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o  Conservation Implementation Program, CIP

Conservation Implementation Program, CIP

Christine Karas, BOR Deputy Area Manager: OK, with that I think we're going to have to move on to our next topic, because I know that everyone is anxious to get out into the field and see some of the facilities and things up close. We also have prepared some maps and stuff that we will be able to take along on the bus. It gets a little bit confusing; and I think it will be beneficial to have those to refer too.

The next topic that I just wanted to cover fairly briefly is the Conservation Implementation Program that is being developed by the Bureau of Reclamation. We refer to that as the CIP, just for short, and the development of the CIP is a requirement of the National Marine Fishery Service biological opinion to Bureau of Reclamation.

 Our task there, as we interpret it, is to formulate the program, it is not to implement it or run it. And how we currently evolved, a great deal from what we originally envisioned to the way that we are looking at it today, is through stakeholder input.


Christine Karas

Originally we fashioned it after a variety of other programs that are successful in other basins, and put that document out, and I think thatís the one that everybody has in their hands. Now, since that time, I have received a large number of written comments, and Iíve gone around and met with a lot of groups. First we met with the tribes, and then later I met with folks like Siskiyou County, and yesterday I went down with Dan Fritz and met with PCFFA and the Klamath Coalition, a representative of the Klamath Coalition, which is a group of environmental organizations, there is like a dozen of them involved. Weíve had numerous discussions with different people. The way that we currently view the program is that it will be sort of an umbrella program; it is a mechanism by which all of the existing efforts that are going on throughout the whole basin can become coordinated and the CIP would facilitate their moving forward. Okay, so its not the goal of this program to dictate how things are going to work, to come in and take over any of the work any one else is doing.  What we would anticipate is that all these different efforts that are going on in sub-basins and watersheds throughout the Klamath Basin would input their ideas and the projects they would like to see go forth to the Conservation Implementation Program. And we would have a committee of folks who then could facilitate those actions actually taking place through helping fund them, conducting research that is needed, or just helping them in any fashion that they would request.

We envision a science review panel and peer review at a number of different levels so we would have a level of peer review maybe every year or two years that would look at the overall program. Is it being successful?  Is it being operated properly? The CIP would have several other lower layers of peer review where folks would, for example, if there was a research need identified, we would put out a request for proposals. Any entity that would like to do that work could summit a proposal. That proposal would go through a science review board, a biology committee, whatever form of peer review is most appropriate. The specifics are not clear at this time because the CIP is still under formulation. We donít know what it will be yet.

Or we might call on one of the existing peer review groups, for example: Klamath River Fisheries Task Force has such a committee already in existence.  We might just call on them to do the work. We originally envisioned something that was a lot more structured, and now what we're seeing is the type of program that is going to work best for this basin, I believe, and again it is all under development. It would be more of a coordinating body, identifying the needs.  We feel that, if we have all these different groups working together, we will be able to attract money and other resources to the program.

I guess I donít want to spend a whole lot of time discussing the details of it, because right now we are going through a rewrite of the document. I would like to mention some of the things that are in the current document that I think are going to change. One is that it lists the potential membership. That membership is, we found,  not nearly broad enough.  We know we had left out huge segments of the basin, and so that is going to be changed a lot. What we envision would be stratifying the basin in some fashion and waiting for input from folks, as to what thatís going to look like. For example, it might be the Shasta Scott; thereís a group working there. Thereís a group working in the Salmon. Weíve got what the Yurok Tribe is doing through that section of the river. Weíve got the Klamath River Fisheries Task Force,  the Hatfield group. Somehow we would stratify the basin into different sections. These sections would work together to develop, and many of them have already developed, action plans and things they would like to see happen. Then they could come to the broader Conservation Implementation Program to let us know whatís going on so we could transfer information and technology all up and down the basin, and for funding, and any other kind of aid they might need. So thatís kind of how we view the program right now. Like I say, it is constantly changing and people are giving a lot of good input to help develop it, and with that I am just going to open it up if anyone has any questions. I think most of you are familiar with the program somewhat, because we had the document out and things like that. So would you like to, Dan, do you have anything you want to add?

Dan Fritz (right), BOR environmental specialist, Klamath office: Just the principle of this program is patterned after some similar programs that have been are currently underway in the Upper Colorado Basin area, that by all indications are being successful in accomplishing the goals that are set out in front of them, and given that model, we think it has application here. Although, it clearly I think, based on the comment we received, it is going to take a little different shape and organization that it has in other areas, but the same principals and goals seem to apply here, and we think it can be successful in this basin also. It will take a lot of work.

Karas: The overall goal is to recover the fish, to go beyond just the removal of jeopardy, which is the requirement under the Endangered Species Act, and actually achieve recovery, when the actual requirement of the Federal Agency is to not jeopardize the continued existence of the species. But we view that as like having a loan and only paying the interest. Youíve got to pay down the principal. Youíve got to recover this species, and resolve the issues. Simultaneously we wanted to see the continuation of The Project, the different facilities, irrigated agriculture in the basin. If these two groups donít work together, I donít think either one can be successful.

Nelson: How does that tie into the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) of process?

Karas: We have had some discussion with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the states regarding the TMDLs and I think that the answer to your question is that we are not sure yet. Things have to develop further before we will be able to really know.

Bob Davis: The TMDL process as we understand it has a due date thatís going to be much sooner then the completion if this will be a long term thing, The TMDL, I believe that they have a due date of 2005, to get plans in place for both Oregon and California, and I understand that the two states are joining together in that effort, along with the EPA, to have a unified approach to TMDLs on the Lost River and on the Klamath River also.

Keppen: Well the tribes have a role there too, donít they?

Davis: The tribes do have a role, but in the geographic region that we are talking about now, we're mostly taking the Lost River and the Klamath River, basically from Klamath Falls down to the ocean, and you would have the three downstream tribes involved there. Yes, thatís correct.

Keppen: Iíll just throw something out from the water users perspective about the CIP. We like the concept, but the devil is in the details, and I think, so far, you have a pretty good start. But the reason why it is encouraging is right now we're not in any sort of recovery mode. Instead, we are constantly in a reactive mode where weíve got these jeopardy opinions that are issued every year. And so Project water is essentially used as a primary mechanism to avoid jeopardizing suckers, and to avoid jeopardizing coho salmon. The CIP would actually set up mile posts and work towards recovering the fish, and thereís accountability. Thatís a pretty important paradigm shift from our standpoint.

Karas: I am sure youíll be hearing a lot more about the program. Our next steps here are to continue meeting with some of the other groups throughout the basin. We have a number of meetings set with folks. Following that, what we are currently planning to do is to use a private consultant and a decision support tool. And what we want to do with that is go around and meet with different groups all throughout the basin and try to develop certain mutual goals with those folks. What we would like to look at is: what is it that people really want from the program, we want to help them to articulate the things that they need, and try to find the common ground. Because I think that there appears to be a lot desperate groups clashing together. But really I believe that there is a lot of common ground.  Everybody would like to see a healthy ecosystem, so weíll try to develop this common ground, get people to articulate what their needs are, then look at the program and the program document and try to determine if it is meeting those needs. Is it poised to meet those needs? How can we further develop it and modify it so that we will be able to get there? And the results of that then will go into the next couple of drafts of the document to try to get it to be where we need, and weíve had, as Dan says, a lot of guarded enthusiasm. People seem to support the overall concept that. Yes, we have a lot of great work going on.

Is it really coordinated, how can we get it to move forward in a more coordinated fashion, exchange information and technology? Fill some of these gaps in research or restoration activities and try to dispel some of these myths that are going around in many different fields. And so we're hoping that the program is going to be able to serve in that function.

Deb Crisp, Tulelake Growers Association Executive Director: Christine, you said though that if it doesnít have a lot of funding, or you would need this plan to acquire funding for projects, or is that part of it?

Karas: Well, the Bureau of Reclamation has some seed money if you will, but what we would anticipate is that eventually the participants in the program would say we would like to see money in the Fish and Wildlife Services budget or in the GSís budget, or in the Bureauís budget. And when thatís determined, then we would start to request funds. The whole idea is, if you have multiple parties who are the tribal entities, the water users, the environmental groups, the States, etc, all supporting a budget request, we have found in these other programs that it is extremely successful.

For example, in the Upper Colorado program, we started out with a small amount of money that was derived from power revenues, and eventually as we started to recognize the level of funding that we could perform on and the level of funding that we thought we needed, the group would then go on informational tours of Congress, is what we would call them, where we would let them know about the program and what it was doing, and we found that we did not have people testifying against the Bureauís budget, that item in our budget any longer. And we got all kinds of letters of support; water districts, environmental groups, and all kinds of people sending in letters of support. And so that allowed us to be really successful, and eventually in that program we actually put together a piece of legislation to clarify the authorizations and to do things such as, say this is what the program is, this is how big it is, it has an endpoint, it is not just a constant sink, because obviously thatís what you appropriation committees are really concerned about. So up there we actually formulated a piece of legislation.

Now, in say, the Grand Canyon, where the program there is referred to a adaptive management program, there were restrictions put on the amount of power revenues that were going to go into the program every year. And that helped people to know how big it was, and what it was going to do. So a lot of that did take the support of all the different groups.

Bob Gearheart, HSU Professor: Excuse me.  You said something about a decision support system? So part of you are envisioning an information system that builds on a decision support model or an expert system of some sort?

Karas: Weíve been talking about the consulting firm that has a contract with the Bureau and they have a variety of decision support tools, and we're going to decide which ones are going to work best for the program. But the first thing that weíll do is these public meetings where weíre going to go out and get input from the folks, and help them to identify their needs, and articulate their needs, and find this common ground. For example, one of the methods they have described to us that seems to be pretty successful is to bring everybody together and have them identify say their top three highest needs. Then if you look at everybodyís number one need, they are going to be all over the board, and possibly directly opposed to each other, but then as you move down the list sometimes a number two need is something everybody agrees to. Okay now hereís something you can move forward with and find ways that that can support people in acquiring their number one need. But that would be like the type of tool that we would want to use.

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#3   o  Humboldt, Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), Klamath Water Users (KWUA) and BOR regarding research, data, water quality, TMDL's (total maximum daily load of phosphorus) and Chiloquin Dam, which blocks 95% of sucker habitat.

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