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200737900 - Surveying Jobs that Depend on the Existence of Lower Snake River Reservoirs

Sponsor: bluefish.org

Budgets: FY07: $10,000 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Short description: It is proposed here that a thorough survey be performed to investigate the current level of employment that is dependent upon the continued existence of the Lower Snake Reservoirs.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

This is an inadequate proposal. It presents an inadequate description of survey methods and does not demonstrate relevance of the survey information. No explanation or itemization of the $10k budget is provided. The background section duplicates information presented in other proposals from this sponsor. It discusses different perspectives on the problem of Snake River juvenile salmon mortality and the question of improving survival. It provides extensive excerpts from the US Army Corps of Engineers’ report "Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility" to demonstrate that although dam breaching is identified by the Corps as a less preferable alternative to major system improvement, it may become a more realistic alternative if adaptive migration efforts are not successful. This proposal is to provide a survey of jobs dependent on the continued existence of Snake River Reservoirs, in preparation for the contingency of dam breaching. The rationale is based on citations of Court findings and the 2000 BiOp RPAs 147 and 148 describing the Corps’ responsibilities for developing project management plans and engineering and design work. Also included are extensive excerpts from the Lower Snake and Salmon Subbasin Plans, including the vision and strategies designed to achieve objectives related to terrestrial species and habitats. These include reference to the Snake River dams but don't appear to have direct relevance to the work proposed here. Nothing presented here is specifically related to the question of job loss. The objective is stated as "expanding the list of alternatives to be considered in a reevaluation study which would follow a failed check-in..." However, it is not clear how an employment survey would expand the opportunities except for the brief mention of the utility of clarifying the economic costs of dam breaching. The methods are described in inadequate detail. From the detail provided, however, it is clear that the proposed approach does not represent good survey design, would not provide representative sampling, and would generate biased results. A similar survey is referenced but not cited.

State/province recommendation: MS: Do Not Fund

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This is a FY 2007-2009 funding cycle. Currently there is no pending legislation for authorization of dam removal. Some of these questions were addressed in the Lower Snake River Feasibility Study. If authorization was granted for dam removal, the most likely funding source for this type of activity would be through Congressional appropriations to the USACE. Review of this type of work would more appropriately be performed by the IEAB.