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CRITFC Public Document Archive

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission maintains an archive of documents available to the public. Select a topic area at the right to narrow your search. Click on the icon to download the document. The filetype is indicated by the icon.

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Public Document Highlights

Conf. Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation v. FERC 746 F.2d 466 (1984)

Topic Area: FERC Proceedings

FERC could not satify obligations under the Federal Power Act and National Environmental Policy Act by deferring consideration and implementation of fishery protection measures until after licensing. These statutes require FERC to examine fishery issues before issuance of a license.

Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Indian Nation v. Baldrige, 898 F.Supp. 1477 (W.D.Wash.,1995)

Topic Area: Pacific Salmon Treaty

Northwest fishing treaty tribes made strong showing, for purposes of obtaining preliminary injunction, that State of Alaska violated explicit intent of Baldrige Stipulation and Order, to promote effective implementation of Pacific Salmon Treaty and to provide fair interstate domestic allocation of chinook salmon resources, when State attempted to impose alternative plan of determining chinook salmon allocation, by unreasonably pursuing its interests in derogation of its duty to fulfill its obligations under Stipulation and Order in good faith, and by ignoring recommendations of scientific panels that alternative plan not be implemented as proposed and attempting to proceed even though its own scientists had not had time to incorporate modifications suggested in peer review process.

Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Indian Nation v. Baldrige, 605 F.Supp. 833 (D.C.Wash.,1985)

Topic Area: Pacific Salmon Treaty

This stipulation was entered into by all parties to this proceeding for the purpose of defining a procedure and standards by which the parties agree to determine the allocation of certain chinook salmon resources between fisheries in and off the state of Alaska and fisheries in and off the states of Washington and Oregon through effective implementation of the U.S./Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty signed at Ottawa January 28, 1985. The parties to the stipulation are the United States, the states of Washington and Oregon, the twenty-four Indian tribes identified on the signature pages hereto whose fishing rights are secured by treaties entered into between the United States and the respective tribes in the mid-1850’s (Stevens and Palmer Treaties), and the State of Alaska.

Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Reservation and Yakama Indian Nation v BPA

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

Based on the information presented during the initial and supplemental rate proceedings, it should have been apparent to BPA that its 1998 cost estimates were too low. Relying on outdated assumptions did not help BPA to “keep its options open”; rather, such reliance made it less likely that BPA would ultimately be able to live up to its statutory obligations to implement fish and wildlife and other commitments, including its commitment in the Principles to maintain sufficient financial reserves for the post-2006 rate period. Because BPA discounted and ignored crucial facts presented to it, the Ninth Circuit held that BPA’s fish and wildlife cost estimates and, by extension, the rates set pursuant to those estimates, were not supported by substantial evidence.

Douglas County PUD v BPA

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

Douglas PUD v. BPA – Actions taken by the Corps of Engineers releasing water from Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams at the request of the Fish Passage Center for aiding fish migrations did not result in any compensable losses to a non-federal hydro project operator.

Idaho Dept of Fish & Game v. NMFS, 850 F.Supp 886 (D.Or. 1994)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Challenge to NMFS’ 1993 biological opinion on FCRPS operations. The District Court of Oregon (Judge Marsh) invalidates the opinion for applying an incorrect jeopardy standard and inadequately explaining analytical assumptions.

July 2010 White House guidance for implementing Executive Order 13175

Topic Area: Consultation Policies

On July 30, 2010 the White House Office of Budget and Management issued guidance for implementing Executive Order 13175.

National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS, 254 F.Supp. 2d 1196 (D. Or. 2003)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Challenge to NMFS’ 2000 biological opinion on FCRPS operations. The District Court of Oregon (Judge Redden) finds arbitrary and capricious NMFS’s defined “action area” and the agency’s reliance on off-site federal actions that have not undergone section 7 consultation and non-federal mitigation actions that are not reasonably certain to occur in order to reach the “no jeopardy” conclusion.

National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS, 422 F.3d 782 (9th Cir. 2005)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Motion for Injunction against NMFS and action agencies for certain actions and FCRPS operations based on court’s invalidation of the 2004 FCRPS BiOp. The Ninth Circuit affirms the District Courts’ issuance of a preliminary injuction regarding 2005 summer spill operations, but remands the question whether “modification” or “narrow tailoring” of the order was necessary.

National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS, 524 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2008)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Challenge to NMFS’ 2004 biological opinion on FCRPS operations. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court determination that NMFS had illegally altered the jeopardy standard and its remand of the opinion to the agency for one year while leaving the opinion in place.

National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS, Civ. No. 01-640-RE, Opinion & Order (D. Or. Aug. 2, 2011)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Challenge to NMFS’ 2008/2010 biological opinion on FCRPS operations. District Court of Oregon (Judge Redden) found that because the opinion’s no jeopardy conclusion is based on unidentified habitat measures, NMFS determination that operations after 2013 will not jeopardize the species is arbitrary and capricious.

National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS, Civ. No. 01-640-RE, Opinion & Order (D. Or. Dec. 29, 2005)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Motion for injunction regarding 2006 FCRPS spill and transport operations during remand of 2004 BiOp. District of Oregon (Judge Redden) issues orders regarding spring and summer spill and transport operations for 2006 which he finds to be a “reasonable balance spread-the-risk approach.”

Northwest Power Act Fish and Wildlife Provisions 839b

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

Northwest Power Act’s Fish and Wildlife provisions. Section 4(h) of the Northwest Power Act sets forth requirements for the adoption of a system wide fish and wildlife program intended to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of hydroelectric facilities in the Columbia River Basin. Provisions in this section of the Act also require federal agencies to provide equitable treatment for fish and wildlife with the other purposes for which the system is operated and to take the Program into account at each relevant stage of their decision making.

November 2000 Executive Order 13175

Topic Area: Consultation Policies

In November 2000, President Bill Clinton as part of his administration’s commitment to tribal sovereignty and government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes signed revised Executive Order 13175. The goal of Executive Order 13175 is to ensure that all executive departments and agencies consult with Indian tribes and respect tribal sovereignty as they develop policy issues that impact Indian communities.

November 5, 2009 White House Executive Memorandum regarding Tribal Consultation

Topic Area: Consultation Policies

In November 2009, the White House as part of a commitment to regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in policy decisions issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies as an initial step to complete and consistent implementation of Executive Order 13175.

NRIC and Yakama v NPPC

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

NRIC & Yakama v. NPPC – The Northwest Power Planning Council failed to make appropriate findings and give substantial deference to the recommendations of fish and wildlife managers, including the Yakama Nation, when it rejected measures calling for increases in fish flow regimes.

NWF and Nez Perce Tribe v. FERC, 801 F.2d 1505 (1986)

Topic Area: FERC Proceedings

Congress’ commitment to coordinated study and comprehensive planning along an entire river system before hydroelectric projects are authorized is a central feature of the Federal Power Act. The reasons advanced by FERC for not developing a comprehensive plan, not requiring permittees to conduct studies designed to provide data to measure cumulative impacts, not formulating uniform study guidelines, and not collecting baseline environmental data, had no discernible support in the record.

Pacific Northwest Generating Co-op v. Brown, 38 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 1994)

Topic Area: Endangered Species Act

Consolidated challenges to NMFS’ 1992 biological opinions on FCRPS operations, ocean fisheries under the PFMC’s Fishery Management Plan, and in-river fisheries under the Columbia River Fish Management Plan (CRFMP). Ninth Circuit affirmation that plaintiff power customers did not have standing under the ESA because their economic interest in power production “relates to the water resource, no the fish.”

Pacific Salmon Treaty

Topic Area: Pacific Salmon Treaty

Pacific Salmon Treaty between the government of Canada and the government of the United States of America concerning Pacific Salmon. Updated November 27, 2009.

Pacific Salmon Treaty Act 16 USC 3631 to 3645

Topic Area: Pacific Salmon Treaty

Pacific Salmon Treaty Act 16 USC 3631 to 3645

Port of Astoria v Hodel

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

Port of Astoria v. Hodel – BPA was required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before deciding to build a new transmission line and enter into a power sales contract with an aluminum smelter. The EIS would need to address these actions in relation to BPA’s proposed Hydro-Thermal Power Program. This suit and several others gave rise to the Northwest Power Act.

Sohappy v. Smith

Topic Area: U.S. v. Oregon

Fourteen individual members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation filed this case against the members and director of the Fish Commission of the State of Oregon and the Oregon State Game Commission seeking a decree of the federal district court of Oregon defining their treaty right “of taking fish at all usual and accustomed places” on the Columbia River.

The Yakama tribal members:

  1. Richard Sohappy
  2. Aleck Sohappy
  3. David Sohappy
  4. Myra Sohappy
  5. Clara Sohappy
  6. James Alexander
  7. James Alexander. Jr.
  8. Leo Alexander
  9. Clifford Alexander
  10. Henry Alexander
  11. Andrew Jackson
  12. Roy Watlamet
  13. Shirley McConville
  14. Clarence Tahkeal

Tribal Circumstances Report

Topic Area: Tribal Circumstances Report

This report considers impacts of the Lower Snake River hydropower projects on the Nez Perce Tribe, the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. Each of these tribes is a sovereign nation, and is unique in many ways. At the same time, these four tribes have retained close linkages over the years: through blood ties; in cooperative pursuit of salmon and other food; and through religion, sharing of languages and similartity of treaties.

The Report also assesses impacts on the Shoshone-Bannock peoples, who live further upriver in the Snake River drainage, and who are more separated from the other four study tribes.

Tribal Circumstances Report Executive Summary

Topic Area: Tribal Circumstances Report

Executive summary of the Tribal Circumstances Report, which considers impacts of the Lower Snake River hydropower projects  on the Nez Perce Tribe, the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. Each of these tribes is a sovereign nation, and is unique in many ways. At the same time, these four tribes have retained close linkages over the years: through blood ties; in cooperative pursuit of salmon and other food; and through religion, sharing of languages and similartity of treaties.

The Report also assesses impacts on the Shoshone-Bannock peoples, who live further upriver in the Snake River drainage, and who are more separated from the other four study tribes.

Tribal Energy Vision for the Columbia River (2003)

Topic Area: Energy Vision

Our energy strategy or vision is economically and ecologically based to meet the
requirements of fish and wildlife and the energy needs of the Northwest. The Energy
Vision for the Columbia River highlights critical concerns with the region’s existing
energy system and defines a systematic approach to address these concerns. It is a
planning document with a salmon recovery strategy that emphasizes a diverse and
reliable energy resource mix, keeps energy costs similar to current costs and recovers
abundant, harvestable salmon.

Click here to download the 2013 Update.

Tribal Perspective Report

Topic Area: Tribal Circumstances Report

This Tribal Perspective is provided to the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration [hereinafter “Co‐Lead Agencies” or “Agencies”] in response to the Agencies’ email dated February 14, 2019, requesting submissions of Tribal Perspectives for the Columbia River System Operation Draft Environmental Impact Statement [CRSO DEIS]. This Tribal Perspective was prepared by the Nez Perce Tribe [NPT], Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation [CTUIR], Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon [CTWRSO] and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation [YN] with assistance by the Columbia River Inter‐Tribal Fish Commission [CRITFC][collectively the “Columbia River Treaty Tribes”].
The Columbia River Treaty Tribes expect that this Tribal Perspectives Report, incorporating by reference the entirety of the 1999 Meyer Report that serves as its foundation, will be incorporated in the CRSO EIS as submitted. The Meyer Report provides a useful framework for outlining and introducing tribal concerns and perspectives with the effects of the federal Columbia and Snake river dams on tribal resources, interests and culture. This Tribal Perspective draws highlights from the Meyer Report and supplements it with updated and new information.

US v. Oregon Agreement

Topic Area: U.S. v. Oregon

The purpose of this Management Agreement is to provide a framework within which the parties (U.S., Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Yakama Nation, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) may exercise their sovereign powers in a coordinated and systematic manner in order to protect, rebuild, and enhance upper Columbia River fish runs while providing harvests for both treaty Indian and non-treaty fisheries.

US v. Oregon Opinion

Topic Area: U.S. v. Oregon

This 2011 order of the federal district court of Oregon addresses a dispute that arose when NOAA Fisheries accepted a tributary harvest plan from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes for off reservation fisheries in the Grande Ronde River and Imnaha River sub-basins in northeast Oregon. The Nez Perce Tribe disputed this action and its position was supported by the Yakama, Umatilla, and Warm Springs tribes.

White Sturgeon Hatchery Master Plan

Topic Area: Sturgeon

Construction and operation of the hydropower system has substantially reduced White Sturgeon productivity and fishery opportunity throughout the Columbia and Snake River systems. Sturgeon occur throughout most of their historical range but current production is far below the historical level. Low numbers severely limit sturgeon harvest opportunities throughout the basin, particularly for impounded populations upstream from Bonneville Dam.

Current status, limiting factors, and conservation, restoration, and mitigation efforts are detailed for White Sturgeon throughout the Columbia Basin in a Planning Framework prepared at the direction of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Beamesderfer & Anders 2013). This document was prepared by participants in Council-funded sturgeon projects with input from a series of regional workshops and identified a series of findings and recommendations which provide guidance for sturgeon programs and projects throughout the region. The framework found that careful use of sturgeon hatcheries has the potential to help perpetuate declining wild populations and mitigate for lost natural production in many impounded areas.

Consistent with regional sturgeon framework recommendations, the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission prepared this Master Plan describing a sturgeon hatchery program designed to help mitigate impacts of development and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System on sturgeon population productivity and fishery opportunities in lower mid-Columbia River and lower Snake River reservoirs.

Sturgeon hatchery program goals include:

  1. Enhance commercial, subsistence and recreational fisheries for impounded subpopulations of sturgeon consistent with habitat capacities.
  2. Conduct sturgeon enhancement in a manner which ensures protection and conservation of natural populations and the ecosystem.
  3. Employ hatchery-produced sturgeon as an experimental tool for applied research on limiting factors, habitat capacity, broodstock limitations, population parameters, and immigration/entrainment in natural populations.

Yakama v BPA

Topic Area: Northwest Power Act

Yakama v. BPA – BPA acted contrary to law when it concluded, based solely on Senate committee report language, that it was bound to transfer Fish Passage Center’s (FPC) functions to third party contractors and its decision to transfer the FPC’s functions to contractors was arbitrary and capricious.

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