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Commentaries and editorials

Maddock to Retire from Power Planning Council

by Eric Barker
Lewiston Tribune, December (?), 2000

After six years of grappling with the region's most complicated problems, Todd Maddock is ready for a rest.

The former Potlatch Corp. executive says it's time to retire from the Northwest Power Planning Council and spend more time at home in Lewiston.

"I'll be 65 here in early January and the more I thought about it the more attractive it became," he said.

His colleagues on the four-state board say he will be missed.

"We are sorry to see him go," said Larry Cassidy, chairman of the council from Vancouver Wash. "He has just been an outstanding member. It will be a real loss not to have him." Maddock was appointed to the council by Idaho Gov. Phil Batt in 1995 and has specialized in power generation issues.

The council, formed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980, has the duel mission of ensuring that the residents of Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana have an adequate and reliable supply of electricity and to protect and rebuild fish and wildlife harmed by hydroelectric dams in the Columbia and Snake river basins.

Soon after Maddock was appointed to the council, he and other members had to make sense of the effects of energy deregulation and deal with a new biological opinion on salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin. Those two issues continue to consume most of the council's energies.

Maddock said he is pleased the council was able to amend the fish and wildlife plan before he stepped down. The plan was amended to make sure spending on fish and wildlife recovery is coordinated and grounded in sound science. The council decides how millions of dollars from the Bonneville Power Administration are spent each year.

Now, he said, it will be a challenge to gain the cooperation of federal agencies to implement the plan. One of the biggest challenges facing the council is that it has no real authority over the federal agencies most directly responsible for fish and wildlife recovery.

Maddock said the council is a valuable forum for the four states to communicate and coordinate their efforts.

"We worked pretty well together in the last couple of years," he said.

Both the council and the region will be challenged in the future with the need to conserve energy, encourage new sources of energy generation and have the resolve to maximize present generating capacity.

Maddock says that will mean making difficult decisions about water and fish. For example,

"We are going to have to keep the reservoirs above the dams full to use when we have a need."

In retirement, Maddock plans to spend time in his woodworking shop and garden. But he says it's likely he'll continue in some sort of public service.

"I'm sure there will be amble opportunities to use my time during the next few years."

Eric Barker
Maddock to Retire from Power Planning Council
Lewiston Tribune, December (?), 2000

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