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NORTHWEST POWER PLANNING COUNCIL ASKS CONGRESS FOR MONEY FOR SALMON RESTORATION

 PORTLAND, Ore., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northwest Power Planning Council today asked both houses of Congress for continued financial support to rebuild the region's salmon runs in the Columbia River system, the council said.
 R. Ted Bottiger, a Washington state member and vice-chairman of the regional council, testified before the energy and water development subcommittees of both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
 Last September the council completed more than a year's work on a comprehensive regional program to restore the diminishing salmon runs in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The council is not asking for money for itself, but rather for continued funding next year for the federal agencies implementing the council's plan.
 "The most important priority, as it has been in prior years, is the $48 million in 1994 for the Corps of Engineers' juvenile fish bypass program," Bottiger told the committees. "It is critical that we reduce the number of wild juvenile salmon that are killed at the dams."
 Bottiger also supported $2 million in continued funding for the Bureau of Reclamation's water conservation projects to provide more water for salmon and $5 million for the National Marine Fisheries Service work to screen irrigation canals to keep fish from swimming into farmers' fields and dying. He said he also supports $8 million for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service to help private landowners improve salmon habitat on their property.
 Bottiger noted the Bonneville Power Administration's current budget problems. "Bonneville's financial condition has eroded this year due to prolonged drought. Bonneville has announced a program to contain costs, seek efficiencies and become more competitive. We support this endeavor."
 Because of the federal hydropower system on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Bonneville has much of the financial responsibility for carrying out the council's salmon restoration program.
 The council encourages Bonneville to secure adequate revenue to continue implementation of the council's power plan and fish and wildlife program.
 The Northwest Power Planning Council was created by Congress in 1980 to do long-term electric power planning for the Northwest, and to develop a program to protect and enhance fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin. The governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington each appoint two members to the Council.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Gist of the Northwest Power Planning Council, 503-222-5161 or 800-222-3355/


CO: Northwest Power Planning Council; Bonneville Power Administration ST: Washington IN: UTI SU:

AL-SW -- SE012 -- 1181 03/30/93 15:57 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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