SUBSTITUTE HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4024
State of Washington 54th Legislature 1995 Regular Session
By House Committee on Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Representatives Delvin, Chandler, Mastin, Blanton, Mielke, Schoesler, Honeyford, Hankins, Sheahan, Crouse, Clements, Grant, Foreman and Padden)
Read first time 03/01/95.
TO THE HONORABLE BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE MEMBERS OF THE NORTHWEST POWER PLANNING COUNCIL:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The runs of anadromous fish in the Columbia River are seriously depressed, with Snake River chinook and sockeye stocks in the system becoming listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act; and
WHEREAS, The production of wild type salmonids is desirable for good recovery efforts in the Columbia River system, since wild smolts survive the rigors of smolting and downstream passage through the hydroelectric complexes of the Lower Snake and Columbia Rivers at a higher rate than hatchery produced smolts; and
WHEREAS, While anadromous fish passage and fish hatchery supplementation have been given major attention over the past three decades, salmon runs have continued to decline; and
WHEREAS, Rebuilding Columbia River stocks by depending on existing natural stocks and conditions is not realistic under the present circumstances since the natural production of wild fish has not worked; and
WHEREAS, Developing a new approach to enhance both habitat and fish stock requirements critical to natural salmon populations is necessary; and
WHEREAS, Critical problems related to anadromous fish survival arise in the watersheds of Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Idaho; and
WHEREAS, Stream flow augmentation is generally believed to provide biological benefits to migrating salmon, but there is continued uncertainty regarding the biological benefits to salmon of flow augmentation achieved by drawing down reservoir levels below minimum operating pool; and
WHEREAS, Drawdowns below minimum operating pool on the Snake River, conducted in March 1992 for the limited purpose of evaluating impact to physical structures and facilities, caused the loss of resident fish, altered wildlife habitat, and increased risks of predation, disrupted navigation, and caused physical property damage to public and private facilities; and
WHEREAS, Restoration of anadromous fish runs must be based on good science and engineering; and
WHEREAS, The major universities of the Pacific Northwest have the expertise to provide good technical data; and
WHEREAS, The federal government has land, such as the Hanford Reservation, and the state of Washington has land and water, such as the Crab Creek Drainage Area, available for demonstration projects related to new hatchery concepts, juvenile salmon out-migration behavior, and dam bypass facilities; and
WHEREAS, Washington State University, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Idaho are initiating cooperative efforts with the proposed Salmon Habitat Restoration Project at Crab Creek;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully ask Congress to direct the Northwest Power Planning Council and respectfully ask the council itself to overturn the fish and wildlife amendments passed in December 1994. Reconsideration should be given to the costs, effects, and implications of any potential amendments that seek to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife. In addition, more time should be allowed for further research to be conducted, including planning and funding by federal agencies of the demonstration projects by the major Pacific Northwest universities.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the United States, each member of the Northwest Power Planning Council, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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