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NORTHWEST POWER PLANNING COUNCIL FINISHES NEW DRAFT RULES TO MITIGATE LOSSES OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

 LEWISTON, Idaho, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northwest Power Planning Council today finished writing new draft rules to mitigate the losses of fish and wildlife due to the federal hydroelectric system in the Columbia River Basin, according to the council. The council wants to rebuild wildlife and resident fish -- those fish which stay in the rivers and reservoirs and do not swim to the ocean. The council's salmon recovery strategy was completed in September 1992.
 This resident fish and wildlife draft will be open for public comment throughout the regional all summer. The council is expected to take final action on these rules in October.
 "The council's draft outlines a 10-year program with many projects to improve the numbers of sturgeon, kokanee, bull trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and other species in the Columbia River Basin," said council Chairman Stan Grace of Montana.
 Among the many actions are:
 -- An analysis of the declining sturgeon population above Bonneville Dam, and
 -- New operating rules at Hungry Horse and Libby Dams to protect the resident fish in those reservoirs
 For wildlife, the council called for:
 -- Bonneville Power Administration to sign five-year agreements with the states to fund resident fish and wildlife mitigation projects
 -- Including the operation, not just the construction, of the dams when assessing wildlife losses, and
 -- Including the appropriate Tribes in planning for the mitigation of wildlife losses caused by the dams on the lower Snake River.
 The council's work today, like the salmon strategy completed last year, takes the form of amendments to its 1987 Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. A draft document of these amendments should be available to the public by Monday, May 24. Call 800-222-3355 for a copy. Public hearings are scheduled throughout the Northwest all summer. The first scheduled public hearings will be at the Bellevue Red Lion, Bellevue, Wash., on Wednesday, June 9, at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.
 The Northwest Power Planning Council was created by congress in 1980 to do long-term electric power planning for the Pacific Northwest and plan to protect and mitigate the losses to fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin due to the federal hydroelectric system. The governors of Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington each appoint two members to the council.
 -0- 5/13/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Gist of the Northwest Power Planning Council, 800-222-3355/


CO: Northwest Power Planning Council ST: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington IN: UTI SU:

LM-AL -- SE011 -- 8192 05/13/93 14:32 EDT
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Date:May 13, 1993
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