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Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX: STATEMENT OF TASK ." National Research Council. 2002. Scientific Evaluation of Biological Opinions on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10296.
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Page 32
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX: STATEMENT OF TASK ." National Research Council. 2002. Scientific Evaluation of Biological Opinions on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10296.
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Page 33

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APPENDIX 32 APPENDIX STATEMENT OF TASK The committee will review the government's biological opinions regarding the effects of Klamath Project operations on species in the Klamath River Basin listed under the Endangered Species Act, including coho salmon and shortnose and Lost River suckers. The committee will assess whether the biological opinions are consistent with the available scientific information. It will consider hydrologic and other environmental parameters (including water quality and habitat availability) affecting those species at critical times in their life cycles, the probable consequences to them of not realizing those environmental parameters, and the inter-relationship of these environmental conditions necessary to recover and sustain the listed species. To complete its charge, the committee will perform the following: 1. Review and evaluate the science underlying the Biological Assessments (Reclamation 2001) and Biological Opinions (USFWS 2001; NMFS 2001). 2 . Review and evaluate environmental parameters critical to the survival and recovery of listed species. 3 . Identify scientific information relevant to evaluating the effects of project operations that has become available since USFWS and NMFS prepared the biological opinions. 4 . Identify gaps in the knowledge and scientific information that are needed to develop comprehensive strategies for recovering listed species and provide an estimate of the time and funding it would require.

APPENDIX 33 A brief interim report will be provided by January 31, 2002. The interim report will focus on the February 2001 biological assessments of the Bureau of Reclamation and the April 2001 biological opinions of the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding the effects of operations of the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project on listed species. The committee will provide a preliminary assessment of the scientific information used by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, as cited in those documents, and will consider to what degree the analysis of effects in the biological opinions of the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service is consistent with that scientific information. The committee will identify any relevant scientific information it is aware of that has become available since the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service prepared the biological opinions. The committee will also consider any other relevant scientific information of which it is aware. The final report, due March 30, 2003, will thoroughly address the scientific aspects related to the continued survival of coho salmon and shortnose and Lost River suckers in the Klamath River Basin. The committee will identify gaps in the knowledge and scientific information that are needed and provide approximate estimates of the time and funding needed to fill those gaps, if such estimates are possible. The committee will also provide an assessment of scientific considerations relevant to strategies for promoting the recovery of listed species in the Klamath Basin.

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During 2001, a severe drought occurred in the Klamath River Basin. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) determined that the newly issued biological opinions and their RPAs must prevail; thus, water that would have gone to irrigators was directed almost entirely to attempts to maintain minimum lake levels and minimum flows as prescribed in the two RPAs. The severe economic consequences of this change in water management led DOI to request that the National Research Council (NRC) independently review the scientific and technical validity of the government's biological opinions and their RPAs. The NRC Committee on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin was formed in response to this request. The committee was charged with filing an interim report after approximately less than 3 months of study and a final report after about 18 months of study. The interim report, which is summarized here, focuses on the biological assessments of the USBR (2001) and the USFWS and NMFS biological opinions of 2001 regarding the effects of Klamath Project operations on the three listed fish species.

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