Back in 2008, CRITFC, the Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Yakama tribes, the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation signed the Columbia Basin Fish Accords—a decade-long agreement that secured funding for salmon restoration projects throughout the Columbia River Basin.
Now, ten years later, we have an opportunity to look back and see what was accomplished. CRITFC is pleased to release the Columbia Basin Fish Accords Ten-year Report—an overview of the tribal efforts and achievements that the Accords facilitated.
The report includes background information about the tribes and their connection to the natural resources of the Columbia Basin and the importance of salmon to their history and culture. It then proceeds on to sections on fish status and trends and hydropower operations to give context to the state of the fish and the river over the course of the last decade. The report highlights tribal projects and successes for topic areas including Habitat Projects (see excerpt below), Propagation, Lamprey and Sturgeon, RM&E, Predators and Invasive Species, Climate Change, and Partnerships and Coordination. Most of these topic areas include detailed maps, graphs and metrics, or charts to highlight various aspects of the work completed.
Download the summary report here. (Please note, this is a 39MB file and may take a while to load. If you have browser problems or would prefer a print-friendly version of the report, use this Dropbox link to the report.)
Report Highlight: Habitat Projects
Forty percent of the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and CRITFC Accords funding went to watershed restoration efforts. Over the course of the last decade, they completed 14,586 in-stream actions and 404 out-of-stream actions (see map at right). The certainty of funding also allowed the tribes to leverage millions of dollars from additional sources including the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and other federal, state, tribal, public utility district and private foundations.
The goal of these projects is watershed-scale habitat restoration to increase naturally-spawning salmon and steelhead survival and to help restore these populations to levels where ESA viability criteria or Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit (the tribes’ salmon recovery plan) goals and objectives are met.
By the numbers
The funding provided by the Columbia Basin Fish Accords allowed the tribes to achieve some major accomplishments throughout the Columbia Basin (see map at right) in protecting the ecosystems that support healthy salmon populations including:
- 968,621 acres of habitat protected, treated, or maintained (an area the size of Rhode Island)
- 7,236 miles stream protected or improved
- 397 barriers improved or removed
- 37.3 billion gallons of water protected and conserved each year
Put the fish back into the rivers. As the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes continue to make strides in implementing this fundamental goal, the Columbia Basin Fish Accords have been instrumental in providing the resources necessary to not only carry out the restoration work, but also facilitate finding new or expanded solutions to our plan’s institutional, technical, and community development recommendations. The Fish Accords also helped streamline regional decision-making and greatly improved coordination and relationships among the tribes and federal and state governments. As we face increasing uncertainties regarding the future of our salmon, it is now more important than ever that we continue to come together as a region to coordinate our efforts.
The actions described in this summary report must continue. While the future operations of the Columbia River hydrosystem face uncertainty, there is no question that the fate of salmon, steelhead, lamprey, and sturgeon in the Columbia River face an even greater uncertainty. The tribes will continue to strongly advocate for adequate funding and certainty of actions. We will to work with our numerous partners through collaborative efforts to ensure benefits to the fish, wildlife, and environment continue for future generations.