BOISE, Idaho (AP) ? The Northwest Power Planning Council is recommending $36.3 million in projects over three years to improve fish and wildlife survival in northeastern Oregon, southeastern Washington and central Idaho.
Sponsors, including state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes and local conservation districts, will carry out the projects, which include continuing and new work.
The money comes from the federal Bonneville Power Administration as part of a 1980 congressional mandate to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the construction and operation of hydropower dams in the 259,000-square-mile Columbia River Basin.
The council recommended 20 continuing and eight new projects in the Blue Mountain area of eastern Oregon totaling $12.4 million.
Those projects include watershed habitat improvement on Asotin Creek; master planning for the Northeast Oregon Hatchery, where the Nez Perce Tribe will work to restore chinook salmon and steelhead populations; acquisition of wildlife habitat at Ladd Marsh near La Grande, Ore. by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; and restoration of Grande Ronde River salmon and steelhead habitat by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation.
The council also recommended 38 ongoing and 21 new projects totaling $23.9 million in central Idaho. They include work by the Nez Perce Tribe to restore the Lapwai Creek watershed and by Custer County, the Idaho Office of Species Conservation and others to restore habitat on nonfederal lands in the upper Salmon River watershed.
Both sets of projects were reviewed and approved by the Independent Scientific Review Panel, 11 scientists appointed by the council, and by the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, which is an association of the region's state, tribal and federal fish and wildlife managers.
The Northwest Power Planning Council is made up of two members each from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.