The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and partner agencies will host public briefings Feb.10 in Harrington and Moses Lake to explain the status of fish and wildlife mitigation "sub-basin planning" projects in the Crab Creek area.
The Harrington briefing takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Harrington Memorial Hall, South 6 Third St.
The Moses Lake briefing runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Moses Lake Convention Center, 1475 Nelson Road.
Each meeting will include an informational presentation, question-and-answer session, and details on future public meetings concerning the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.
The council was created by Congress in 1980 to allow Washington ,Idaho, Montana and Oregon a role in planning for mitigation to compensate for the effects of Columbia River Basin hydropower systems on fish and wildlife.
Each year the council reviews proposals for on-the-ground mitigation projects and research, recommending the best for funding by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Currently, the BPA spends about $127 million annually on fish and wildlife projects in the basin.
This year a new review and selection process emphasizes the development of local, sub-basin plans to guide project funding and serve as a blueprint for recovery efforts. This planning for each sub-basin was recommended by independent scientific panels to insure a more cohesive scientific foundation with clear goals, objectives and strategies.
"We want to work with local stakeholders in the Crab Creek sub-basin so that we can address the needs of this area and propose projects that will do the most good for fish and wildlife," explained WDFW fish biologist Patrick Verhey.
Verhey and other WDFW staff are working with the National Association of Conservation Districts, tribes and local stakeholders in the northcentral Washington sub-basin planning effort.