Under the Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Act, BPA has a duty to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats affected by the development and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System.



BPA entered into Memorandum of Agreements(MOAs) with state, federal, and tribal wildlife management entities throughout the Columbia Basin Region to protect and/or enhance habitat as mitigation/ compensation for losses due to the construction of hydro facilities and subsequent inundation when the dams were put into operation.


Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) are used to evaluate and document habitat losses and habitat gains. Habitat units (HUs) are the output of HEP analysis, and are the form of currency used to document both the losses from hydro projects (dams) and the gains from habitat protection/enhancement measures (mitigation projects). Wildlife managers develop estimates and document the impact of the construction of FCRPS dams throughout the Columbia Basin Region. HUs document the ledger of habitat gains and losses for the region.


The Regional HEP Team (RHT) is an evaluation team that conducts HEP evaluations and consistent application of HEP models and survey results (HU credits). In addition, RHT staff identify and resolve (when possible) Inconsistencies in past HEP evaluation results.


The RHT, with support from BPA,works directly with project proponents including state and federal natural resource agencies, tribes, and non-government organizations (NGOs) to conduct HEP surveys and develop new, innovative approaches to assess habitat. From 2004 through 2014, the RHT conducted HEP surveys on thousands of acres throughout the Columbia Basin Region for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW), Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI), Kalispel Tribe of Indians (KTI), Coeur D’ Alene Tribe of Indians (CDAT), The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), Burns Paiute Tribe (BPT), Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Spokane Tribe of Indians (STOI), The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT), and Yakama Nation (YN).