Friday, August 29, 2014

Idaho could get $22M to help wildlife

Money would satisfy Bonneville Power Administrationís obligation

The Idaho Statesman

    Idaho officials and the Bonneville Power Administration are close to finishing a settlement agreement to bring $22 million to the state over the next 10 years for the purchase of wildlife habitat to help mitigate for impacts caused by construction and operation of federal dams on the Snake River and tributaries, a release from the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Bulletin reported.
    The goal is to purchase 8,588 acres of habitat with the promised Bonneville funding. The Idaho Department of Fish & Game has purchased 8,722 acres previously.
    Additional acres may be purchased as the funding allows, but costs would not exceed the agreed amount. The state will seek out cost shares from other entities in order to help stretch the budget.
    Bonneville, which markets power generated in the Northwest federal hydro system, will fund the new property acquisitions at a rate of $5 million per year for fiscal years 2015-2017, $2.5 million in both 2018 and 2019 and $2 million in habitat spending is predicted for 2020.
    The federal agency will also fund a “stewardship account” of $12 million that the state will control and draw on to pay for maintenance and operation of habitat bought in the past and future with Bonneville funding. Another $600,000 is due each year for the next 10 years for pre-acquisition and administration costs.
    In return, BPA will be absolved of its wildlife mitigation obligation to the state for impacts from its dams in southern Idaho.
    That mitigation debt for dam construction and loss of inundated lands has been calculated by the state, Bonneville and involved tribes to be 33,290 acres, of which 50 percent (16,645 acres) must be paid to the Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife according to an allocation agreement. An additional 665 acres will be included to address operational losses.
    Under the agreement, F&G stipulates that Bonneville’s settlement will satisfy its obligation for wildlife mitigation in southern Idaho.
    BPA and the state of Idaho are inviting the public to review and comment on the proposed settlement. The draft agreement will be open to public comment for 30 days. BPA and Idaho will decide whether to sign a final agreement this fall.
    The public comment period will close Sept. 15.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.