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New Manager for BPA Fish/Wildlife Division Discusses
Funding Issues with Power/Conservation Council

by Staff
Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 10, 2019

The Bonneville Power Administration’s Crystal Ball spoke to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council at its meeting this week in Portland. It was her first appearance at the Council since she assumed the position March 31 as the agency’s Executive Manager for its Fish and Wildlife Division. She replaces Bryan Mercier, who left BPA last year.

As the Executive Manager, Ball is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and administration of the fish and wildlife program.

According to her remarks Tuesday, April 9, Ball will continue to work with the Council to seek fish and wildlife funding opportunities through cost savings, an effort begun several years ago by both the Council’s Fish and Wildlife staff and by Mercier at BPA. Those are funds that can be "repurposed," she said.

In addition, she confirmed that Bonneville will continue to manage the costs of its Fish and Wildlife program.

"Bonneville's strategic plan calls for taking a more disciplined approach to managing the total costs of our fish and wildlife program," she said, and it "intends to manage the fish and wildlife program at or below the rate of inflation, inclusive of any new obligations."

The reductions to Fish and Wildlife programs will help offset the cost of spill, according to Ball. She said the information was provided to customers and stakeholders Monday, April 8.

"BPA is proposing that there will be no Spill Surcharge for FY 2019," she said. "The calculated cost of additional spill will be offset through Fish and Wildlife program reductions in FY 2019 compared to those assumed for setting BP-18 rates.

"Budget reductions are occurring through efficiencies and reduced contract budgets that have already been agreed upon," she said. "BPA is not proposing further program or project cuts in FY 2019."

Ball has been at BPA for over 20 years. Since 2011, she has worked in Intergovernmental Affairs as the principle BPA representative for energy and environmental policy in Oregon. There she advised the Administrator and executives on Oregon state government energy and environmental policies, according to information provided by the Council. She also built and maintained constructive relationships with Oregon constituents, including the governor’s policy advisors and state energy and natural resource agency directors and staff.

"With over 20 years of public policy and communication experience, Ball has a thorough understanding of the Federal Columbia River Power System and is no stranger to the opportunities and challenges facing BPA and the fish and wildlife program," a Council April 2 Memorandum. "She has been managing the full range of issues and answering questions about BPA from regional and national interest groups for most of her career, including when she represented BPA in the Washington, D.C. office."

Ball is from Idaho Falls, Idaho and began working for BPA as a high school student.

"She understands the tremendous value the Columbia River system generates for the people of the Pacific Northwest and she is passionate about telling people what makes the vast cultural and natural resources of our region so unique," the Council memo says.

For more about the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program and amendment process go here.

For more about Bonneville’s Fish and Wildlife Division go here

New Manager for BPA Fish/Wildlife Division Discusses Funding Issues with Power/Conservation Council; Includes Flexible Spill
Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 10, 2019

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