The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the conservation of species that the federal government lists as endangered or threatened and the conservation of ecosystems on which those species depend.
BPA is committed to protecting and recovering threatened and endangered species in the Columbia River Basin. Under ESA, we consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to protect listed species affected by our transmission lines, power, and fish and wildlife projects and to ensure these projects comply with the ESA. The USFWS has jurisdiction over terrestrial species and freshwater species, while NOAA Fisheries manages marine species, including anadromous fish and marine mammals.
BPA works with the regulatory agencies to make this process as efficient as possible. One way we have streamlined the consultation process is the programmatic NOAA Fisheries biological opinion for BPA's Fish and Wildlife Program. Known as the Habitat Improvement Program Biological Opinion, or HIP, this BiOp provides ESA compliance for most of the habitat improvement activities that BPA funds. This process has saved time and money for both agencies while accelerating habitat improvement project implementation.
For an overview of the federal effort to recover ESA-listed salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin, see www.salmonrecovery.gov