ISRP and ISAB Comments on the Council's March 2009 Proposed High Level Indicators

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The Council’s request to review draft High Level Indicators (HLIs) generated much debate within the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) and the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB). On one hand, we wanted to respond promptly to the Council’s request to examine the utility of large-scale reporting metrics in the current Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program. On the other hand, the assignment raised the larger issue of whether the indicators, as they are now constituted, represent the most meaningful measures of progress under the Council’s Program. We also felt that the need for a particular type of indicator may be high, but that the indicator presently being used was not the best one. Overall, we agree that there is a strong need for high level indicators of the status and trends of fish and wildlife and their habitats.

The review that follows is our response to the original assignment. However, the ISRP and ISAB feel the topic merits additional examination. Within the time period allotted to this review we were unable to reach full consensus on what the most useful high level indicators of restoration progress might be, and whether such indicators should be many and detailed or few and simple (and how uncertainty can be associated with an indicator). The issues are worthy of further discussion.

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