Tribe signs Priest Rapids agreement

18 August 2006

The comprehensive settlement agreement is the third and final piece of the Priest Rapids project Salmon and Steelhead Protection programme. It addresses and provides a framework for resolving all issues between Grant PUD and other signatories related to spring summer and fall Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon in connection with the utility's existing and anticipated new licence for the project, which includes the Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams on the Columbia river.

The settlement follows the NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion for the prject, issued in May 2004, and the successful Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Protection Programme agreement signed in 2004.

'The protection of these natural resources is of paramount importance to the Yakama Nation,' said Phillip Olney, Chairman of the Yakama Nation General Council. 'We look forward to resolving other issues related to the relicensing of the dams, and see this as a step in the right direction.'

The Yakama Nation joins with Grant PUD, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in support of these agreements.

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