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Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Protected Areas Data Set

Data Categories Protected Areas list as defined by the Northwest Power Planning Council

Results of the Pacific Northwest Rivers Study:
-- Anadromous fishes present / habitat quality / resource value
-- Resident fishes present / habitat quality / resource value
-- Wildlife species present / habitat quality / resource value
Cultural values
Natural features values
Recreational values
-- Other constraints on hydropower development
Dates of Data 1988 TO 1992
Data Set Status Complete
Data Set Update Schedule n/a
Date Data Set Published on StreamNet Data Store 7/2/2008
Project Name & Number
Purpose of Data Set Purpose provided in Abstract
Summary / Abstract 'Protected Areas' are stream reaches where the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council (renamed the Northwest Power and Conservation Council in July 2003 and referred to here as 'the Council' determined that hydroelectric development would have unacceptable risks of irreversible loss to fish and wildlife. In essence, Protected Areas are places where fish and wildlife values are judged to outweigh the value of electricity those areas could generate.

Federal entities -- specifically the Bonneville Power Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation -- must consider Protected Area status when making decisions regarding hydroelectric facility permits and access to electricity from those facilities. Inclusion in a 'Protected Area' does not prohibit hydroelectric development at a site. However, it does prevent electricity generated at that site from being delivered to the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie (the 'power grid'). The Protected Areas list was completed in 1988; changes to the list were promulgated in 1989, 1990, and 1992.

The Protected Areas protections apply to the creation of new hydroelectric facilities in places on the Protected Areas list. Significantly, the following are exempted:
-- Facilities and impoundments licensed by FERC as of August 10, 1988.
-- Relicensing such facilities and impoundments
-- Modifications to existing hydroelectric facilities or their impoundments
-- Addition of hydroelectric generation to a non-hydroelectric dam or diversion, if the facility existed as of the date Protected Area status was granted
-- 'Transition projects,' for which applications or permits were sought from FERC before August 10, 1988.

Also included in this data set are the results of the Pacific Northwest Rivers Study, which informed the Protected Areas development decisions.
Broad Biological Groups Fishes
Location Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington
NPCC Subbasins (2001 Subbasins) Entire Columbia Basin / Mainstem / Systemwide
Outside the Columbia basin: Outside Columbia Basin
Keywords Northwest Power Planning Council, new hydroelectric development, Pacific Northwest Rivers Study
Lead Person and Organization That Created the Data Set Michael Banach
Other Participating Organizations -- Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council (renamed the Northwest Power and Conservation Council in July 2003)
-- Fish and wildlife management agencies from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana
-- State water and power management agencies from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana
Contact Person for Questions About the Data Name:  Michael Banach
Position:  StreamNet Project Fisheries Biologist
Organization:  StreamNet / Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Address:  Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 205 SE Spokane Street, Suite 100
Portland, OR  97202
Phone:  503-595-3100
Broad Category of Methods Lab
Data Collection Methods Beginning in 1983, the Council directed extensive studies of existing habitat and analyzed alternative means of protection. In 1988, the Council concluded that:

1. the studies had identified fish and wildlife resources of critical importance to the region;
2. mitigation techniques cannot assure that all adverse impacts of hydroelectric development on these fish and wildlife populations will be mitigated;
3. even small hydroelectric projects may have unacceptable individual and cumulative impacts on these resources; and
4. protecting these resources and habitats from hydroelectric development is consistent with an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply.

The Council, relying on these studies, designated certain river reaches in the basin as "protected areas," where the Council believes hydroelectric development would have unacceptable risks of loss to fish and wildlife species of concern, their productive capacity, or their habitat. River reaches to be protected are those reaches or portions of reaches listed on the "Protected Areas List" adopted by the Council on August 10, 1988, and subsequently. For each river reach listed on the Protected Areas List, the fish and wildlife to be protected are those on the list.
File Formats MS Access 2000 (.mdb)
Data structure description See data set files
URL where updated data may be available StreamNet Protected Areas web page

Pacific Northwest Rivers Study documentation
Some data sets are intrinsically linked to software, tools, models, or statistical procedures, and must be used in association in order to be of value. If this applies to this data set then the following information will apply:
Relationship between the data set and the software, model, etc.
Where the software, tools, models, etc. can be obtained if they are not included with the data download.
Contact person for questions about the software, tools, models, etc. Name:  

Papers, reports, and presentations that were done under this project. Many papers were created during the development of the Protected Areas list. The important documents we have access to are available at
Restrictions or legal prerequisites for accessing and using this data set. No

File Size: 8 MB