Statement by Dr. Lubchenco, NOAA administrator, on Voluntary Remand of Hydropower Biological Opinion

February 19, 2010

We’re pleased that the court views the Adaptive Management Implementation Plan as a positive development. We’re ready to proceed with the voluntary three-month remand as the court outlined in its proposed order so the court may consider the AMIP in evaluating the 2008 Biological Opinion.

The court noted that we do not need to start over from scratch, develop a new jeopardy framework or put at risk the progress made through the regional collaborative process.  However, we will review any new, pertinent scientific information to ensure that the BiOp and AMIP continue to be based on the best available science. We will also continue to work in partnership with our state and tribal partners.  And we remain mindful of the concerns the Court and parties have expressed during the development and consideration of the AMIP.

We look forward to moving out of the courtroom and focusing on the protection and restoration efforts that make the most difference for the salmon and the communities that rely on them.