The Water Resources Development Act of 2022 approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday includes a lengthy section called “Columbia River Basin Restoration” and would require an inter-agency assessment of the four lower Snake River dams’ impact on fish and wildlife.
The White House this week made clear it plans to be involved in Columbia River salmon recovery, saying it has engaged mediators to facilitate “public policy dialogue” with governments and stakeholders.
Due to continuing severe drought conditions in southern Idaho, the Bureau of Reclamation said it is unlikely it can provide this year a biological opinion level of flow augmentation from the upper Snake River basin to aid migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead in the lower Snake River.
Plaintiffs in the challenge to the Columbia/Snake River biological opinion for salmon and steelhead filed this week an unopposed stay in federal court that effectively puts the litigation on hold while all the parties search for comprehensive salmon recovery solutions.
Defendants in the latest challenge to the Columbia/Snake River biological opinion for salmon and steelhead and final environmental impact statement have questioned the cross-claims of the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association, saying the irrigators lack jurisdiction.
A federal judge in Oregon has set a schedule for future litigation proceedings in the eighth challenge since 2001 to the federal biological opinion for threatened and endangered Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead. Activity begins this month and extends out to at least August 2022 when final summary judgement briefs are due to the court.
When the Columbia River System Operators released the 2020 final environmental impact statement for the Columbia River power system’s impacts on salmon and steelhead in late July, tucked into the document were two biological opinions.
Tucked into the Columbia River System Operators’ final environmental impact statement for the Columbia River power system’s impacts on salmon and steelhead that was released late last week is a more than 1,600 page biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the initiation of five-year status reviews for 129 species in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, California, and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act, including threatened Columbia River basin bull trout.