e.g., environmental review seeking additional authorities, and potentially additional ESA
consultation or re-consultation).

The following have been identified as potential Long-term Contingency Actions.

1. Phase II Hydro Actions: The Corps, working in coordination with NOAA Fisheries and the
other Action Agencies, will identify and implement appropriate additional hydro system Deleted: These actions will include

actions beyond those needed to meet the juvenile dam passage performance standards. These
actions are identified as Phase II actions in the Configuration and Operational Plans (COPs).
RPA Actions 18- 25 identified project COP completion dates and require the use of
collaboratively developed, science based COPS to identify additional dam improvements
needed to achieve the performance standards indentified in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp. The
COPS also identify Phase II contingency actions to be implemented should the Phase I
actions not achieve the performance standards as anticipated, and may include, for example,
additional surface passage and other juvenile passage improvements.

2. Reintroduction: This action will re-establish salmon populations (excluding areas upstream
of the Hells Canyon Complex and Chief Joseph Dam) that are functionally extirpated to
increase the diversity and abundance of an ESU. These actions will be drawn from the results
of the reintroduction review being conducted by NOAA Fisheries (Section IV. B.) and will
be implemented in coordination with the states and tribes.

3. Predator Control: Implement efforts to control and eradicate predatory fish and birds and
invasive species in addition to those described in the RPA or other sections of this AMIP.
The agencies will take steps to accelerate administrative processes to control Caspian terns
and double-crested cormorants as well as tributary populations of brook trout and other
invasive species. The Action Agencies efforts will be taken in conjunction with USFWS and
NOAA Fisheries, state and tribes.

4. Harvest: NOAA Fisheries could re-negotiate existing harvest agreements as their terms
expire to reduce take or add contingency provisions for listed species and populations of
concern. <language will be determined after discussions with Tribes.

5. Conservation Hatcheries: Convert safety net programs to longer term conservation


hatchery programs where appropriate. The goal of conservation programs is to help rebuild
existing populations through supplementation with hatchery fish or provide hatchery fish for
reintroduction efforts where the benefits outweigh risks on longer term hatchery intervention.
Implementing conservation hatchery programs may require design and construction of new
adult holding, spawning, incubation, and juvenile rearing facilities, as well as weirs, adult
traps, and juvenile acclimation ponds.

6. Hatchery Reform: Uncertainties exist concerning hatchery effects on wild salmon. One of
the most important of these is the ecological interactions that occur between hatchery and

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wild fish in the mainstem, estuary, and ocean environments. As an example, the potential
effect of total hatchery production on wild fish is unknown at this time. These effects could
be either positive or negative, depending on what factors limit wild fish survival. Columbia
River Basin hatchery production is currently being evaluated and to determine whether
releases have density dependent impacts on listed species and large scale experiments will be
considered that could produce significant new information. Design and implementation of
such experiments will involve considerable collaboration and would require approval of legal
settlements such as US vs. Oregon. In the event that long-term contingency actions are
triggered, the evaluation of hatchery production and its effects on listed species will be
accelerated to determine whether alternative operational strategies should be implemented.

Hatchery reform actions will also include modified hatchery operations and release strategies
to reduce mixed stock harvest problems. Processes are now underway to encourage and
implement selective fisheries, including the tests of new gear and techniques. Within the
existing management structure, NOAA Fisheries and co-managers will consider adjusting the
future size, location and type of hatchery releases to provide harvest opportunities while
providing adequate protection for listed species.

7. John Day Reservoir Operations at Minimum Operating Pool (MOP) from April
through June : The Corps in coordination with the other Agencies will complete study
plans to include milestones, scope and schedule, as well as a decision-making process as
appropriate by 2011. Implementation of this operation will require the Corps to conduct an
evaluation and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) necessary to seek authority Deleted: e

from Congress to mitigate for related impacts.. Currently the Corps does not have authority Deleted: i

to mitigate for impacts identified in previous studies affecting irrigation, municipal water Deleted: s

supplies, hatchery water supplies, anadromous and resident fish habitat, wildlife habitat, Deleted:

recreation sites, cultural resource sites, and adult passage facilities.

Breaching Lower Snake River Dams: One Long-term Contingency Action is a science driven
study of breaching lower Snake River Dam(s) to address a significant decline in the status of a
Snake River ESU 5. This is considered a contingency of last resort, and would be recommended
only when scientific information indicates dam breaching would be effective, and is necessary to
avoid jeopardy taking into account the short-term and long-term impacts of such action.

Studying breaching of lower Snake River dam(s) as a last resort is reasonable as the status of the Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt

Snake River ESUs is improving, and the 2008 FCRPS BiOp analysis concluded that breaching is

                                                            
5
The administration does not propose any triggers for Snake River Sockeye salmon at this time. This species, after
falling to extremely low levels in the early 1990s, is effectively managed under ongoing contingency actions at the
present time. The contingency actions include continuation of the safety net hatchery program; further expansion of
the sockeye program (up to 1 million fish released as smolts), investigation the feasibility of transporting adults from
Lower Granite Dam to Sawtooth Valley lakes or artificial production facilities; and investigation of highly variable
juvenile mortality rates between Stanley Basin and Lower Granite Dam.

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not necessary to avoid jeopardy. Dam breaching would have significant effects to the
communities and the environment and would require a major investment of resources and time;
therefore, any decision to seek the requisite congressional authority must be driven by the “best
available scientific information.” Additionally, studying lower Snake River dam breaching will
also have to consider the Federal government’s Treaty and Trust responsibilities to Indian Tribes.

The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries are including the study of breaching lower Snake
River dam(s) as a potential Long-term Contingency action because:

1) The Administration’s recent independent science review of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp
noted uncertainty about the short-term negative biological effects of lower Snake River
dam breaching (construction, sediment, contaminants) that may compromise the
estimated long-term benefits; and,

2) The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries recognize that factors such as our
understanding of global climate change and its effects on regional climate conditions is
not yet well understood. As part of the precautionary approach adopted in this AMIP, if
triggered, technical studies of dam breaching would consider the potential effects of
climate change on the life cycle of salmon.

The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries will take the following actions to address dam Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt

breaching as a potential long-term contingency:

1) By December 2012, NOAA Fisheries in coordination with the Action Agencies will
develop the component of the "life-cycle model" (see section X, “Enhanced Life-cycle
Monitoring for Evaluation of Contingencies”) for evaluation of the short-term,
transitional and long-term effects of dam breaching. This model will use existing and new
data collected through the enhanced research, monitoring and evaluation described in the
AMIP.

2) By September 2010, the Corps in coordination with NOAA Fisheries and the other
Action Agencies will complete a "Study Plan" for conducting the technical studies
regarding breaching of lower Snake River dams. The Study Plan would detail the scope,
schedule and budget for these studies, including but not limited to the following:

o aquatic ecosystem effects (e.g., resident fish, biological analysis of anadromous fish Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

utilizing life-cycle model and other additional relevant technical evaluations.)

o socio-economic effects (e.g., hydropower replacement, navigation, recreation, etc.) Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

o other environmental effects (sediment, water quality, air quality, etc.) Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

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o additional engineering analysis (turbine modification modeling, rock source Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

explorations for rip-rap, and additional modeling of the by-pass channel) Deleted: <#>One long term
contingency action is a science driven
study of breaching lower Snake River
3) As discussed in section X, if a biological trigger is tripped for a Snake River ESU(s) Dam(s) in the event the status of a Snake
River ESU7 is not responding to Rapid
and a determination is made based on an all-H diagnosis, including life-cycle modeling Response Actions. ¶
results, that the Rapid Response Actions are likely to be insufficient, dam breaching ¶
Breaching of lower Snake River dam(s)
technical studies identified in the Study Plan would be initiated by the Corps if one of would require a significant investment of
resources and time, have major effects to
these three conditions applies: (1) the analysis 6 identifies lower Snake River dam the communities and environment, and
breaching as necessary to avoid jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU; or, (2) the require national policy decisions (e.g.,
how mitigation for construction of dams
analysis is sufficiently inconclusive to identify what actions are necessary to avoid would be addressed). Additionally,
consideration of any Long-term
jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU; or, (3) the analysis is not completed within Contingency Action to address a severe
six months, with a completion goal of 4 months. decline in the status of a Snake River
ESU will also have to consider the federal
government’s Treaty and Trust
The technical studies would be completed by the Corps in approximately two years responsibilities to Indian Tribes. Dam
breaching is a contingency of last resort,
including appropriate independent technical review. The information from these studies, and any decision regarding dam
breaching must be driven by science.¶
along with the results of the life-cycle modeling, would be used by the Administration ¶
(through the Salmon Policy Team) to make a decision whether the Corps should move Three primary reasons for considering
breaching lower Snake River dam(s) as a
forward with an overall evaluation study and Environmental Impact Statement. This long term contingency of last resort are:¶

overall evaluation study/EIS would be used for the public decision making process to a) The status of the SR ESUs are
determine whether to seek congressional authority to undertake dam breaching, and is improving and the BiOp concluded that
breaching is not necessary at this time to
estimated that it would take approximately 2 to 3 years to complete these activities. avoid jeopardy; ¶
  ¶
b) The understanding of global climate
change and its effects on regional climate
conditions is not yet well understood.
The potential effects of climate change
III. Enhanced Research Monitoring & Evaluation on the life cycle of salmon are new
factors that were not considered when the
Corps completed a comprehensive
analysis and report on Lower Snake River
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation is an essential component of the adaptive management dam breaching and other alternative
actions in 2002; and,¶
provisions in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp because it addresses areas of current data uncertainty. ¶
Based on recommendations by the independent scientists, the Agencies are enhancing their c) The Administration’s recent
independent science review of the 2008
RM&E efforts. These improvements will augment the geographic coverage and statistical FCRPS BiOp noted uncertainty about the
certainty of the information needed for decision making and support the evaluation of Long-term short-term negative biological effects of
lower Snake River dam breaching
Contingency Actions. (construction, sediment, contaminants)
that may impede the estimated long-term
benefits.¶
Currently, the 2008 FCRPS BiOp includes a substantial RM&E effort as described in RPA ¶
As one of the long term contingency
Actions 50-73. In support of BiOp implementation, NOAA Fisheries also funds status and trend actions, the Action Agencies will take the
following actions:¶
monitoring, critical uncertainties research, and restoration action effectiveness monitoring. ¶
Under the adaptive management provisions, RM&E results can lead to changes in RPA a) Begin immediately (and complete by
2012) development of “life-cycle model”
implementation to optimize fish survival. RM&E results are reported through annual progress using existing and new data collected
through the enhanced research,
reports to the region and the RIOG. This includes reporting on the annual abundance of natural monitoring and evaluation described in
the AMIP. This new analytical tool will
                                                             be used to evaluate the short-term,
6 transitional and long-term effects of dam
The goal is to have the all-H diagnosis, informed by the life-cycle modeling, identify the limiting factors for the breaching. ¶
Snake River ESUs and potential actions to address those factors. ¶
b) Begin immediately and complete...in[1]

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fish at the ESU/DPS level based on dam counts, one of the metrics used for the new contingency
triggers.

Since the release of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies have been
jointly reviewing existing federal, state and tribal RM&E efforts in the Columbia Basin to
identify and address critical gaps in the monitoring necessary to fully support BiOp adaptive
management decisions. This review is being conducted in partnership with the Northwest Power
and Conservation Council (NPCC), the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (CBFWA)
and its member state and tribal natural resource agencies. This summer BPA, CBFWA, NOAA
Fisheries and NPCC began convening a series of sub-regional workshops with state and tribal
co-managers to develop a shared Columbia Basin Monitoring Strategy. The goal of these
workshops is to develop an efficient salmon and steelhead monitoring framework and
implementation strategy that will support a variety of needs, including those of the 2008
FCRPS BiOp, recovery plans, regional fisheries management objectives, and other programs.
This collaborative process is expected to be complete during fall of 2009.

A. Enhanced Life-cycle Monitoring for Evaluation of Contingencies

The BiOp used a combination of life-cycle modeling and passage modeling (COMPASS) for
evaluation of impacts and All-H actions. The COMPASS model was supported and improved by
Independent Science Advisory Board (ISAB) reviews. These analyses provided state of the art
evaluations based on the best available scientific information including fish status and trends,
hydropower effects, mitigation actions, and ocean/climate scenarios to estimate how changes in
life-stage specific survival affect long-term viability metrics (productivity, mean abundance, and
probability of quasi-extinction).

In order to inform the evaluation of Rapid Response Actions and Long-term Contingencies, the
Administration’s review identified the need for better information about recovery actions at the
species level and across the salmon life cycle. In response, the Action Agencies and NOAA
Fisheries will be jointly funding enhanced, data-driven life cycle modeling for contingencies,
augmenting the current BiOp modeling. Based on newly available and emerging data, the
existing models can be expanded further in order to explicitly evaluate a variety of other factors,
described below. The primary purpose of this revision is to allow the federal agencies to better
evaluate Short- and Long-term Contingency Actions.

Starting in 2010, NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies will jointly fund and implement
updates to the existing life cycle models. These updates will include the following new areas:

 Emerging climate data and its application

 Hatchery effects and monitoring

 Habitat effects and monitoring

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 Inter-species interactions

 John Day reservoir operations at minimum operating pool

 Short-term, transitional, and long-term effects of dam breaching

More details regarding modeling enhancements are identified in Appendix 4. These


enhancements will be developed using the same approach as for the COMPASS model (i.e., a
transparent process that includes independent science peer review).

B. Adult Status & Trend Monitoring

The collection and timely reporting of natural adult abundance and productivity data each year at
the population scale is needed to detect changes in status at the ESU/DPS, MPG, or local
population levels in response to BiOp actions. NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies provide
funding for state and tribal monitoring programs for adult salmon and steelhead status and trends
in the Columbia Basin. The RM&E review being conducted by the Action Agencies, NOAA
Fisheries and the co-managers (noted above), has found data gaps for some populations, given
the goals of the program.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to obtaining adult natural spawner abundance and full life-
cycle productivity estimates for each ESA-listed population in the basin of appropriate
statistical certainty and power to inform contingency trigger evaluations and viability
assessments. Additionally, mechanisms must exist for the timely and efficient reporting and
dissemination of these data if they are to provide for the early detection of regional or
population specific changes in status. To achieve these ends, NOAA Fisheries is seeking
$XM to improve adult status and trend monitoring and data management.

C. Juvenile Status & Trend Monitoring

A robust juvenile monitoring program for the Interior Columbia Basin ESUs/DPSs is necessary
for the early detection of substantial changes in abundance, productivity, or survival. Juvenile
out-migrant monitoring complements adult status and trend monitoring by detecting trends in
recruits per spawner based on tributary habitat improvements that might otherwise be masked by
the effect of year-to-year variation in ocean survival rates. The Action Agencies are committed
to enhanced monitoring of juvenile production and survival for at least one population per MPG,
to inform the evaluation of contingency triggers and viability assessments. In addition to
allowing the detection of downturns in natural freshwater production and juvenile survival, this
monitoring will help to assess climate change impacts. The Action Agencies will also support
improvement of the management and timely reporting of juvenile salmon and steelhead
monitoring data.

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D. Habitat Condition Status & Trend Monitoring

Status and trend monitoring of habitat condition is necessary for tracking baseline habitat
conditions with respect to assumptions made in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp about the future.
Additionally, coupling habitat monitoring with adult and juvenile monitoring allows the agencies
to assess fish survival and habitat productivity improvements expected from All-H FCRPS and
recovery actions. The Action Agencies are therefore expanding habitat status and trend
monitoring (for at least one population or watershed per MPG) to ensure the benefits assigned to
habitat restoration are being realized. The Action Agencies will also ensure monitoring of
appropriate metrics across a diversity of ecoregions and habitat types to assess responses to
climate change.

E. Intensively Monitored Watersheds

An Intensively Monitored Watershed (IMW) is a control/treatment study coupled with status and
trend monitoring intended to estimate the effectiveness of habitat restoration actions. The
findings of IMWs will inform the future selection of the type, location, and intensity of
restoration actions necessary to achieve desired improvements or to efficiently implement rapid
responses to severe declines. IMWs also provide the opportunity for the detection of various
climate change impacts including tributary temperatures, flows, and the presence or severity of
disease, pathogen or parasite outbreaks.

The Action Agencies are implementing IMWs under RPA Action 56 and 57, for fish status
monitoring and habitat effectiveness monitoring. Under the 2008 RPA, the Action Agencies are
currently implementing IMWs in the John Day, Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, Lemhi, and South
Fork Salmon basins. NOAA Fisheries funds five additional or complementary IMWs in interior
subbasins in Idaho (Upper Potlach River, Lemhi River), Oregon (Upper Middle Fork John Day
River), and Washington (Yakima River, Asotin Creek). The Action Agencies’ IMWs have been
through independent science evaluation and review by the NPCC. Under the RPA provisions,
enhancements to these efforts are already planned or underway.

As part of an enhanced commitment to IMWs, NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies will
complete an analysis of existing IMWs to ensure:

 Timely funding and implementation of intensive restoration actions to ensure an adequate


treatment effect. IMW control areas are maintained as needed by the study design;

 Sufficiently diverse geographic representation of IMWs and appropriate monitoring (e.g.,


temperature, flow) to detect climate change impacts;

 Results are applicable to future restoration planning and for the implementation of Rapid
Response Actions.

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This review will inform the prioritization of BPA placeholder funds budgeted for IMWs, as well
as the allocation of new or re-focused NOAA Fisheries funds (e.g., distributed through the
Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund). IMW updates will go through an independent science
review process and review by the NPCC. Results will be coordinated and reported to the Region
annually through the RIOG.

F. Climate Change Monitoring & Evaluation

The Administration’s review recognized the importance of detecting and tracking climate change
and its effects on listed species. RPA Action 2 requires the inclusion of new climate change
research findings in the Action Agencies’ annual progress reports. To facilitate this, NOAA
Fisheries will annually provide the Action Agencies with a literature review relevant to the
implementation of the RPA. The RPA includes the following additional requirements:

 Habitat and Ocean Conditions: Consistent with RPA Actions 56-61, data on habitat
conditions and action effectiveness will be collected during ongoing and enhanced tributary
habitat and ocean research. While not an explicit requirement of the RPAs, the Action
Agencies will ensure that this information is appropriately managed in a database allowing
changes to be tracked over time.

 Habitat Project Priorities: RPA Actions 35 and 37 require that the Action Agencies use
new climate change information to guide tributary and estuary habitat project selection and
prioritization and other aspects of adaptive management.

 Forecasting and Modeling: RPA Action 7 requires investigation of the impacts of possible
climate change scenarios on listed salmon and steelhead. As part of this effort, new climate
change information will be used to improve water supply forecasts for water management.

Climate change information will be discussed and reported to the Region annually through the
RIOG.

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IV. Acceleration of RPA Mitigation Actions


 
This section of the AMIP explains the Action Agencies’ and NOAA Fisheries’ plan to accelerate
implementation of RPA mitigation actions. The agencies developed these activities with the
benefit of the wide range of views and information presented during the Administration’s
scrutiny of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and, in this way, the implementation of the RPA continues to
use the best available science and commercial information. The Memorandum of Agreement on
Columbia River Estuary Habitat Actions with the State of Washington (Estuary MOA);
reintroduction; and predator control; and ecological effects of invasive species are described here
as accelerated implementation of RPA mitigation actions.

A. Estuary MOA with the State of Washington

The Columbia River estuary represents a critical environment supporting an important part of
the life cycle of salmon and steelhead, providing refugia from predators and offering a rich
feeding environment where individuals can grow to larger sizes that improve their probability of
survival in the ocean. Under RPA Actions 36 and 37, the Action Agencies are committed to
implementing a major program of estuary habitat restoration and research, much increased from
the 2000 FCRPS BiOp. The Estuary MOA will enhance this effort significantly. It has been
developed to identify and describe estuary projects to enhance the suite of RPA actions in the
2008 FCRPS BiOp. The Estuary MOA provides additional certainty that estuary habitat projects
will occur by adding $4.5 million annually (for total of $40.5 million) to the Action Agencies’
BiOp commitments and by securing the State of Washington as a committed implementing
partner.

In selecting the projects for inclusion in the Estuary MOA, an initial suite of potential projects,
was refined to 21. Projects were evaluated by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
(WDFW) scientists for biological benefits and certainty of success, using the science
methodology described in 2008 FCRPS BiOp. Appendix 3 provides a list of Estuary MOA
Projects, a map showing their location, and a sample benefits calculation.

In addition to “on the ground” projects, the Estuary MOA relies on a significant estuary research,
monitoring, and evaluation effort. This RM&E helps the Action Agencies and regional partners
evaluate progress toward implementation objectives and assists in determining the biological
benefits of these projects. The benefits will be evaluated by the expert regional technical group
that has been established to support implementation of the RPA.

B. Reintroduction

Under the BiOp and related programs, the Action Agencies are currently implementing a number
of small scale, passive reintroduction efforts as well as larger scale, active efforts to reestablish
populations in the Columbia basin under RPA Actions 34 and 35. The Action Agencies

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implementation of passage improvements, removal of barriers, and instream flow restoration has
opened up fish access to habitat ranging from a few miles to dozens of miles. The
Administration’s recent review confirmed that the reintroduction of salmon and steelhead to
locations where extirpation has occurred is a useful tool to decrease the risk of extinction.

NOAA Fisheries is now initiating an evaluation of additional opportunities for reintroduction of


listed fish in the Basin. The NPCC will examine the benefits from additional reintroductions,
considering locations where reintroduction will advance recovery and further lower the risk of
extinction. This evaluation will include the following elements:

▪ Conditions under which reintroductions would be suitable. Reintroducing fish in some


situations, e.g. where there is high quality habitat, is likely to be successful. In other
instances, such as when unoccupied habitat has been severely degraded or current abundance
is extremely low, reintroduction may not be a beneficial strategy. NOAA Fisheries will
evaluate the conditions under which reintroduction is a robust strategy and describe the
relative costs and benefits in other situations.

▪ Reintroduction techniques. Reintroductions can occur naturally, where fish volitionally


spawn in reopened historical habitat. Alternatively, artificially propagated fish can be
outplanted in currently unoccupied areas. NOAA Fisheries will evaluate the costs and
benefits of alternative reintroduction strategies and techniques.

This information will guide both implementations of Long-term Contingency Actions, if


triggered, and actions taken to implement recovery plans.

C. Predator Control & Ecological Effects of Invasive Species

Based on the Administration’s review, the agencies are investigating predation and ecological
effects of invasive species as areas for additional salmon and steelhead survival improvements.
Currently, the RPA includes actions that address predation by birds (RPA Actions 45-48), fish
(RPA Actions 43-44), and sea lions (RPA Action 49).

To implement these RPA actions, the Action Agencies, in the fall of 2008, hosted a non-native
species predation workshop with approximately 100 in attendance - representing 18 federal, state
and tribal entities, and several regional universities. A report on the proceedings identified a
number of predation management strategies, most requiring a level of basic field research as a
first step toward implementing full-scale management actions. A follow-up meeting occurred in
May of 2009 to narrow the focus to a few high priority approaches warranting further
development. Now, based on this regional consensus, the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries
will be moving forward in the three highest priority areas to establish baseline information for
future predator control activities:

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 Shad: document the influence of juvenile shad on the growth and condition of introduced
predators in the fall as they prepare for overwintering

 Catfish: document the distribution and predation rates of channel catfish

 Smallmouth Bass: document whether removals of smallmouth bass in areas of intense


predation could reduce the mortality of juvenile salmonids

For these three priority approaches, the Action Agencies will seek an expedited review of the
research study design proposal by the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) to
accelerate field implementation. Once this research supports a specific management strategy,
then site-specific removals of smallmouth bass and the exclusion of adult American shad from
upper mainstem dams, if appropriate, could occur as early as 2012.

D. Summer Spill

Although not strictly an acceleration, the Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries are augmenting
the summer spill program in a manner consistent with a more precautionary implementation of
the RPA. The BiOp specifies the use of a biological trigger for determining when voluntary
summer spill will be terminated in August at the four Snake River projects (RPA Action 29 and
RPA Table 2); namely when collection numbers of subyearling Chinook fall below 300 fish per
day for three consecutive days at Snake River collector projects. In the event that collection
numbers exceed 500 fish per day for two consecutive days after spill termination, spill would
resume at that project until the 300 fish per day trigger was tripped again. Thus, under this
program spill could be terminated as early as August 1st, but no later than August 31st. The Fish
Accords modify the implementation of this requirement so the trigger is applied at each dam and
the cessation of spill progresses downstream as follows: spill at Little Goose ceases no earlier
than three days after cessation at Lower Granite, Lower Monumental ceases no earlier than three
days after Little Goose, and Ice Harbor ceases no earlier than two days after Lower Monumental.

To augment the summer spill program, the Agencies will develop an appropriate adult return
trigger that continues summer spill at the Snake River projects through August 31st, during the
subsequent juvenile outmigration. The Agencies will coordinate with the RIOG in developing
the trigger, to be in place for the 2010 juvenile fish migration. Using this trigger, low abundance
of naturally-produced Snake River fall Chinook in one year would trigger spill through August
31st at the Snake River projects the following year, regardless of the number of juveniles
collected.

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V. Adaptive Management: Transparency, Science Review & Reporting

The 2008 FCRPS RPA adopted the comprehensive program for collaboration with the RIOG
during implementation, including a dispute resolution process, as described in the 2007 BA. The
RIOG process will now be enhanced by independent science review. When needed, senior
technical teams will outline any elements in dispute, including the relevant scientific information
and the various viewpoints of the regional sovereigns. The RIOG will consider this information
and try to reach resolution. If unsuccessful, the RIOG may choose to frame-up questions about
the scientific information for the ISAB or the ISRP. The Action Agencies and NOAA Fisheries
will consider the results of the scientific review in collaboration with the RIOG. The federal
agency with authority will make the final decision.

VI. Summary & Conclusions

<placeholder>   
 

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One long term contingency action is a science driven study of breaching lower Snake
River Dam(s) in the event the status of a Snake River ESU1 is not responding to
Rapid Response Actions.

Breaching of lower Snake River dam(s) would require a significant investment of


resources and time, have major effects to the communities and environment, and
require national policy decisions (e.g., how mitigation for construction of dams would
be addressed). Additionally, consideration of any Long-term Contingency Action to
address a severe decline in the status of a Snake River ESU will also have to consider
the federal government’s Treaty and Trust responsibilities to Indian Tribes. Dam
breaching is a contingency of last resort, and any decision regarding dam breaching
must be driven by science.

Three primary reasons for considering breaching lower Snake River dam(s) as a long
term contingency of last resort are:

a) The status of the SR ESUs are improving and the BiOp concluded that breaching
is not necessary at this time to avoid jeopardy;

b) The understanding of global climate change and its effects on regional climate
conditions is not yet well understood. The potential effects of climate change on
the life cycle of salmon are new factors that were not considered when the Corps
completed a comprehensive analysis and report on Lower Snake River dam
breaching and other alternative actions in 2002; and,

c) The Administration’s recent independent science review of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp
noted uncertainty about the short-term negative biological effects of lower Snake
River dam breaching (construction, sediment, contaminants) that may impede the
estimated long-term benefits.

As one of the long term contingency actions, the Action Agencies will take the
following actions:

a) Begin immediately (and complete by 2012) development of “life-cycle model”


using existing and new data collected through the enhanced research, monitoring
and evaluation described in the AMIP. This new analytical tool will be used to
evaluate the short-term, transitional and long-term effects of dam breaching.

                                                            
1
An AMIP biological trigger for Rapid Response or Long-term Contingency actions is not applicable to
the Snake River sockeye salmon ESU as the 2008 FCRPS BiOp already addresses contingency actions,
including a specific captive broodstock program, for this ESU.

000171
b) Begin immediately and complete in six months a “Study Plan” for conducting
technical studies regarding breaching of lower Snake River dams. The Study Plan
would detail the scope, schedule and budget for re-evaluation of breaching the
lower Snake River dams, including but not limited to the following technical
studies:

aquatic ecosystem effects (e.g., resident fish, biological analysis of anadromous


fish utilizing life-cycle model and other additional relevant technical
evaluations.)

socio-economic effects (e.g., hydropower replacement, navigation, recreation,


etc.)

other environmental effects (sediment, water quality, air quality, etc.)

additional engineering analysis (turbine modification modeling, rock source


explorations for rip-rap, and additional modeling of the by-pass channel)

c) As discussed in the AMIP, if a biological trigger is tripped for a Snake River


ESU(s) and a determination is made based on an analysis to include life-cycle
modeling and an all-H diagnosis that the Rapid Response Actions are likely to be
insufficient, then the technical studies as scoped in the study plan would be
initiated if one of these three conditions applies:
the analysis2 identifies lower Snake River dam breaching as necessary to avoid
jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU; or,

the analysis is sufficiently inconclusive to identify what actions are necessary


to avoid jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU; or

the analysis is not completed within six months, with a completion goal of 4
months. Those technical studies would require approximately two years to
complete. The information from these studies, along with the results of the
life-cycle modeling, would be used to make a decision whether to complete an
overall evaluation study and Environmental Impact Statement. This overall
evaluation study/EIS would be used for the public decision making process to
determine whether to seek congressional authority to undertake dam
breaching.

                                                            
2
The goal is to have the all-H diagnosis, informed by the life-cycle modeling, identify the limiting factors
for the Snake River ESUs and potential actions to address those factors.

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Appendix 1
Obama Administration
Review & Court Guidance

DISCUSSION DRAFT 8/26/2009

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Appendix 1

The Court allowed the new administration of President Obama time to understand and become
more fully engaged in the complex issues presented by the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and RPA,
especially its adaptive management provisions. Using this time, the administration engaged in a
thorough and substantive review of the 2008 BiOp, the science on which it is based, and the
issues raised in the litigation. This understanding has been informed by the views of independent
scientists and has taken into consideration the suggestions of the Court in its May 18, 2009 letter
to counsel observing that the concept of adaptive management is flexible enough to allow for the
possible implementation of additional and/or modified mitigation actions within the adaptive
management structure of the BiOp’s RPA.

The purpose of this appendix is to detail the nature of the Obama administration’s efforts to fully
understand the BiOp, its underlying science and litigation issues, and to discuss the manner and
extent to which the plan going forward for implementing the BiOp (augmented by the AMIP)
addresses the suggestions made by the Court in its May 18 letter to counsel.

Obama Administration Review

As noted in the AMIP, the Court has allowed the administration of President Obama time to
more fully understand the 2008 BiOp.

During the time allowed, the new administration leadership – represented by NOAA
Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco for the Department of Commerce; Council on Environmental
Quality Chair, Nancy Sutley for the White House; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the
Army, Terrence “Rock” Salt for the Department of Defense; Associate Deputy Secretary, Laura
Davis for the Department of Interior; and Bonneville Power Administration Administrator Steve
Wright for the Department of Energy – engaged in a process involving a substantial and
thorough consideration of the 2008 BiOp, the available science on which it is based, and issues
raised by litigants and independent scientists and highlighted by Judge Redden’s May 18, 2009
letter.

After NOAA and each of the Action Agencies provided individualized briefings for their
respective new leadership, they organized two days, May 26 and 27, 2009, in the region to
enable the Administration to understand the 2008 BiOp, the scientific basis for the BiOp, and the
perspectives of the affected states and Indian tribes. Those who participated in these various
listening sessions are listed in Exhibit A to this Appendix.

On May 26, 2009, two listening sessions were held for Administration principals in Portland,
Oregon. One session invited regional technical personnel, many of whom participated in the
development of the BiOp’s RPA, served on recovery planning technical teams or otherwise have

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expertise with technical issues relevant to the BiOp. They included biologists from the affected
states, a biologist with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and scientists from the
Technical Recovery Teams and Independent Science Advisory Board [Exhibit A, Session 1]. To
encourage a broad discussion in this session, six questions were provided in advance to the
participants covering key topics [Exhibit B]. These participants were asked to provide their
individual views in answering one or more of these questions. The session lasted three and a half
hours.

At the second listening session, in the afternoon of May 26, representatives of four Pacific
Northwest states and eight Indian tribes participated in a three hour session [Exhibit A, Session
2]. These representatives were invited to provide an understanding of their interests in the BiOp
from a policy perspective. A facilitator, familiar with the issues, was hired by NOAA Fisheries
to guide the presentations and discussions in both sessions.

On May 27, the new administration principals spent the morning at Lower Monumental and Ice
Harbor dams, where they received a tour and briefings on dam operations by the Corps of
Engineers and NOAA Fisheries, including an opportunity to inspect a Removable Spillway Weir
(RSW) and fish passage and research facilities.

Also on May 27, in Seattle, Dr. Lubchenco and the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries
Science Center (NWFSC) hosted a series of conference calls with highly respected independent
and agency scientists (Exhibit A, Session 3) inviting their individual views relative to the six
questions that was the focus of the first session, Exhibit B. This session lasted an hour and a half
and included past and present members of the ISAB and the Recovery Science Review Panel.

Later, on June 25, 2009, the Department of Justice convened sessions in Washington, D.C. Dr.
Lubchenco, Laura Davis and representatives from the Council on Environmental Quality and the
Department of the Army heard from the National Wildlife Federation coalition of plaintiffs and,
later that day, from the various defendant interveners in the litigation [Exhibit A, Sessions 4 &
5]. These listening sessions lasted a combined total of three hours.

Following the three listening sessions on May 26 and 27, Dr. Lubchenco and the other federal
executives decided that it would be helpful in their efforts to fully understand the 2008 BiOp to
convene a workshop of some of these same independent expert scientists. In mid-June, NOAA
invited these scientists [Exhibit A, FCRPS Science Workshop] to a two day workshop on July 7
and 8, 2009, in Washington, D.C., and provided them the 2008 BiOp and supporting papers and
analyses used in its development (from the BiOp’s administrative record) for their consideration
in advance [Exhibit C]. At the opening of the workshop, the scientists were asked to focus their
attention on the science underlying the BiOp in five areas: the quality of the scientific analysis,
the effectiveness of RPA actions, the effectiveness of measures used to monitor the species’
status, the adequacy of the contingency measures, and the adequacy of the analysis of climate
change impacts on the species. The workshop then proceeded with presentations by NOAA

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Fisheries of the work underlying recovery planning and the specific analyses used in the 2008
BiOp, followed by discussion time among the independent scientists on the four areas identified.
At the end of the workshop, Dr. Lubchenco, Mr. Salt, Ms. Davis and a CEQ representative, as
well as the staffs of NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies developing this plan, heard these
scientists’ individual views in a one and a half hour session on July 8, 2009.

After the agencies had decided to develop a more precautionary implementation of the BiOp’s
RPA using its adaptive management provisions, they produced a number of short issue papers
covering the range of topics being addressed in what became the AMIP. NOAA requested that
the four scientists 1 who participated in the FCRPS Science Workshop review a few of the issue
papers pertaining to their expertise and provide their individual opinions of the approach being
considered. The scientists’ individual responses informed the approach taken in the AMIP.

As the broad outlines of the AMIP developed, the agencies recognized the benefit of seeking
guidance and input from the parties in the region most knowledgeable about the issues central to
the litigation. With the broad outlines of the AMIP identified, the agencies, primarily through
NOAA Fisheries and the Department of Justice, conducted individual briefings for defendant
intervenors (the States of Washington, Idaho and Montana, the Colville Indian Tribe and the
River Partner entities), as well as for the plaintiff parties (State of Oregon, the Nez Perce Indian
Tribe and the National Wildlife Federation coalition of environmental and sportsfishing groups).
For each of these briefings the need for a precautionary BiOp implementation and the elements
of the AMIP (RME, triggers, immediate and long term contingency actions, and measures
occurring immediately) were described. The federal agencies sought input from these parties
and, in some instances, received important ideas to consider.

Court Guidance: May 18, 2009, Letter

In the course of its review, as described above, the Obama Administration has carefully
considered the Court’s suggestions in its letter to the parties of May 18, 2009. In his letter Judge
Redden observed, and the United States agrees, that “that the concept of ‘adaptive management’
is flexible enough to allow us to implement additional and/or modified mitigation actions within
the structure of the existing BiOp.” In particular, the Court urged (at pp.2-3) that consideration
be given to implementing the following measures as part of the BiOp’s adaptive management
process:

 Committing additional funds to estuary and tributary habitat mitigation and evaluation;

 Identifying specific tributary and estuary habitat improvement projects beyond December
2009;

1
Insert the names of the four scientists here.

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 Developing a contingency plan to study specific, alternative hydro actions, such as flow
augmentation and/or reservoir draw downs, as well as what it will take to breach the lower
Snake River dams if all other measures fail;

 Committing additional flow to both the Columbia and Snake Rivers;

 Continuing ISAB’s recommended spring and summer spill operations throughout the life of
the BiOp;

 Providing periodic reports to the Court, and allowing for independent scientific oversight of
the tributary and estuary habitat mitigation actions.

The AMIP responds to a number of the suggestions in the Court’s letter, including independent
science review, monitoring to address certainty of biological benefits, and the development of
more robust contingencies. Details are provided in the sections below, presented in the order of
the above bullets. This Appendix also provides additional responses to the Court’s questions
regarding habitat and hydro actions which are called for by the RPA but do not require
implementation details in the AMIP.

1. Estuary and Tributary Habitat Projects

In response to the Court’s concerns and the Administration’s review process, and through RPA
implementation, the Action Agencies have: (1) entered into the Estuary MOA with the State of
Washington; (2) identified specific habitat projects for implementation in the post-2009 period;
(3) committed substantial funding for implementation of habitat projects; (4) identified specific
habitat implementation partners; and (5) identified specific points of scientific review during
habitat project selection. Together, these actions increase the certainty that habitat actions will
have the intended benefits for ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. In addition, the AMIP
incorporates a precautionary approach to implementation, ensuring rapid response actions in the
event that the effects of the RPA are less than predicted.

The Administration has reviewed the methodologies used to assess survival benefits from habitat
projects and believes they are sound and retain the needed flexibility to respond to evolving
scientific data, as well as implementation challenges and opportunities. In its review of the
Court’s concern regarding the method used to estimate benefits for habitat projects in the
estuary, the Administration particularly considered how the views of the NWFSC were
addressed. The Administration does not believe the views of NWFSC were ignored, and
concludes that the methodology is based upon the best available scientific data, recognizing that
quantitative data are currently limited. The Administration has concluded the best means for
addressing this uncertainty is not to disregard habitat improvement opportunities, but rather
through improved RM&E and contingency planning which is described in detail in the AMIP.

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The Action Agencies have committed a significant amount of funding to estuary and tributary
habitat projects to fulfill their obligations under the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, roughly doubling that
under the 2000 BiOp. The Action Agencies have added to this increased funding through
adoption of the Columbia Basin Fish Accords, which commit over $900 million during the
2008- 2017 period, the majority of which is dedicated to ESA-listed salmon and steelhead
affected by the FCRPS. In addition, after hearing the Court’s concerns expressed at the March 6,
2009 status hearing, the Action Agencies negotiated with the State of Washington to secure the
Estuary MOA, adding an additional $40.5 million to support implementation of on-the-ground
estuary habitat projects. These commitments yield certainty with respect to implementation both
from a funding standpoint, as well as identification of projects (in the case of the Columbia Basin
Fish Accords and the Estuary MOA through 2018). The project selection process for FCRPS
BiOp implementation (which includes scientific scrutiny of all projects including those specified
in the Accords and the Estuary MOA) is designed to ensure that the best available science is used
to determine the biological value of habitat improvements to salmon and steelhead.

Estuary Habitat – Funding Sources

There are three sources of funding for habitat actions in the estuary:

(1) The Estuary MOA provides $40.5 million for on-the-ground habitat actions. Through this
Agreement, twenty-one new projects have been identified for implementation through 2017
(see Estuary MOA habitat table).

(2) In addition to the Estuary MOA, BPA is funding $35 million ($3.5 million annually) in on-
the-ground estuary habitat projects through 2017 for FCRPS BiOp implementation through
the NPCC Fish and Wildlife Program.

(3) The Corps funds estuary habitat projects through its various authorities i. In addition to the
Estuary MOA, the Corps is anticipating funding approximately $2 million per year in on-the-
ground estuary habitat projects through 2017.

Estuary Habitat – Project Selection and Science Review

Project selection in the estuary occurs in three ways, each of which incorporates independent Deleted: rigorous

scientific review and information gathered through ongoing research, monitoring and evaluation
to refine project selection. The Corps’ and BPA’s identification and selection of habitat
restoration projects are linked to a growing body of estuary science being developed by the
NWFSC, Corps, University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, the States
of Washington and Oregon, among others (Attachment 3 – BPA and Corps Funded Estuary
Habitat Projects 2007-2009).

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(1) The Estuary MOA’s projects have been preliminarily assessed for biological benefit by
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife using the method specified in the 2008 FCRPS
Biological Opinion. As these projects are designed and prior to implementation, the projects
will be submitted to the NPCC’s ISRP for a thorough independent science review. In
addition, each project will be assessed by a regional expert technical group (expert panel)
assembled in accordance with RPA action 37 to determine associated biological benefits.

(2) BPA selects projects through the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program utilizing both
the ISRP’s independent science review and the RPA action 37 expert panel process for
assessing scientific rigor and associated biological benefits. These processes incorporate
results of ongoing RM&E. BPA is currently conducting review processes with these entities
for projects to be implemented in the 2010 – 2012 period (see Attachment 4 – Estuary
Habitat Projects 2010-2012).

(3) The Corps selects projects through its Section 536 WRDA 2000 program targeting ecosystem
restoration in the estuary. This program requires a cost sharing partner who provides a 35%
cost-share match, although projects on federal lands are 100% federally funded. Project
selection includes coordination through the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
science workgroup. In accordance with RPA 37, a regional expert technical group assesses Deleted: group is utilized to determine
specific project biological benefits. Furthermore, Corps policy requires the development of a Deleted: associated
feasibility report that addresses expected benefits and all actions will comply with National Deleted: undergo
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the ESA. Deleted: ndangered Species Act
review.

Estuary Habitat Benefit Assessment – Method and Verification of Benefits

The Court expressed concern regarding the method used to estimate benefits for habitat projects
in the estuary and in particular how the view of the NWFSC was considered in development and
application of the benefits assessment method for estuary habitat action.

The Administration evaluated the concern about the method used to estimate benefits, as
previously explained in (cite memo), NOAA Fisheries reasoned that the years 2000 to 2006 were
the developmental phase for estuary restoration. The early projects did not have the benefit of
the increase in knowledge that occurred as more and more projects were implemented. Based on
this learning curve, both the selection process and project criteria for the estuary projects were
revised, resulting in higher standards which now guide estuary habitat project development and
implementation. Because future projects will be selected using the improved habitat selection
criteria and strategies used for the 2007 to 2009 projects NOAA Fisheries is confident that they
will yield greater habitat benefits for salmon than did the first projects in the 2000 to 2006 period
and that the “best available scientific information” will inform the assessment of projects under
the BiOp. NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies determined that the projects implemented
for the RPA will be more like the 2007 to 2009 projects and therefore achievement of the

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commitment for survival improvement over the ten year implementation of the RPA is
reasonable. This is especially true because NOAA Fisheries expects this learning curve to
continue to improve the quality and effectiveness of the projects as the best available science
improves.

The Administration also evaluated the concern expressed by the Court that NOAA’s “…own
scientists have concluded that many of the proposed estuary mitigation measures (and the
assumed benefits) are unsupported by scientific literature.” While the NWFSC did initially send
a memorandum to NOAA Fisheries critiquing the element of the Lower Columbia River
Recovery Plan that is known as the draft “estuary module,” a distinction should be made between
that critique and the benefits methodology that was under development through the Court
ordered regional collaboration process. The NWFSC enlisted the help of the ISAB to review the
estuary module. In that review, the ISAB commented that the estuary module should not be
couched as a “scientific document” because it did not rely on primary literature sources. The
module was instead a synthesis of the best available science incorporating three secondary
sources of information (each of which contained primary literature sources). This term of art
“scientific document” refers to the nature of the source cited but has been understandably
misinterpreted by many to be a criticism of the scientific validity of the module. As the estuary
module nears completion this fall, the drafters have received comment from not only the ISAB,
but also the State of Oregon, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal fish Commission, the City of
Portland and the public. All of these comments will be incorporated or addressed in the final
module.

The NWFSC has assisted in the development of the program to assess habitat benefits for estuary
actions through the expert panel convened in accordance with RPA action 37. Acknowledging
that a variety of methods could be used to assess benefits, the NWFSC is actively engaged, with
the Agencies and other regional parties, in applying the method adopted in the 2008 FCRPS
BiOp refined by RM&E results. RPA action 37 anticipates this refinement – “FCRPS RM&E
results will actively inform the relationship between actions, estuary habitat change and salmon
productivity and new scientific information will be applied to estimate benefits for future
implementation.” NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies value the NWFSC’s involvement to
ensure this program is guided by sound science.

The Action Agencies has been funding research in the lower Columbia River and estuary to
better understand the use of, and potential benefits to, juvenile salmon from different types of
shallow water habitats. This research is designed to assess specific benefits from individual
restoration sites, and the cumulative response to multiple individual restoration projects to the
ecosystem as a whole. The agencies have also been studying the effects of differing biological
and physical parameters, (temperature, salinity, nutrients, prey species, predators, etc.) within the
estuary and plume on juvenile salmon migration timing and survival and associated adult return
rates.

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The intent of RME efforts in the estuary is to provide data and information to evaluate progress
toward meeting program goals and objectives, and support decision-making in the estuary for
actions being taken by the Action Agencies and regional partners. An adaptive management
process will be utilized to identify RM&E efforts and habitat actions. RPA action 37 establishes
an expert regional technical group to support and guide these actions.

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Tributary Habitat – Funding Sources and Project Selection

The Action Agencies provide significant funding and technical assistance to implement tributary
habitat improvement actions. There are three sources of Action Agency funding for habitat
actions in the tributaries:

(1) BPA provides tributary habitat funding through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords to support
and enhance the actions identified in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and the Columbia Basin Fish
and Wildlife Program. In the case of the tribal accords, they also acknowledge the Action
Agency’s trust and treaty relationships with the tribes. The Accords commit over $900
million over the 2008-2017 period, a significant portion of which is dedicated to projects that
improve the quality of tributary habitat used by ESA listed salmon and steelhead. Habitat
projects have been identified and implementation partners secured by the Accord parties
through 2017.

(2) BPA also provides funding through the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program to
support the 2008 FCRPS BiOp tributary habitat commitments. BPA now budgets more than
$40 million annually for projects that improve the quality of tributary habitat used by ESA
listed salmon and steelhead. It should be noted that there is overlap in funding between the
Fish and Wildlife Program and the Columbia Basin Fish Accords.

(3) Reclamation currently invests more than $6 million per year in technical assistance through
partnerships that contribute to on-the-ground habitat improvement projects. In addition,
Reclamation received $1.9 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for
FCRPS RPA habitat improvement projects.

In addition to the Action Agencies’ extensive tributary habitat program, there are a number of
other significant federally funded habitat programs that benefit listed salmon and steelhead and
assist in recovery of the species. This is noted for context only – the Action Agencies’
obligations to achieve tributary habitat benefits are not reduced by these other funding sources.
For example, NOAA Fisheries oversees the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF),
which during 2007 and 2008 contributed over 9.5 and 8.7 million dollars, respectively, toward
habitat protection and restoration in the Columbia Basin. Expenditures of over $11 million are
expected for the 2009 funding cycle (see Attachment 9 PCSRF Funding). The USFWS
contributed over 2.2 million dollars during 2007-2009 for Columbia River Basin habitat
conservation projects (see Attachment 10 FWS Columbia River Basin Habitat Conservation
Funding).

The Action Agencies are actively implementing the extensive program of tributary habitat
actions called for in the 2008 FCRPS RPA. Projects for the 2007-2009 implementation cycle
that were specifically identified in the 2007 FCRPS BA are now either completed, being

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implemented, or being replaced by more feasible projects. (Attachment 1 – BPA Funded


Tributary Habitat Projects 2007-2009; Attachment 2 – Reclamation Technical Assistance for
Tributary Habitat Projects 2007-2009).

Tributary Habitat – Project Selection and Scientific Review

Tributary habitat projects slated for implementation after 2009 have also been identified. Project
selection in the tributaries occurs in three ways, each of which incorporates rigorous independent
scientific review and information gathered through ongoing research, monitoring and evaluation.

(1) Consistent with RPA action 35, tributary expert panels comprised of state, tribal and federal
specialists familiar with local condition are regularly convened by the Action Agencies. The
expert panels identify specific habitat actions implemented or available for implementation,
evaluate the limiting factors addressed, and estimate the associated habitat improvements.

In 2009 these panels were convened for populations listed in RPA Action 35. The panels
evaluated the habitat improvements estimated from 2007-2009 implementation and estimated
habitat improvement from projects identified for 2010-2012 implementation. The
information from these panels is being assessed and will inform the Action Agencies’ 2010-
2012 habitat implementation funding decisions (Attachment 8). Consistent with RPA Action
35, the expert panels will be reconvened in 3-year cycles to identify projects for the
remaining implementation periods of the BiOp. Projects selected for BPA funding either
have or will undergo scientific review by the ISRP (Attachment 5 – BPA funded Tributary
Habitat Projects 2010-2012).

(2) Tributary habitat actions funded under the Accords are linked to biological benefits based on
limiting factors for ESA-listed fish, consistent with recovery plans and subbasin plans now
included in the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. In the areas where expert panels
are convened, the habitat projects advanced under the Accords will be reviewed by the
habitat expert panels to confirm habitat improvements and survival estimates. In addition,
projects will be reviewed for scientific rigor by the ISRP (Attachment 7 – BPA Funded
Tributary Habitat Projects 2013-2017).

Most actions implemented with Reclamation technical assistance (Attachment 6 – Reclamation


Technical Assistance for Tributary Habitat Projects 2010-2012) are also funded by BPA and
therefore undergo ISRP review. Reclamation also provides technical assistance for a small
number of actions that receive implementation funding solely from other sources. Actions
funded through the Washington Salmon Recovery funding Board receive scientific review from
the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board Regional Technical Team. Actions funded
through the Idaho Office of Species Conservation receive scientific review through the Pacific
Coast salmon Recovery fund implementation program.

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The independent science reviews and assessment common to all of these project selection
processes are designed to ensure that the most knowledgeable experts are reviewing potential
projects for their the biological value to salmon and steelhead and incorporating the results of
RM&E in that process. These RME&E activities, implemented under the 2008 FCRPS RPA
actions 56 & 57, involve status and trend monitoring to improve the general understanding of
productivity and abundance for specific salmon and steelhead populations, and effectiveness
monitoring to better quantify the biological value of tributary habitat projects for improving the
habitat quality and survival of salmon and steelhead populations. For example, specific
scientific investigations in six tributary subbasins, called Intensively Monitored Watersheds
(IMWs), aim to contribute empirical information that ultimately can be used to inform the
tributary habitat survival estimates developed through the collaboration process.

Tributary Habitat Benefit Assessment – Method and Verification of Benefits

The Court expressed concern regarding the method used to assign benefits to tributary habitat
actions. As noted above, tributary actions have now been specified for the 2010-2012 period
through the NPCC Fish and Wildlife Program. Tributary habitat actions in the Columbia Basin
Fish Accords have been specified through the term of the BiOp. Tributary habitat actions
resulting from the expert panel process for BPA and Reclamation 2010-2012 implementation
will be selected by December 2009. With respect to the method developed through the regional
collaboration to assess benefits of tributary habitat actions, as noted in various Parties court
filings, the majority of tribal, state, and federal scientists involved in the collaboration support
the method adopted in the Biological Opinion.

The group agreed to base the methodology on an egg-to-smolt survival relationship associated
with specific changes in habitat condition as a reasonable way (refined by future RM&E) to
value the benefit of tributary habitat actions for salmon and steelhead. There are studies reported
in the scientific literature that show habitat benefits that are associated with habitat
restoration/rehabilitation actions, and in some cases detecting increasing local fish abundance
(e.g., see Bayley 2002; Roni et al. 2008). However, there is very little published information that
demonstrates the effects of site-specific habitat actions on egg-to-smolt survival at the population
scale. Few studies have shown increases in survival as a result of habitat actions. For example,
Paulsen and Fisher (2005) found that larger numbers of habitat rehabilitation actions were
associated with higher parr-to-smolt survival of endangered wild Snake River spring/summer
Chinook populations. The same authors extended their analyses through the adult stage and
found that smolt-to-adult survival was also higher in these populations (Paulsen and Fisher, in
review). These studies demonstrate that it is possible to improve survival at the population scale
with the implementation of habitat rehabilitation actions.

The group also realized that the best available scientific information is held by local biologists,
who have the best understanding of local watershed processes, habitat conditions, limiting
factors, and restoration/rehabilitation plans for their respective areas. Many of the local biologists

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who participate in providing information in the remand collaboration are part of the expert panel
review and selection process. In addition, in order to submit successful proposals for Action
Agency funding, biologists need to identify and describe the condition of the limiting habitat
factors they intend to improve. They must also estimate the potential benefits associated with
their proposed action.

2. Contingency Plans

The Administration agrees that further definition and clarification of the contingency plan
identified in the 2008 BiOp is warranted and has spent considerable time enhancing the plan that
is presented in the AMIP.

The Court has inquired whether implementation of the 2008 BiOp would include enhanced
contingency plans “to study specific, alternative hydro actions, such as flow augmentation and/or
reservoir drawdowns, as well as what it will take to breach the lower Snake River dams if all
other measures fail.” Although great care has been taken in developing these contingency plans
the Administration believes the implementation will be highly unlikely as the analysis in the
BiOp is sound. Improving averages of adult returns are consistent with these findings.
Therefore, the Administration disagrees with the general assessment that certain stocks “are on
the brink of extinction.” However, the Administration shares the concerns of the Court,
acknowledging the need to protect the species in the event of severe declines. The uncertainty
surrounding the impacts of climate change compounds the inherent uncertainty in predicting
negative environmental factors such as natural disasters or disease. Recognizing these
uncertainties, the Administration has decided to take a more precautionary approach in
implementing the adaptive management provisions of the RPA. Utilizing the existing adaptive
management provisions in the BiOp, NOAA Fisheries and the Action Agencies developed the
AMIP to provide further definition and specificity to those processes.
The 2008 BiOp RPA incorporates adaptive management to respond to results of new research
and scientific information on fish survival. The adaptive management provisions incorporated
into the BiOp was an outgrowth of the remand collaboration process directed by the Court. The
provisions provide accountability for results in a number of ways: specific hydro and habitat
performance standards, an extensive research and monitoring program, a transparent process for
annual progress reporting to the region, and full involvement of the sovereigns’ RIOG. It also
includes a contingency plan process to address severe declines in the abundance trends or
productivity of listed fish. Developed through the remand collaboration process, the contingency
plan includes biological triggers at the species level and an “All H Diagnosis” to determine
appropriate contingency actions.
As part of the Administration’s review of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, the independent scientists
suggested a refinement of the BiOp’s adaptive management and contingency planning processes
could provide additional certainty that the BiOp is implemented in a precautionary manner. The
AMIP details the refinements of the Adaptive Management and Contingency Planning Processes
and includes the following key elements:

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▪ Biological Triggers: The adaptive management provisions in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and the
2007 BA establishes contingency planning if fish abundance and productivity are decreasing
at the time of the 2013 and 2016 Comprehensive Evaluations. As described in the 2007
FCRPS BA, decreasing abundance in 30 to 50% of an ESU’s populations (as indicated by
evaluations of R/S, Lambda, etc. as part of the evaluation of productivity, biological, and
environmental metrics), would initiate an All-H diagnosis to address the appropriate limiting
factors.
The biological triggers have been expanded to be sensitive to 1) severe declines in adult
abundance and 2) natural disasters in combination with preliminary abundance indicators. A
Severe Fish Decline trigger has been added that would automatically result in
implementation of Rapid Response Actions. In addition, an early warning of such a future
fish decline would trigger closer scrutiny of available science information. Early Warnings
might occur through a combination of fish status and natural disasters, such as forest fires
and volcanic eruption. If the decline is projected to be of sufficient magnitude, Early
Warning triggers may result in implementation of appropriate Rapid Response actions.
▪ Rapid Response Actions: Potential Rapid Response Actions have been identified that
maybe implemented immediately (within less than 12 months) in the event that the Severe
Decline trigger is tripped. Rapid Response Actions will be targeted to the
ESU/MPG/population of concern.
▪ Long-Term Contingency Plans: A menu of potential long-term contingency actions have
been identified and will be refined over time with RIOG. A study plan and implementation
milestones for each long-term contingency will be developed by 2012. “Long-Term
Contingency” actions are items that will take more than 12 months to implement, and that
will be implemented in the event that Rapid Response actions prove insufficient.
The Court specifically asked “what it will take to breach the lower Snake River dams if all other
measures fail.” One long term contingency action is a science driven study of breaching lower
Snake River Dam(s). The Action Agencies will take the following actions:

(1) Begin immediately (and complete by 2012) to develop a "life-cycle model” as described in
III A of the AMIP. This model will incorporate a module to evaluate the short-term,
transitional and long-term effects of dam breaching.

(2) Begin immediately and complete in six months a "Study Plan" which will detail the scope,
schedule and budget for re-evaluation of breaching the lower Snake River dams, including
but not limited to the following technical studies: aquatic ecosystem effects, socio-economic
effects, other environmental effects (sediment, water quality, etc.), and additional
engineering analysis.

(3) As discussed in the AMIP, if a biological trigger is tripped for a Snake River ESU(s) and a
determination is made that the Rapid Response Actions are likely to be insufficient, then the
technical studies as scoped in the study plan will be initiated if one of these three conditions

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applies: (1) the analysis 2 identifies lower Snake River dam breaching as necessary to avoid
jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU; or, (2) the analysis is sufficiently inconclusive
to identify what actions are necessary to avoid jeopardy to the applicable Snake River ESU;
or (3) the analysis is not completed within six months, with a completion goal of 4 months.
Those technical studies will require approximately two years to complete. The information
from these studies, along with the results of the life-cycle modeling, will be used to make a
decision whether to complete an overall evaluation study and Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS). This overall evaluation study/EIS will be used for the public decision
making process to determine whether to seek congressional authority to breach the dam(s).

We believe this provides the robust contingency plan the Court is seeking.

3. Additional flow

The Court has inquired whether the Action Agencies could, through adaptive management,
commit additional flow to both the Columbia and the Snake rivers. The Administration supports
the flow provisions of the 2008 RPA as implemented through the AMIP and believes they are
adequate to protect listed species. The flow regime developed in the 2008 FCRPS RPA reflects
a system constrained by limited storage and must be managed on a yearly basis taking into
account that year’s forecasted water supply. The RPA recognizes that operations need to be
tailored in-season to best utilize that year’s water conditions and that considerable flow
augmentation is secured annually to improve juvenile salmon passage. Adaptively managing
operations to utilize storage projects to provide cooler water temperatures addresses the most
pressing concern during the summer migration season. The 2008 FCRPS BiOp found this flow
regime to be sufficiently protective of the species. However, the 2008 RPA does commit the
Action Agencies to undertake actions under their control to maximize the limited storage
capacities for the benefit of listed fish, including optimizing U.S. storage project operations, the
development of dry year strategies to lessen the impact of any low runoff years on listed fish, and
improved volume forecasting which may increase forecast reliability and address potential
climate change impacts.

The commitment in the 2008 RPA (Action 4) is to manage the Columbia Basin’s limited storage
capacity to benefit fish survival. Key actions being taken under the BiOp to provide flows for
listed fish include:

2
The goal is to have the All-H diagnosis, informed by the life-cycle modeling, identify the limiting factors for the
Snake River ESUs and potential actions to address those factors.

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Upper Snake Flows

In accordance with the Upper Snake BiOp, Reclamation provides up to 487 kaf from the upper
Snake River above Lower Granite Dam. The Nez Perce Settlement specifies that water will be
provided from willing sellers and in accordance with State water law. Reclamation provided the
maximum volume identified in the current Opinion as well as previous Upper Snake Biological
Opinions in 13 of the last 17 years including 2009. Since 2006, when the Nez Perce settlement
was first implemented, 487 kaf has been the maximum objective. The full volume of 487 KAF
was provided in 2006, 2008, and again in 2009. In 2007, a total of 428,425 acre-feet was
provided, which is the maximum volume targeted for years with poor water supply conditions as
existed in 2007. A total of 1.889 million acre-feet have been provided for the four year period,
out of a maximum volume identified of 1.948 million acre-feet, or 97%. In addition to
increasing the objective to 487,000 acre-feet, the Nez Perce Settlement also increased the
probability of delivering at least 427,000 acre-feet. Thus, the Upper Snake flow augmentation
program has been successful at securing water for salmon; there is every reason to believe this
program will continue to perform well.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has indicated in its EIS on the relicensing
of the Idaho Power Company’s (IPC) Hells Canyon Complex, that it will require IPC to provide
237 kaf from Brownlee Reservoir each summer. The IPC has voluntarily contributed 237 kaf
each summer since 2005.

IPC has also agreed, consistent with Idaho state law protecting flow augmentation water through
the state, to pass upper Snake flow augmentation through its Hells Canyon Reservoirs. FERC is
also including a requirement for IPC to maintain Brownlee Reservoir within 1 foot of the
minimum elevations necessary to meet its April 15 and April 30 flood control requirements –
ensuring that the volume of water necessary to refill the project is minimized in each year.
During the summer period, IPC must draft Brownlee Reservoir to elevation 2059 feet by August
7 of each year, and cannot refill above this elevation through August 31 – eliminating any
potential for intercepting Reclamation water deliveries in July and August.

Optimizing Storage Project Operations

The Action Agencies working with regional salmon managers throughout the migration season
in the Technical Management Team (TMT) make decisions for optimizing U.S. storage project
(Libby, Hungry Horse, Albeni Falls, Grand Coulee, and Dworshak) operations for the benefit of
ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. The most current water supply conditions and fish migration
information are considered in making decisions to provide the best flow and temperature
conditions for migrating juvenile and adult fish. Regionally vetted releases from Dworshak Dam
are an example of managing flow and temperature conditions for out-migrating juveniles and
returning adults, while also considering river temperature effects on the production at the

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Dworshak hatchery downstream from the dam. Additional assurance that Dworshak operations
are optimized for the benefit of fish is provided through the Memorandum of Agreement
between the Corps, BPA, NOAA Fisheries and the Nez Perce Tribe.

Columbia River Treaty and Non-Treaty Storage

The Corps and BPA negotiate annual agreements with Canada to provide 1 maf of Treaty space
storage by April 15 each year to provide the greatest flexibility possible for releasing water at
critical times in May through July to benefit ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. These
agreements have been executed every year since 1994, with an exception of 1997, a very high
flow year, when Canadian storage was not required for U.S. fisheries flow augmentation.

Dry Water Year Flow Strategies

The Action Agencies are working with the region to develop strategies (operating guidelines) to
lessen impact of low runoff to ESA-listed salmon and steelhead during dry water years. This is
for the low runoff years defined as the lowest 20th percentile years based on the Northwest River
Forecast Center’s (NWRFC) averages for their statistical period of record (currently 1971 to
2000) using the May final water supply forecast for the April to August period as measured at
The Dalles. An investigation of dry water year operations is also a commitment made in the Fish
Accord with the Confederated Tribe of the Colville Nation.

Improved Volume Forecasting and Climate Change Considerations

The Action Agencies initiated annual performance reviews of the current tools used to develop
seasonal volume forecasts and continue to consider experimental and developing/emerging
technologies and procedures that may help to reduce forecast error and improve forecast
reliability to ensure upper rule curve elevations are met with more consistency. The net result of
these actions may serve to provide improved spring flows for listed salmon and steelhead. In
addition, the Action Agencies are working collaboratively with other agencies and research
institutions to investigate the impacts of possible climate change scenarios to the Pacific
Northwest and listed salmon and steelhead.

4. Spring & Summer Spill

The Administration supports the approach in the BiOp that uses a transportation strategy to
provide greater protection for SR steelhead as recommended by NOAA scientists, but uses an
adaptive management approach that responds to the 2008 ISAB report. Based on the data
(returns from the 1998-2003 outmigration), it is clear that both SR steelhead and to a lesser
extent SR spring/summer Chinook salmon are likely to return at higher rates if they are
transported in mid- to late-May rather than left to migrate in-river.

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The Administration also reviewed the summer spill approach in the BiOp and believes it
provides appropriate protection for listed species by spilling in August until there are very small
numbers of migrating SR fall chinook. However, the Administration, consistent with a more
precautionary approach will develop, through collaboration, an adult return trigger. If naturally
produced fall Chinook adult returns fall below the trigger, summer spill will continue through
August 31 in the following year to provide additional protection for those outmigrants.

The Court requested whether spring and summer spill operations could be set in accordance with
recent Court-ordered operations instead of as set forth in the 2008 RPA. Because the best
passage results vary by species and dam, the RPA does not lock these operations in place for ten
years, but rather calls for spill, bypass, and transport to be adaptively managed on an annual
basis. These operations will be based on the best available data, including recent returns as well
as biological studies designed to identify the operations which meet the RPA’s performance
standards. Under the RPA, spill operations are based not on spill volumes but on achievement of
biological performance standards – 96% dam survival for spring migrants/ 93% for summer
migrants. More spill can even be worse for fish survival depending on the dam in question, the
installation of effective RSWs, and timing. In making decisions about spill, NOAA Fisheries’
and the Action Agencies’ primary reference point is the best available biological data.

Spring Spill/Transport

Under the RPA, the decision whether to spill or transport is also based upon biological data –
which passage method provides the best survival of returning adult fish. Spill reductions in early
May are no exception – the RPA’s emphasis on transport from May 7-20 was driven by the best
available scientific information. NOAA Fisheries clearly described the adult return rates for
Snake River steelhead and Chinook salmon which formed the basis for terminating spill from
May 7-20 at the Snake River collector projects. This information clearly shows return rates
consistently higher for transported fish during that time, ranging as high as 14% higher (Please
see the Hydro Modeling Appendix of the Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis for more
information).

NOAA Fisheries’ interpretation of recent data was supported by the ISAB (Snake River Spill-
Transport Review, 2008-5). However, the ISAB recommended gaining additional information to
determine if these patterns might be changed in the future as a result of recent improvements to
the hydrosystem (and because of concerns about potential impacts of increased stray rates of
Mid-Columbia River steelhead populations and potential effects on Snake River sockeye). After
consultation with RIOG parties, NOAA Fisheries recommended that spill at the three transport
projects—the only spill operations curtailed in the Opinion—continue through the spring period
in 2009 and that data from previous years be assessed and discussed with the RIOG parties
annually to inform transport/spill operation decisions in each subsequent year (Graves 2nd
Declaration, Dec. 2008).

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Summer Spill

NOAA Fisheries clearly described the status of the species (which is strong enough to support
adult harvest rates of approximately 40%) and why terminating spill at the four Snake River
projects in August (when extremely low numbers of juveniles are present) adequately protects
this ESU (Opinion, Section 8.2 and RPA action 29, Table 2). The ISAB review of spring
transport /spill operations did not address summer spill. The BiOp specifies the use of a
biological trigger for determining when voluntary summer spill will be terminated in August at
the four Snake River projects (see RPA action 29 and RPA Table 2); namely, when fish
collection numbers of sub-yearling Chinook fall below 300 fish per day for three consecutive
days at Snake River collector projects. In the event that collection numbers exceed 500 fish per
day for two consecutive days after spill termination, spill will resume until the 300 fish per day
trigger is tripped again. Thus, under this program spill could be terminated as early as August 1,
but no later than August 31. The Fish Accords modify the implementation of this requirement so
the trigger is applied at each dam and the cessation of spill progresses downstream so that spill
ceases at Little Goose no earlier than three days after cessation at Lower Granite, Lower
Monumental ceases no earlier than three days after Little Goose and Ice Harbor ceases no earlier
than two days after Lower Monumental. Like the spring spill program, the summer spill regime
will be adaptively managed consistent with a more precautionary approach. The agencies will
develop through regional collaboration, an appropriate adult return trigger to continue summer
spill at the Snake River projects through August 31 in the following year. The agencies will
coordinate with the RIOG in developing the trigger so that it will be in place for the 2010
juvenile fish migration. Using this trigger, low abundance of naturally produced adult Snake
River fall Chinook in one year would trigger spill through August 31st for the Snake River
projects for the following year regardless of the number of juveniles collected.

5. Oversight of RPA Implementation

The Administration believes the 2008 BiOp provides extensive opportunities for regional
oversight of the implementation activities. The Administration is committed to having significant
scientific issues in dispute within the RIOG reviewed by the ISAB, consistent with the now-
developed RIOG guidelines. However, the Administration does not support continuing court
jurisdiction as it has found this BiOp as implemented through the AMIP is legally and
biologically sound.

The Court suggested that the federal agencies provide periodic reports to the Court and allow for
independent scientific oversight of the tributary and estuary habitat mitigation actions. As
explained above, independent scientists not only have oversight of these actions, but are
significantly involved in the project selection process, both in the expert panel processes and the
ISRP review. Furthermore, transparency and oversight by the collaboration sovereigns are part of
the implementation framework for all issues, not just habitat projects. Annual progress reports
and implementation plans will be reviewed with the RIOG, as well as the comprehensive

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evaluations in 2013 and 2016. These reports and plans will all be available to the public at
www.salmonrecovery.gov.

Progress Reports: Each fall, the Action Agencies will prepare and discuss annual progress
reports with the RIOG, including progress on specific performance standards and targets and
progress on implementation of the RPA.

Adaptive Management: As new data and information become available from the extensive
monitoring and new life-cycle analysis, that information will also be included in the annual
progress report and vetted with the RIOG technical and senior technical teams, made up of
regional scientists and experts. As discussed in the climate section of this plan, annual progress
reports will include a survey of any new climate change studies, scientific papers and/or
modeling work relevant to BiOp implementation and fish status.

Potential adjustments to RPA actions will be discussed by the various senior technical teams
along with specific recommendations for adaptations to the RIOG. RIOG senior policy
representatives will further discuss adaptive measures so that they may be captured in upcoming
implementation plans. The RIOG has already developed initial operating guidelines to ensure
transparency throughout this adaptive management process.

Implementation Plans: Each year, the annual water management and fish passage plans will be
developed collaboratively with the technical and policy teams of the RIOG. Implementation
plans covering habitat and hatchery actions also will be developed through the respective RIOG
technical and policy teams.

Dispute Resolution and Independent Science Review: The Action Agencies have set up a
comprehensive program for collaboration with the RIOG during implementation, including a
dispute resolution process, including independent science review. When needed, senior technical
teams will outline any elements in dispute, including the relevant scientific information and the
various perspectives of the regional sovereigns. These will be presented to the ISAB, IRSP, or
appropriate entity.

For policy issues and disputes, the RIOG may also seek an opportunity for public input. If so,
timely notice and relevant materials will be made available to the public.

If resolution is not achieved within the RIOG process, a RIOG member may appeal the matter to
the regional federal executives, who will make a final decision, taking into account the RIOG's
recommendations.

Since adoption of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp, the RIOG has met a number of times and has
developed initial operating guidelines. The RIOG is currently considering staffing for its
supporting senior technical teams.

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6. Conclusion

The Administration completed a comprehensive review of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and RPA in
the context of the Court’s guidance. As a result of that review, the Administration developed the
AMIP to insure that on-the-shelf actions are available if the ESA-listed species do not respond as
predicted in the BiOp which provides the robust contingency plan the Court was seeking.

The Administration has concluded that, as implemented through the AMIP, the BiOp and its
RPA are biologically and legally sound, based on the best available scientific information, and
satisfy the ESA jeopardy standard, that is, the effects of the operation of the FCRPS are neither
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the listed species (i.e., combined with the effects
of the environmental baseline and cumulative effects the species are expected to survive with an
adequate potential for recovery) nor destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat.

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Exhibit A – Participant Lists

May 26, 2009 - FCRPS Listening Session 1


Double Tree Hotel, Portland, Oregon

Bruce Rieman US Forest Service, retired


Casey Baldwin Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Interior Columbia Technical
Recovery Team
Don Campton US Fish & Wildlife Service
Howard Schaller US Fish & Wildlife Service, Interior Columbia Technical Recovery
Team
John Williams NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Kim Kratz NOAA Northwest Region
Margaret Filardo Fish Passage Center
Mary Power University of California, Berkeley
Michelle McClure NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Nancy Huntley Independent Scientific Advisory Board
Pete Hassemer Idaho Department of Fish & Game, Interior Columbia Technical
Recovery Team
Rich Alldredge Independent Scientific Advisory Board
Rich Carmichael Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Interior Columbia Technical
Recovery Team
Rich Zabel NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Richard Hinrichsen Consultant
Ritchie Graves NOAA Northwest Region
Rob Walton NOAA Northwest Region
Rock Peters US Army Corps of Engineers
Tom Cooney NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Interior Columbia Technical
Recovery Team
Tom Lorz Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
Tom Poe Independent Scientific Advisory Board

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May 26, 2009 - FCRPS Listening Session 2


Double Tree Hotel, Portland, Oregon

Mike Carrier Governor’s Natural Resources Director, Oregon


Ed Bowles Administrator, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon
Bob Nichols Governor’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, Washington
Guy Norman SW Washington Fish and Wildlife Director, Washington
Bruce Measure Northwest Power Planning Council, Montana
Rhonda Whiting Northwest Power Planning Council, Montana
Brad Little Lieutenant Governor, Idaho
W. Bill Booth Chairman, Northwest Power Planning Council, Idaho
Rebecca Miles Councilwoman and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
Commissioner, Nez Perce Tribe
Dave Cummings Attorney, Nez Perce Tribe
Fidelia Andy Councilwoman and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
Commissioner, Yakama Nation
Antone Minthorn Chairman, Umatilla Tribes
Kat Brigham Councilwoman and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
Chairwoman, Umatilla Tribes
Ron Suppah Chairman, Warm Springs Tribes
John Ogan Attorney, Warm Springs Tribes
Mike Finley Vice Chairman, Colville Tribes
John Arum Attorney, Colville Tribes
Matt Wynn Councilman, Spokane Tribe
Howard Funke Attorney, Spokane Tribe
Bill Barquin Attorney, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Nathan Small Vice-Chair, Shoshone-Bannock

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May 27, 2009 - FCRPS Listening Session 3 (Conference Call)


NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington

Dr. Rich Alldredge Professor of Statistics, Department Independent Scientific


of Statistics Advisory Board; Washington
State University
Dr. Robert (Bob) Bilby Senior Science Advisor Independent Scientific
Advisory Board; Weyerhauser
Co.
Dr. Peter Bisson Research Fishery Biologist Independent Scientific
Advisory Board; US Forest
Service
Dr. Nancy Huntly Research Professor of Ecology Independent Scientific
Advisory Board: Idaho State
University
Dr. Peter Karieva Chief Scientist & Director Science The Nature Conservatory
Dr. Eric Loudenslager Fish Hatchery Manager Independent Scientific
Advisory Board; Humboldt
State University
Mr. Nate Mantua Associate Research Professor, Independent Scientific
Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Advisory Board; University of
Washington
Dr. William (Bill) Percy Professor emeritus Independent Scientific
Advisory Board; Oregon
State University
Mr. Thomas (Tom) Poe Consulting Fisheries Scientist, an Independent Scientific
expert in behavioral ecology of Advisory Board
fishes, formerly with the U.S.
Geological Survey
Dr. Mary Power Professor, Department of Integrative University of California,
Biology Berkeley
Dr. Peter Smouse Professor, Department of Ecology, Independent Scientific
Evolution & Natural Resources Advisory Board; Rutgers
University
Dr. Joseph Travis Dean & Professor, Dean College of Florida State University
Arts & Sciences

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June 25, 2009 - FCRPS Listening Session 4


U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Todd True Attorney, Earthjustice


Chris Wood Trout Unlimited
Jim Martin fishing groups
Nancy Hirsch Northwest Energy Coalition
Nicole Cordan Save Our Wild Salmon

June 25, 2009 - FCRPS Listening Session 5


U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Terry Flores Northwest River Partners


John Sabin Northwest River Partners
Beth Ginsburg Attorney, Northwest River Partners
Glenn Vanselow Inland Ports and Navigation Association
Norm Semanko Attorney, Idaho Water Users
Del Raybould Idaho Water Users

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July 7 & 8, 2009 – FCRPS Science Workshop


U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Bilby Chief Environmental Scientist Independent Scientific


Advisory Board;
Weyerhauser Co.
Dr. Peter Bisson Research Fishery Biologist Independent Scientific
Advisory Board; US Forest
Service
Dr. Mary Power Professor, Department of Integrative University of California,
Biology Berkeley
Dr. Joseph Travis Dean & Professor, Dean College of Florida State University
Arts & Sciences
Dr. Mary Ruckelshaus Team leader, Salmon Risk Evaluation NOAA Northwest Fisheries
group Science Center
Dr. Daniel Simberloff Professor, Environmental Science University of Tennessee
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Peter Kareiva Chief Scientist & Director Science The Nature Conservatory
Mr. Nate Mantua Associate Research Professor, Independent Scientific
Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Advisory Board; University
of Washington

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Exhibit B

Discussion Questions

1. There are differing viewpoints on the jeopardy standard and its application to the 2008
Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) biological opinion (BiOp). Please provide your
views on the appropriate application of the standard and your rationale, and the appropriate
means of measuring whether that standard would be satisfied.

2. There are differing viewpoints on whether the BiOp adequately takes account of ocean and
freshwater effects of climate change. Please provide your views on whether the BiOp adequately
takes account of climate change, and the bases for your views.

3. The BiOp relies, in part, on habitat restoration to mitigate for impacts of the hydropower
system. There are differing viewpoints, however, in the region on whether this is an appropriate
tactic, and whether the BiOp provides sufficient specificity regarding future tributary and estuary
habitat improvement projects. Please provide your views of the appropriate role of habitat
restoration programs and the methodology in the BiOp and what additional actions could be
taken by the Action Agencies regarding habitat restoration.

4. Compared to operational configuration and actions of the hydropower system proposed in


the BiOp, including juvenile fish transportation, what other hydropower system measures would
significantly alter the status of the ESA-listed species and why? In responding, please also
provide your understanding of the technical and economic feasibility of any such changes.

5. There are a wide range of impacts from salmon and steelhead hatcheries and harvest
associated with the FCRPS. Compared to the approach analyzed in the BiOp, what additional
actions can be taken by the Action Agencies to ensure that these hatcheries and harvest do not
impair the recovery of ESA-listed salmon and steelhead?

6. In addition to the contingencies and performance standards set forth in the BiOp, what
alternative actions and decision making framework could be implemented if the program
recommended by the BiOp does not yield the expected benefits?

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Exhibit C

List of materials for FCRPS Science Workshop

FCRPS Biological Opinion


2008 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion

Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis


Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis

BA August 2007
Action Agencies' Biological Assessment

CA August 2007
Action Agencies' Comprehensive Analysis

Battin et al. 2007


Projected impacts of climate change on salmon habitat restoration

COMPASS Journal Article 2008


Comprehensive passage (COMPASS) model: a model of downstream migration and
survival of juvenile salmonids through a hydropower system

COMPASS Manual 2008


Comprehensive Passage (COMPASS) Model – version 1.1

Crozier and Zabel 2006


Climate impacts at multiple scales: evidence for differential population responses in
juvenile Chinook salmon

Crozier et al. 2007


Predicting differential effects of climate change at the population level with life-cycle
models of spring Chinook salmon

Fieberg and Ellner 2000


When Is It Meaningful to Estimate an Extinction Probability?

Framework Work Group 2006


Interim Report : Relative Magnitude of Human-Related Mortality Factors Affecting
Listed Salmon and Steelhead in the Interior Columbia River Basin

ICTRT 2003
Independent Populations of Chinook, Steelhead, and Sockeye for Listed Evolutionarily
Significant Units Within the Interior Columbia River Domain

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ICTRT 2007a
Required Survival Rate Changes to Meet Technical Recovery Team Abundance and
Productivity Viability Criteria for Interior Columbia River Basin Salmon and Steelhead
Populations

ICTRT 2007b
Viability Criteria for Application to Interior Columbia Basin Salmonid ESUs

ICTRT 2007c
Considering Alternative Artificial Propagation Programs: Implications for the Viability
of Listed Anadromous Salmonids in the Interior Columbia River

ICTRT 2007d, vol. 1, 2 & 3


Current ICTRT Draft Population Status Reports (Broken down into three volumes
because of size)

ICTRT 2007e
Updated population delineation in the interior Columbia Basin

ICTRT and Zabel 2007


Assessing the Impact of Environmental Conditions and Hydropower on Population
Productivity for Interior Columbia River Stream-type Chinook and Steelhead Populations

ISAB 2006a
Review of the COMPASS Model

ISAB 2006b
December 2006 Review of the COMPASS Model, Version 1.0

ISAB 2007a
Independent Scientific Advisory Board Climate Change Impacts on Columbia River
Basin Fish and Wildlife

ISAB 2007b
Latent Mortality Report

ISAB 2007c
Review of draft Viability Criteria for Application to Interior Columbia Basin Salmonid
ESUs

ISAB 2008
Review of the Interior Columbia River Technical Recovery Team’s Analyses of Survival
Changes Needed to Meet Viability Criteria

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Kareiva et al. 2000


Recovery and Management Options for Spring/Summer Chinook Salmon in the
Columbia River Basin

McClure et al. 2003


A Large-Scale, Multi Species Status Assessment: Anadromous Salmonids in the
Columbia River Basin

Response to Comments Document


Response to Public Comments Received on the 2007 Draft FCRPS Biological Opinion

Zabel et al. 2006


The Interplay between Climate Variability and Density Dependence in the Population
Viability of Chinook Salmon

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ATTACHMENTS: Comment [A1]: These attachments


should be included at the end of this
appendix and should be identified as
Attachment 1 – BPA Funded Tributary Habitat Projects 2007-2009 Attachment X of Appendix 1.

Attachment 2 – Reclamation Technical Assistance for Tributary Habitat Projects 2007-2009;

Attachment 3 – BPA and Corps Funded Estuary Habitat Projects 2007-2009

Attachment 4 – Estuary Habitat Projects 2010–2012

Attachment 5 – BPA-Funded Tributary Habitat Projects 2010–2012

Attachment 6 – Reclamation Technical Assistance for Tributary Habitat Projects 2010–2012 and

Attachment 7 – BPA-Funded Tributary Habitat Projects 2013 – 2017

Attachment 8 – Preliminary Expert Panel Tributary Habitat Projects, 2010–2012

Attachment 9 – NOAA Fisheries PCSRF Funding

Attachment 10 – FWS Columbia River Basin Habitat Conservation Funding

Appendix 1 ▪ 32 August 2009

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DRAFT - Privileged and Confidential – Do not release
FCRPS Adaptive Management Plan

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Sections 536, 204 and 1135 (EXPAND)

Appendix 1 ▪ 33 August 2009

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