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the Salmon Rivers in Idaho has as its primary objective the restoration of salmon runs by encouraging water users to modify their water use practices. Project funding comes from the Bonneville Power Administration as part of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. Soil and water conservation districts also have had important roles in the program.
Another important example is the McKenzie Watershed Council of the McKenzie River in Oregon, often touted as the cleanest river in Oregon. This effort was stimulated when hydropower facilities on the river came up to be relicensed in 1991, and there was a call to investigate the potential for developing an integrated watershed management program in the basin. In 1993, the Oregon congressional delegation secured $600,000 in EPA funds to support the work. Additional funds included $500,000 from the NRCS and $100,000 from the Northwest Power Planning Council. However, as federal funds diminish, the Council will need to develop a more diverse base of federal, state, and local funding.
Not all efforts involve hundreds of thousands of dollars. The South Platte River Forum of the South Platte River in Colorado conducts annual conferences to inform interested people of watershed activities. Funding consists solely of members contributing $500 to $1,500 per agency. Similarly, the Clear Creek Watershed Forum of the Clear Creek Basin in Colorado has been funded primarily by EPA as part of mine cleanup activities. The Forum focuses on the noncontroversial role of sponsoring workshops, but it has not been successful in obtaining funding from sources other than EPA.
Another type of funding is exemplified by the Plumas corporation, a nonprofit group that funds the Feather River Coordinated Resource Management Group in California. Because of their interest in sediment control, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and the Forest Service have provided $4 million to the group. The most pressing present problem is to find new sources of funding to replace direct project funds from PG&E, which is becoming less interested in underwriting restoration projects. Possible alternatives include a unit tax on exported water and support from the State of California.
The Upper Carson River Watershed Management Plan was established to coordinate research and management activities among several agencies concerned with surface and ground water in this watershed in California and Nevada. EPA Section 319 funds support a watershed coordinator, with additional in-kind services from the Fish and Wildlife Service and NRCS.
Finally, the Rio Puerco Management Committee of the Rio Puerco Watershed (New Mexico) was formed to help manage serious sediment problems. This organization was established by section 401 of the Omnibus Parks and Lands Act of 1996. Congress has authorized approximately $7 million over the next decade for the organization through Section 401 of the Omnibus Parks and Lands Act of 1996.
In studying these and other western examples, Kenney and Rieke (1997) (see Box 7.1) drew the following recommendations about steps necessary top improve the financial side of watershed activities: