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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20
INTRODUCED BY B. MCCARTHY, W. CRISMORE, C. SWYSGOOD, B. TASH
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA SUPPORTING THE BALANCE OF THE NEEDS OF NATIVE ANADROMOUS FISH AND RESIDENT FISH AND WILDLIFE THROUGH THE USE OF SCIENCE-BASED INTEGRATED RULE CURVES.
WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Montana is a member of the Legislative Council on River Governance, which also includes the States of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the Legislative Council on River Governance is to assert state legislative duty and authority over natural resources and river governance and to unite states for a proactive agenda of legislative action and communications; and
WHEREAS, the State of Idaho has requested the support of the members of the Legislative Council on River Governance for healthy stocks of native anadromous fish and for opposing flow augmentation and the removal of dams on the Snake River and its tributaries; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the State of Idaho, has a vested interest in federal and regional decisions concerning water flows in the Columbia River Basin that could affect the Clark Fork and Kootenai Rivers; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the State of Idaho, supports the continued multiple use of the Columbia River tributaries for fish and wildlife, hydropower generation, irrigation, transportation, flood control, municipal use, and recreation; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the State of Idaho, recognizes the importance of multiple uses of water within the Columbia River Basin; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the state of Idaho, has concerns about the impacts of anadromous fish enhancement efforts on resident fisheries and water within the respective states; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the State of Idaho, believes that the native anadromous fish decline is due to many factors, some of which are diminished habitat, increased predation, unfavorable ocean conditions, hatchery practices, harvest impacts, and changing climatic conditions, as well as hydropower generating dams; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana, like the State of Idaho, recognizes the need to protect and enhance native anadromous fish populations and will work to accomplish this while also protecting the needs of the citizens of each state; and
WHEREAS, integrated rule curves for the operation of Libby Dam and Hungry Horse Dam improve dam operational practices to provide more favorable biological conditions for resident fish in those reservoirs and affected river reaches and help balance conditions for anadromous and resident fish so that the recovery of one is not pursued at the expense of the other; and
WHEREAS, integrated rule curves were developed by the State of Montana and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, adopted by the Northwest Power Planning Council in its fish and wildlife program, and were ordered on January 19, 1999, by Federal Magistrate Bart Erickson of Missoula to be considered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation at each relevant stage of decisionmaking processes, including in-season decisions, regarding the operation of Hungry Horse and Libby Dams.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That federal and state enhancement efforts for native anadromous fish must be undertaken in a manner that protects state sovereignty over water resources and balances the needs of anadromous fish with the needs of resident fish and wildlife. In Montana, this balance is best achieved through implementation of integrated rule curves at Libby and Hungry Horse Dams.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of Montana support the State of Idaho's call for further study of the effectiveness of flow augmentation for anadromous fish recovery.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the Montana Congressional Delegation, the Idaho State Legislature, and the directors of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation.
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Latest Version of SJ 20 (SJ0020.ENR)
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