Reexamining the Parity Promise: More Challenges than Successes to the Implementation of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

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Environmental Law

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Env't L.


This article examines the fourth iteration of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, the centerpiece of efforts to preserve and restore salmon runs in the Northwest. The article explains the directives of the Northwest Power Act which authorized the program and evaluates the first three-and-a-half years of program implementation, including three sets of amendments adopted by the Northwest Power Planning Council in. The article also surveys several threats to successful implementation, ranging from constitutional challenges to the Council, to electric power exports to California, to widespread reluctance on the part of federal water project operators and regulators to carry out various program provisions. The article concludes that these threats, along with the Council's reluctance to approve increased fish passage protection in 1986, suggested an uncertain future for the program and its restoration goals in the mid-1980s.

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