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Klamath River Basin Conservation Implementation Program
Initial Public Draft
May 2003 Version
Prepared by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Klamath Basin Area Office
Klamath Falls, OR
In 1988, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris) and the Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA.) The Bureau of Reclamation consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the operations of the Klamath Project, Oregon/California, in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. In 1997, the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coastal Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch - southern Oregon/northern California ESU) were listed under ESA as a "threatened" species.
On February 25, 2002, Reclamation transmitted it’s Biological Assessment (BA) on the effects of proposed operation of the Klamath Project for a ten year period (April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2012) to the FWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). Appendix A of the BA contains a list of potential actions to assist with protection, conservation and/or recovery of listed species. Specifically, in item 2.B Reclamation proposed to take the responsibility to develop a comprehensive plan to provide direction for research efforts, implementation of restoration projects, and monitoring of results. The plan would be developed with the Tribal and state governments and a network of stakeholder groups and would provide a mechanism for implementation of activities to be undertaken by tribes, federal, state, and local agencies and interest groups to improve habitat conditions for the listed species.
May 31, 2002, the FWS and NOAA Fisheries issued jeopardy Biological Opinions (BO) with a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) on Reclamation’s proposed operation of the Klamath Project. An element of the NOAA Fisheries RPA recognized that achieving target flows would likely require more contributions to flow than could be reasonably provided by Reclamation alone, and that the larger context of actions affecting threatened salmon would be best addressed through a Klamath River Basin Conservation Implementation Program (CIP).
This document describes the purpose, structure, and goals of the Klamath River Basin CIP. The CIP has been modeled after successful programs being employed elsewhere which were designed to address similar issues of water use/development and endangered species protection and restoration. Although the CIP draws on these programs conceptually, it is designed to be specific to the Klamath River Basin and its unique set of circumstances. Development of the CIP is a recommendation to Reclamation from NOAA Fisheries for the removal of jeopardy, however, implementation of the CIP in intended to achieve recovery of the species and the ecosystem on which they depend, and will therefore require the joint efforts of numerous parties. The CIP is intended to serve as a mechanism by which the participants can implement actions necessary to achieve recovery.
The CIP will begin with a focus of recovering the listed species while simultaneously allowing for the continued use and development of water resources, and will be expanded over time to address the entire biotic community. In this way, the limited resources available to the program participants will initially be applied to the species identified by the FWS and NOAA Fisheries as most likely to continue to decline.
The FWS Endangered Species Consultation Handbook (FWS/NMFS, March 1998) defines recovery as improvement in the status of a listed species to the point at which listing is no longer appropriate; the process by which species’ ecosystems are restored and/or threats to the species are removed so self-sustaining and self-regulating populations of the listed species can be supported as persistent members of the native biotic communities. One of the stated purposes of the ESA is to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved. Conservation is defined as to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. The efforts aimed at recovering the listed species will be those which restore the ecosystem and will thereby protect and promote the other species within the ecosystem.
Section 4(f) of the ESA requires the Secretary to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of each listed species, unless the Secretary finds that a recovery plan will not promote the conservation of the species. The FWS is responsible for the preparation of recovery plans for the shortnose and Lost River suckers, and NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the recovery plan for the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coastal (SONCC) Coho salmon. The recovery plans for the shortnose and Lost River suckers were completed by the FWS in 1994, based on the best available information at the time. Significant new information has been developed since 1994, and the recovery plans should be updated.
Any actions undertaken by the CIP should be consistent with the recovery plans. The CIP will participate in or facilitate the timely production of these documents as requested by FWS/NOAA Fisheries. These documents are of critical importance to the CIP and will form the basis of the CIP Activities. The content of recovery plans is discretionary. However, to the extent possible recovery plans normally contain criteria for when down listing can occur and for what constitutes recovery. They normally identify the specific, measurable criteria (recovery goals) needed to remove the threats to the species which resulted in their listing as threatened or endangered. The CIP Activities contained in the long range plan will systematically implement the recovery goals. These activities will be prioritized, and conducted in a logical fashion. Research and monitoring will be designed to facilitate the recovery actions and to monitor the success of the CIP and of the activities themselves. The recovery plan goals will allow the FWS/NOAA Fisheries to determine the degree to which the CIP is making progress, and provide recommendations for any modifications to enhance progress.
The FWS completed recovery plans for the Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Recovery Plan in 1994. An Implementation Schedule included in the Recovery Plan identifies actions that need to be taken to achieve recovery. Certain categories of actions which will contribute to the recovery of the listed species have been identified, such as fish passage, screening of diversions, population monitoring, and water quality improvement. These activities will proceed simultaneous with the development of a long range plan and cost estimate for the CIP.
Existing efforts to manage natural resources in the Klamath River Basin include the recovery of threatened and endangered species, conservation of native species, drought management, recreation, flood control, and water development for municipal, industrial, hydropower, and agricultural purposes.
Several documents guide conservation and recovery efforts for sensitive species in the Basin including:
In addition, Oregon and California water law governs the management of water resources in the Basin, the Klamath Project Operations Plan (Reclamation 2003) serves as a planning guide for Klamath Project water users, and PacifiCorp is preparing to apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a permit renewal. Several committees, task forces, and groups have been established to address aquatic management issues in the Basin including: Klamath River Task Force, Upper Basin Working Group, Klamath River Alternative Development Resolution committee, Presidential Cabinet Level Task Force, and Klamath River Compact Commission.
The CIP is not intended to supplant any of these existing efforts. Instead, the CIP will capitalize on the accomplishments of other efforts to enhance effectiveness of the CIP. Close communication and coordination with other efforts will aid the CIP committees in planning and in determining which efforts to implement.
Collaboration between the various interest groups is critical to the success of the CIP. Despite the seemingly conflicting views on natural resource management in the Klamath River Basin, the common need is for the ecosystem to be restored and the fish recovered so that a sustainable, harvestable fishery can co-exist with agriculture, recreation, and other uses.
The purposes of the CIP are:
1) To recover Lost River sucker, Shortnose sucker, and Klamath River Coho salmon and the ecosystem on which they depend so that they no longer require protection under the Endangered Species Act; and
2) To allow continued operation of existing facilities and future development of water resources for human use in the Klamath Basin.
As described previously, recovery is the process by which ecosystems are restored and/or threats to the species are removed so self-sustaining and self-regulating populations of the listed species can be supported as persistent members of the native biotic communities.
Human use includes, but is not limited to, the use of water for the support of harvestable populations of fish, irrigated agriculture, wildlife refuges, industrial and municipal use, and recreational purposes. Future development may include rehabilitation and betterment of existing facilities to improve efficiency, development of additional water storage, removal of dikes, or construction of temporary propagation and rearing facilities.
These primary goals of the CIP are interdependent and interrelated. Program participants need to equally support both goals, while ensuring the program proceeds in a fair and balanced manner, pursuing the final achievement of the goals.
Other goals which are inherent in the CIP are to:
Critical underpinnings of the CIP include:
The CIP will provide a mechanism by which recovery and restoration efforts can be implemented, and will be fully coordinated with other parallel efforts throughout the basin. Specifically, the program participants will use existing information, adding to it to create a series of actions or CIP Activities designed to achieve the CIP’s stated purposes. CIP participants will work together to secure funding and to systematically implement those actions. CIP Activities will include conducting/contracting for research to fill data gaps, and monitoring and report on status and progress. Progress under the CIP is intended to provide programmatic coverage under the ESA for existing, ongoing and future water uses, subject to the statutory mandate of the FWS and NOAA Fisheries. The CIP will also provide the basis for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws.
The immediate benefits of the CIP will be having a mechanism which will facilitate of the dual CIP goals. However, the CIP is also intended to serve as the basis for compliance with sections 7 and 9 of the ESA once it has tangible accomplishments. The CIP will simultaneously implement actions to improve habitat while a long range plan is being developed, thereby beginning to accumulate a list of accomplishments. The long range plan will serve as a guide for future recovery actions, research, and monitoring efforts, including development of annual work plans and budget decisions. It will be an adaptive plan, modified annually as needed to incorporate new information and emerging science. As the recovery plans and recovery goals are completed, the actions they identify as needed for fish protection and recovery will be incorporated into the long range plan. In the future, the FWS and NOAA Fisheries will be able to rely on the accomplishments of the CIP to conduct streamlined section 7 consultations. CIP Activities designed to protect fish at all life stages will both increase population viability and reduce incidental take. The implementation of items in the long range plan could be used by the FWS and NOAA Fisheries as Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives, reasonable and prudent measures, and terms and conditions. The CIP Activities should also offset impacts of non-federal actions. As specific agreements to describe how and under which conditions the CIP will be able to serve as the basis of compliance with the ESA will need to be developed by the participants. Knowledge of upcoming actions requiring consultation may influence the priority of work items or monitoring and research efforts. Continued participation in, cooperation with, or support of the CIP could also be a basis for a biological opinion or a no-jeopardy decision. By serving as the basis for section 7 and 9 consultations the financial burden of ESA compliance will be born by the CIP as opposed to a project proponent.
It is important to note that the legal mandate for enforcement and implementation of the ESA lies with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce. This responsibility is carried out by the FWS and NOAA Fisheries, respectively. All decisions related to the ability of, or the degree to which the CIP can serve as the basis for compliance with the ESA must remain with those agencies.
The geographic scope of this Program is limited to the Klamath River Basin, with the exception of the Trinity River (see map in appendix A). A similar but complimentary restoration program, the Trinity River Restoration Program, is legally mandated to restore the fishery of the Trinity River (Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Record of Decision, BOR, December 2000).
The biological scope of the CIP will initially be limited to activities that benefit Lost River sucker, shortnose sucker, and Klamath River Coho salmon recovery, however, the activities undertaken to benefit the listed species may also benefit other native aquatic species. As progress is made toward the recovery of the listed species the CIP Participants may determine there are sufficient resources to be applied toward other efforts. One way this could be accomplished would be through support of other conservation or restoration activities which are being conducted in the basin. All activities would have to be within the authority of a participant providing the funding, consistent with goals of the CIP, and agreed to by CIP Participants.
The following parties, identified herein as "CIP Participants" are being sought as voting members for the committees of the CIP. These parties have been identified as potential participants because of their resource management responsibility, regulatory authority, and/or can provide funding, personnel, and in-kind services necessary to further the success of this program. All participants would also agree to support equally the dual goals of the CIP. Potential CIP participants are:
CIP Participants recognize that other entities, governments, associations, and individuals have an interest in Klamath River Basin resources and this Program. Meaningful, constructive participation by other interested parties is encouraged. All meetings will be open to the public and all documents including meeting summaries, research reports, budget documents, and program evaluations will be available to the public. Comments and input from stakeholders will be called for during each agenda item during Management and Implementation Committee meetings, and prior to any vote taken by the committees. As described in section 3.c, a Coordination, Information and Education committee will be utilized to achieve the highest level of coordination with other Klamath River Basin conservation and restoration efforts possible.
The Program will function under a 2-tiered administrative structure. An Implementation Committee will oversee the policy issues of CIP and the Management Committee will ensure that the CIP is effectively conducted and coordinated and that it addresses the highest priority recovery needs of the endangered Klamath Basin fishes while permitting continuing water use.
Each CIP Participant will appoint one individual to represent them on each of the committees. A backup should be designated to hold official proxy for the member when the member cannot be present for a meeting.
Support for the Implementation and Management Committees will be provided by two or more standing committees. A Science Committee will be responsible for reviewing the monitoring and research activities, and recommending needed studies to the Management Committee and/or Program Director’s office. This committee is not to replace independent peer review or any type of advisory science board or principal investigator the CIP participants may determine to be useful or necessary. A Coordination, Education, and Information Committee will work with other groups to insure CIP activities are coordinated and not duplicative, and will provide public information and education. Additional subcommittees may be established to address specific issues, as deemed necessary by the Management Committee, and consequently may be dissolved when appropriate. A CIP Director’s Office will be established to administer the CIP, carrying out the direction of the Implementation and Management Committees.
The Implementation Committee is the policy arm of the CIP. The primary responsibility of the Implementation Committee is to provide ensuring the activities and expenditures of the CIP are forwarding the CIP purposes and are consistent with the policy and legal mandates of the individual organizations and the Administration. The Implementation Committee will resolve issues of policy which could not be resolved at the management committee level, and provide final approval for annual work plans and the budget. The committee has the following responsibilities:
Membership on the Implementation Committee will be the head of the CIP participant’s organization, or their official designee. It is anticipated the Tribal Chair, Regional Director, Regional Administrator, Executive Director, Governor’s representative, etc. will be participating actively on the Implementation Committee.
The Management Committee is the planning and problem solving arm of the CIP. The primary responsibility of the Management Committee is to ensure that the CIP is effectively managed and coordinated and addresses the highest priority recovery needs of the endangered Klamath Basin fishes. The Management Committee will develop new procedures to resolve problems or remove obstacles to recovery. Responsibilities include:
The Management Committee will consist of one representative of each of the CIP Participants or their representative.
The Management Committee may invite input from other appropriate technical experts or working groups as deemed necessary. The chair of the Management Committee will initially be selected by the Implementation Committee. The CIP participant serving as chair may be changed based on a consensus vote of the Management Committee and approval of the Implementation Committee.
Coordination with the many groups working to conserve and enhance the natural resources of the Klamath River basin will be an essential element of a successful CIP. Coordination is the responsibility of all committees and participants on the CIP, however the Coordination, Information, and Education Committee (CIEC) will actively coordinate with outside groups, and be responsible for the production of information and education materials. CIP Activities will be designed to complement other efforts and not be duplicative. Similarly, it is important to keep all interested parties fully informed of CIP activities and accomplishments, and to share data produced by and for the CIP. Each CIP participant may appoint one member of their organization to the CIEC. Major responsibilities of the CIEC are to:
The Science Committee will consist of representatives of the CIP participants with a science specialty such as hydrology, biology, modeling, statistics, or ecology. The primary responsibility will be to provide scientific advice and input to the Management and Implementation Committees. Specifically, the Science Committee will:
Science Committee members will be rescued from any Science Committee work involving their organization’s products and work.
The primary mission of the CIP Director and staff is to administer the program. The CIP Director will be employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, or U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and will be responsible for carrying out the decisions of the Implementation and Management Committees. The CIP Director and staff are dedicated to both of the goals of the CIP, and will not serve as their agency’s representative on any of the CIP Committees. The members of the director’s office will not promote objectives or mission of the specific agency in which they are a part, but will promote actions consistent with the goals of the CIP. The CIP Director and staff are responsible for coordinating recovery activity implementation, planning and evaluating CIP progress, monitoring and tracking CIP budgets and accounts, providing assistance to CIP Committees, and coordinating technical review for the Program. Specific examples of the administrative responsibilities of the CIP Director and staff include:
The Implementation and Management Committees will operate by consensus. Consensus means that all members can support a proposed action, even though some members may prefer an alternative approach or action. Any participant choosing to abstain from any vote or decision will be allowed to do so. The remainder of the committees will determine what decision making process will work best for that particular committee. Committees may submit minority and majority reports to the Management and/or Implementation Committees. A quorum of the participants must be present before an issue can be put to a vote. Members who are not able to be present can have a representative appear in their stead, or present their position in writing. A member who is not able to attend may request a topic be tabled for one meeting only. Non-attendance and no written objection will constitute a no-dissent vote.
All CIP Participants will agree to operate in good faith to advance the goals of the CIP as a whole, and not block actions or the ability of the other participants to reach consensus unless they have serious reservations about the appropriateness or out come of an action. CIP participants will engage in active discussion of any concern raised by any member and attempt to develop a means to accommodate the member’s concerns. Each member will express in clear and concise terms what their concerns are, and why they believe an action would be detrimental to the CIP’s goals.
When consensus cannot be reached at the Management Committee the issue will be elevated to the Implementation Committee for resolution. In the rare circumstance that the Implementation Committee cannot resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties, a participant may be required to make an independent decision if the issue involves their obligations under applicable federal, state or tribal law, or expenditure of appropriated funds.
CIP participants are expected to attend meetings and be prepared to discuss the topics on the agenda. Significant time may be required to read materials and become fully prepared for the meetings. Agendas will identify topics as work in progress, for discussion, or for decision. Lack of familiarity with an issue should not be used as a reason to prevent discussion or decision.
CIP Participants agree to share in funding the implementation of this CIP. Support for the CIP will include cash contributions and in-kind services directed towards achieving the goals of the CIP. Some participating agencies will implement recovery actions under their respective mandates which will be accounted for under the CIP as determined by the Implementation Committee.
The short and long range plans will have budget estimates associated with them. An equitable distribution of costs will be developed by the Management Committee and forwarded to the Implementation Committee for a final decision. A cost-sharing agreement among the parties may be required to ensure a disproportionate burden is not born by any one participant. Not all parties will be able to contribute their proportionate share every year, so the funding requirements may be balanced over a two year period.
The CIP Director’s office will track the expenditure of funds by the participants as part of the annual work plan and budget process. Each contributing entity will provide individual budget information to the CIP Director’s office for compilation and regular reporting to the Committees.
This CIP sets forth a cooperative process that each CIP Participant is committed to rely upon as set forth herein. All CIP Participants recognize that each Participant has statutory and/or corporate responsibilities that must be respected and cannot be delegated. This CIP does not and is not intended to abrogate any of the CIP Participants statutory or corporate responsibilities.
This program is a partnership effort, in which the representative of each participant will provide input and recommendations on program activities on an individual basis, and has not been established or utilized to advise the executive branch through its agencies. The Committees of the Program shall meet to explore potential means of accomplishing program objectives through informal consultations, not to form a recommendation to any one participant or group of participants on behalf of the Program. All activities and decisions will be in compliance with existing state and federal laws and executable under existing agency authorities, and do not constitute policymaking. Furthermore, all meetings shall be open to the public and include and opportunity for broad public input beyond that represented by the program participant’s representatives.
The term of this CIP shall be 10 years. It shall be automatically reviewed on consecutive 10 year intervals unless the CIP Participants agree otherwise.
Any Participant may withdraw from the CIP on sixty (60) days written notice to the other CIP Participants.
This CIP is subject to and is intended to be consistent with all applicable federal and state laws.
Any funding commitments made under this CIP are subject to approval and appropriations by appropriate private, state, local, and federal legislative bodies.
No member of, or delegate to Congress, or resident Commissioner, shall receive any direct or immediate benefit that may arise from this CIP.
The requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act will be met before the implementation of this CIP and prior to implementation of significant actions und the CIP.
The CIP Program Document is a basic framework for a mechanism by which the listed species of the Klamath River Basin can be recovered while human use and development of water resources continue, in compliance with state, federal, and tribal laws. It will be a fluid document. It is anticipated that the CIP Participants will need other information, may adopt Roberts Rule of Order or another form of meeting management, and will develop detailed agreements on specific aspects of the program. These documents will be appended to the Program Document.
List of Acronyms
BOR – U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
CIEC - Coordination, Information and Education Committee
CIP – Conservation Implementation Program
ESA – Endangered Species Act
FWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
KIFWC – Klamath Intertribal Fish and Water Commission
NOAA Fisheries – National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, National Marine Fisheries
RPA – Reasonable and Prudent Alternative
SONCC – Southern Oregon and Northern California Coastal Coho salmon
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