Matters for Consideration When the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Is Revised

B-214960: Published: May 2, 1984. Publicly Released: May 2, 1984.

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GAO reviewed activities of the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council to assess the council's compliance with section 4(h) of the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act.

GAO noted that the act requires the council to develop and adopt a conservation program to protect, mitigate, and enhance Columbia River Basin fish and wildlife affected by the basin's hydroelectric dams. GAO found that the council's program was developed according to the procedures, standards, and timeframe specified in the act. During the program development process, the council: (1) considered recommendations made by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes, and other groups; (2) provided for public comment on the recommendations; and (3) based its program on the input. GAO stated that the program's development will not ensure the continuation of conservation measures in the river basin but will depend on acceptance and implementation by federal and state agencies, tribes, and other groups. Concerns expressed by the agencies and groups include: (1) coordination of program management; (2) sources of program funding; (3) competition among water users; and (4) nonhydroelectric causes of fish and wildlife declines.

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