The Northwest Power Act directs the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC) and Bonneville Power Administration to consult with the region’s appropriate Indian tribes in the development and the implementation of the Fish and Wildlife Program. The Power Act also calls for fish and wildlife management coordination (including funding) to assist in the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife resources in the Columbia River Basin. The Nez Perce Tribe Treaty of 1855 encompasses Zone 6 of the Columbia River and numerous Snake River subbasins, including but not limited to the Mainstem Snake River, Clearwater, Salmon, Imnaha, Grande Ronde, Tucannon and Asotin subbasins. The development of the Federal Columbia River Power System has adversely affected wildlife, resident fish and anadromous fish resources across this vast expanse of the Columbia Basin.
The Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) Regional Coordination Project supports active engagement in and contributions to key regional forums, processes and initiatives, including NPCC Program amendment and implementation processes, to further effective protection, mitigation and enhancement of Columbia Basin fish and wildlife resources. This work is important to address impacts of hydroelectric facilities on resident and anadromous fish, wildlife and ecosystem functions. Vital regional and cultural resources are at stake, including listed species and Pacific lamprey. Because the hydrosystem technical forums focus on listed salmonids and Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion considerations, addressing passage issues for other species, such as Pacific lamprey, presents a challenge.
Through active participation, staff provides technical input for a number of key regional forums where policies, programs and actions are planned and implemented. These forums include, but are not limited to:
- Fish Passage Advisory Committee (FPAC) - Fish managers provide coordinated, technical, in-season fish passage, and hydrological information and recommendations to assist the region in making in-season hydro-system management recommendations to protect and enhance fish and wildlife. FPAC generally meets every Tuesday.
- Technical Management Team (TMT) - An inter-agency technical group, chaired by the Corps of Engineers, that makes recommendations on dam and reservoir operations. The TMT generally meets every Wednesday.
- System Configuration Team - SCT is a technical coordinating body responsible for establishing project priorities and developing recommendations to the Corps for implementation of physical improvements to juvenile and adult fish passage facilities on the mainstem Snake or Columbia Rivers. Membership on the SCT is open to the Corps of Engineers, Northwest Power Planning Council, NMFS, BPA, Bureau of Reclamation, USFWS, and state and tribal fishery agencies. The SCT generally meets monthly.
- Lamprey Technical Work Group (LTWG) - A workgroup comprised of technical representatives from agencies, tribes, educational institutions, and industry within the Columbia River Basin whose purposes include: establishing lamprey research, monitoring, and evaluation needs; reviewing new proposals and existing projects, and; disseminating technical information and providing guidance on lamprey issues.
- Fish Passage Operations and Maintenance (FPOM)
- Fish Facility Design Review Work Group (FFDRWG)
- Study Review Work Group (SRWG)/Anadromous Fish Evaluation Program (AFEP)
- Corps/Tribal Lamprey Coordination Group
- Regional Implementation and Oversight Group (RIOG)
- USFWS Lamprey Conservation Initiative
- Northwest Power and Conservation Council
- Various Ad Hoc Planning Teams