PORTLAND, Ore. – Contract negotiations for hatchery operations in Oregon are going into overtime. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will extend its cooperative agreements with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for up to 120 days, as the agencies continue negotiating contracts for the Corps’ fish hatchery services in the Columbia, Willamette and Rogue river basins. The current agreements, entered into in 2012, expire June 30, 2017.
“The extra time allows us to work through the negotiations thoroughly and sign contracts by July 31,” said Tammy Mackey, Portland District Fish Section chief. “We need to keep the hatcheries operating to avoid impacts to the fish being raised in those facilities. Extending the agreements allows us to continue paying ODFW for their services.”
The Corps received approval this spring from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., to enter in to sole source contracts with ODFW for operation of Corps-owned and co-owned hatcheries in Oregon: the Marion Forks, South Santiam, McKenzie and Willamette hatcheries in the Willamette Valley; the Bonneville hatchery on the Columbia River; and the Cole M. River hatchery in the Rogue River Basin.
The Corps sent requests for proposal to ODFW in May; the Corps received proposals June 9 for Willamette Valley facilities and June 19 for the Bonneville and Cole M. Rivers hatcheries. The two agencies were not able to reach consensus with enough time to sign contracts before the expiration of the 2012 agreements.
“We’re working diligently to come to consensus on a fair and reasonable contract,” said Scott Patterson, ODFW Fish Propagation Program manager. “Our priority is helping the Corps meet its mitigation requirements, while we continue producing fish for our mission.”
Since the 1950s, the Corps has paid ODFW to manage hatchery operations and provide fish production services to accomplish required mitigation for impacts to habitat by the Corps’ dams. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carried out these services for the Corps under either contractual or cooperative agreements.
A 2015 review of existing agreements and federal contracting laws and regulations determined a contract, rather than a cooperative agreement, is the appropriate legal document for the Corps to purchase hatchery services.
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