Mitigating Wildlife Losses Caused by Albeni Falls Dam
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Mitigating for Habitat Losses
This project provides ongoing mitigation to partially address the losses of wildlife and their habitats within the Kootenai Tribe’s ancestral lands caused by construction of the Albeni Falls hydroelectric project.

The Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act (1980) requires that measures be implemented to protect, mitigate, and enhance wildlife affected by the development and operation of hydropower projects on the Columbia River System. The Bonneville Power Administration funds the protection, enhancement, maintenance, and monitoring of wildlife habitat. In exchange, BPA receives credits, or habitat units (HUs), to offset the losses to wildlife habitat incurred by the construction and inundation of Albeni Falls Dam.

The construction of Albeni Falls Dam in 1954 resulted in the loss of approximately 7,000 acres of wetland habitat and the inundation of 8,000 acres of deepwater marsh once used by the Tribe and area residents. The Albeni Falls Wildlife Protection, Mitigation, and Enhancement Plan (Martin et al. 1988) estimates the total target species impacts from dam construction at 28,587 HUs. At this time, mitigation for the Albeni Falls Project is approximately 23 percent complete. Fluctuations in water levels impacted riparian habitat and precluded the reestablishment of wetland plant communities. The riverine, riparian, and wetland habitats that were inundated by construction of the hydropower system are habitats with unusually high value to wildlife. Construction and inundation of the dam impacted terrestrial resources by reducing the area of wetland habitats and associated primary productivity, wildlife habitat, and wildlife forage.

To partially mitigate wildlife and wetland habitat losses associated with the construction and inundation of Albeni Falls Dam, the Tribe may purchase properties in Bonner and Boundary Counties in Idaho and western Lincoln County in Montana. The Tribe’s decision to purchase these properties will be based on several criteria, not the least of which include the presence of a rich diversity of habitats and plant and animal species, invertebrates, and other biota, many of which are considered tribally significant, rare, or threatened. All of the parcels that comprise the Conservation Area will be purchased for appraised value on the open real estate market from willing private landowners.

Project Manager: Scott Soults
Liaison from Albeni Fall Interagency Working group include: Kathy Cousins ( IDFG); Ray Entz (Kalispell Tribe); Cam Hauser(Coeur d’Alene Tribe); Albeni Falls representative (USACE)

This project is funded by the
Bonneville Power Administration through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Columbia River Basin Fish & Wildlife Program (Project Number 199206100 (199206105 KTOI).

Scott Soults
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Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone: 208-267-3519

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