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Deal may revive prime fish habitat

Two non-profit trusts and Portland General Electric(PGE) have purchased a 59ha meadow in an effort to restore wild steelhead salmon runs. PGE’s interest in the property is related to its efforts to relicense the Pelton-Round Butte complex of dams on the Deschutes river north of Madras. The utility’s 50-year licence to operate the dams expires on 31 December 2001.

PGE and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs expect to file their joint application for relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in March 2001. FERC is expected to require the utility to restore salmon and steelhead runs above the dams as a condition of relicensing. The agency is also expected to require the applicant to restore or create fish habitat to mitigate for habitat lost when the dams were built.