Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion
Tributary Habitat Program — 2012 Expert Panels

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2012 Expert Panels

This website was developed to compile pertinent reference and working materials related to preparing for and holding expert panel workshops. These pages include links to full documents and links to extracts from full documents and other material pertinent for informing expert panels. The full documents are provided for general reference purposes. Extracts from the full documents and other material are those related specifically to tributary habitat expert panel requirements and background information and are highlighted for easy reference.

This information was assembled specifically to meet requirements for the 2008/2010 FCRPS Biological Opinion issued by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries); however, parts of the approach presented in these web pages may also be useful for planning, prioritizing, and implementing habitat improvement projects in other parts of the Pacific Northwest or elsewhere.

General Background

The FCRPS Federal Action Agencies (AAs) — US Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation — are currently implementing the 2008/2010 FCRPS BiOp. The 2010 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp incorporates the 2008 FCRPS BiOp and the Adaptive Management Implementation Plan that resulted from the court-ordered remand of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp.

Expert Panel workshops are held every three years during the term of the 2008/2010 FCRPS BiOp to finalize changes in tributary habitat limiting factors resulting from completed habitat improvement projects that were planned for the previous implementation cycle and to evaluate changes in tributary habitat limiting factors expected to result from completion of habitat improvement projects planned for completion in the next implementation cycle.

Reference materials specifically for tributary habitat requirements for the 2008 FCRPS BiOp are contained in RPA 35 and RPA 35, Table 5.

The Habitat Collaboration Workgroup (HCW) was formed during the remand of the 2004 FCRPS Biological Opinion ordered by the Federal District Court of Oregon to help the FCRPS AAs develop the proposed action for the FCRPS and to assist NOAA Fisheries in analyzing the effects of the proposed action. The HCW included representatives from sovereign States and Tribes, the AAs and NOAA Fisheries. The proposed action is included in the 2007 Biological Assessment prepared by the FCRPS AAs and the analysis of effects is included in the 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion. The approach to implement the FCRPS BiOp tributary habitat requirements for the 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion was developed through the HCW and is described in Appendix C of the 2007 FCRPS Comprehensive Analysis. A summary of this approach was presented during the 2009 Expert Panel workshops.

RPA 35, Table 5 contains the tributary Habitat Quality change commitments that the AAs are responsible to attain. These commitments are attained by implementing habitat improvement actions that address key limiting factors that affect the survival and potential for recovery of chinook salmon Ecologically Significant Units (ESUs) and steelhead Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. State and tribal members of the HCW emphasized that Expert Panels could be asked by the AAs to render estimates of changes to limiting factors resulting from completion of tributary habitat improvement actions, but the responsibility for converting changes in limiting factors to changes in habitat quality rests with the AAs. An example of applying the methodology developed through the HCW and used by the AAs to convert changes in limiting factors to changes in habitat quality is contained in this spreadsheet.

NOAA Fisheries’ Reasonable and Prudent Alternative Table of Actions: RPA 35, Table 5
(from the 2010 FCRPS BiOp) PDF 65 kb
Appendix C: Analysis of the Effects of Tributary Habitat Actions
(from 2007 FCRPS Comprehensive Analysis) PDF 342 kb
Presentation: Estimating Habitat Quality and Survival Benefits: Remand Habitat Workgroup Approach PDF 1.14 mb
Spreadsheet: Example Expert Panel Habitat Function Table PDF 63 kb

Jeff McLaughlin
Civil Engineer
(208) 378-5251

Bureau of Reclamation
Pacific Northwest Region
1150 N Curtis Road, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83706

Last Updated: 11/30/17