female chinook salmon icon Definitions

reasonable - Finally, in developing the draft Restoration Plan, Interior began its analysis of the reasonableness of AFRP actions and evaluations at the programmatic level. To assess the reasonableness of proposed AFRP actions and evaluations, Interior conducted two parallel processes. In the first process, Interior reviewed a multi-step process to evaluate each proposed action. This review, which identified reasonable actions, and which will also be used to consider proposed actions in the future, sequentially considered six steps (Figure 1) to address the following three broad categories of questions:Process used to identify resonable restoration actions for inclusion in the Restoration PlanThe first category of questions concerned the intent and technical and legal basis of an action. Specific questions Interior addressed were whether the action would benefit natural production consistent with the provisions of the CVPIA; whether key technical and scientific issues were resolved; and whether the action complied with applicable laws and regulations (steps one and two, Figure 1). If any question was not affirmed, the action was either referred to other programs, modified for reconsideration, or eliminated. Otherwise, actions were subjected to the second category of questions.

The second category of questions considered authority to implement the action. If the CVPIA specifically authorizes or directs Interior to implement the action and it does not require a partner (step three, Figure 1), it was considered reasonable for inclusion in the Restoration Plan. For example, Section 3406(b) includes a number of specific actions or programs to be implemented by the Secretary. The actions and programs determined consistent with the goal and objectives of the AFRP were considered reasonable. This same conclusion applies to certain explicit measures in the CVPIA that are also "tools" for attaining the goal of the AFRP. That is, Interior believes that it is reasonable, at a programmatic level, to conclude that using the tools in subsections 3406 (b)(1)(B), (b)(2) and (b)(3) -- reoperation of the CVP, use of the 800,000 acre-feet of dedicated water for fish and wildlife restoration, and acquisition of additional water from willing sellers -- is reasonable for purposes of this programmatic level analysis.

If the action requires a partner with the authority to implement it, and the partners support implementation, then the action was considered reasonable (step four, Figure 1). Otherwise the action was subjected to the third category of questions.

The third category of questions concerned support from the interested public for actions that would require partnerships to implement but the partnerships were not yet established. For example, some of the proposed actions require a cost-share partner as either stipulated in the CVPIA or due to the nature of the action. In these cases, Interior evaluated whether the interested public has expressed sufficient support for a particular action that it may be reasonable to assume that a cost-share partner will eventually come forward (step five, Figure 1). If partners were likely to come forward, an action was considered reasonable. Otherwise, an action was either modified for reconsideration or eliminated. Forming partnerships will be a dynamic and ongoing process continuing through the implementation phase of the AFRP, as described below.

A second reasonableness evaluation process was also being conducted during the development of the draft Restoration Plan. As noted above, the draft Restoration Plan included specific flows targets to be implemented in the Delta and on the four major CVP-controlled Central Valley streams. These flows will be addressed in the PEIS. To evaluate the reasonableness of these flows, the AFRP staff consulted with the staff developing the PEIS in an iterative process. The process resulted in modeling a range of flows, which was based on a series of assumptions considering the relative availability of water and the expected benefits to fish of flows on CVP-controlled streams and the Delta. Although the flows modeled by the PEIS may not exactly match the targets in this Restoration Plan, a range of flow regimes encompassing the targets are analyzed that more realistically portrays possible water use and acquisition scenarios than was given in the Working Paper. Differences are due primarily to the fact that the PEIS, as a NEPA document, has to take the final evaluative step of estimating how implementation of the AFRP would occur in the future.

In addition, the Restoration Plan does not contain flow targets for non-CVP-controlled streams, but the PEIS modeled stream flows that would likely result from a reasonable level of water acquisition. To model stream flows, the PEIS made a series of assumptions about water availability and funding availability.(2) There is no need for this programmatic Restoration Plan to make similar projections, because the availability of water or funding for particular actions is something that will become known with certainty as the AFRP is implemented over the years.

Source: Final Restoration Plan [  A-3 ]