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December 12, 2000

TO:

Anadromous Fish Committee (AFC)

FROM:

Gary James, Chair

SUBJECT:

Draft Action Notes for Emergency AFC Meeting on December 12, 2000

If there are no objections within five days, these actions will be considered approved.

AFC Meeting
December 12, 2000
8:30 10:00 a.m.
Conference Line: 503-229-0191 ext. 7099

Action Notes

Attendees:

On Phone:

Tom Iverson, Frank Young and Tom Giese (CBFWA)

Gary James (CTUIR, Chair), Ron Boyce (ODFW), Bob Foster (WDFW), Bert Bowler (IDFG), Patty O'Toole (CTWSRO), John Palensky (NMFS), Fred Olney (USFWS), Doug Taki (SBT), Lynn Hatcher (YN), Kent Woodruff (USFS), Jennifer Molesworth (USFS), Craig Lee (Trust for Public Land)

Time allocation

Objective 1. FY 2001 Project Review Process 100%
Objective 2. Rolling Province Review and Subbasin Summaries 0%
Objective 3. FY 2001 Adjustments 0%
Objective 4. Template for Watershed & Subbasin Assessment & Plan 0%
Objective 5. Coordinate Program Amendments 0%

Item 1:

Arrowleaf Property Conservation Project

The Northwest Power Planning Council (NWPPC) requested that CBFWA review a request by the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) to purchase conservation easements on 1,100 acres of riparian lands on the upper Methow River. The Arrowleaf Property Conservation Project was anticipating getting funding through a separate funding source (the Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund) in September, but was late in submitting their proposal for that process due to negotiations with local stakeholders. The closing date for this property was October 31, 2000. When the initial funding fell through, TPL was able to negotiate an extension until December 21, 2000.

In September 2000, the TPL made a presentation to the NWPPC in Spokane and requested funding for this project. At that time, the NWPPC suggested that TPL seek funding through the High Priority Solicitation process. It was expected that recommendations for High Priority projects would be complete in December 2000. As the development of the Fish and Wildlife Program Amendments and the High Priority Solicitation process were finalized, the deadline for project recommendations in that category was delayed until March 2001. This project is now facing a real deadline of December 21, 2000 to establish funding. Considerable pressure has been applied to the NWPPC to consider funding for this project.

A major concern expressed in this meeting was that there are $20 million worth of Tier 2 projects in the FY 2001 Draft Annual Implementation Work Plan (DAIWP) that were placed on hold until funds became available. If there truly is $10-15 million available in the Anadromous Fish Placeholder, these projects should first be considered for that money. Funding for this project should probably come from outside of the Direct Fish and Wildlife Program. This is really an early High Priority project and should be funded from similar funds as those projects.

In the Methow Basin, the number one limiting factor is instream flows (irrigation diversions). This project doesn't directly address that limiting factor. The Tribes are concerned that funding this project may hinder funding of future projects that address the instream flow problems. This project does address protection of existing key habitat which is addressed in the 2000 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion. Also, the Methow is one of three first year priority subbasins identified in the All H Paper (Habitat, Harvest, Hatcheries, & Hydrosystems). The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) would also support this project for key bull trout habitat protection.

The greatest concern expressed is the impact funding this project will have on other important projects in the Methow, or for that matter, throughout the rest of the basin. There is a large list of projects being submitted for the high priority solicitation and the CBFWA have no idea how this project would rank among them.

ACTION:

Arrowleaf Property Conservation Project

The AFC approves CBFWA staff drafting a letter of recommendation to the NWPPC for the Arrowleaf project and will submit the letter for approval by Members Management Group (MMG) on December 12, 2000. The letter will highlight that this project fits under the high priority category but determination of where this project ranks among them cannot be determined at this time. Also, funding for this project should come from a similar source as the high priority projects. The letter will be forwarded to AFC for a quick review this afternoon and then to MMG for discussion at the December 12, 2000 meeting.