Overview Summary of the Clearwater Subbasin Plan

A brief development history of the Clearwater Subbasin Plan is discussed in this document followed by summary comparisons of the subbasin plan with the Independent Science Review panel's (ISRP) Review of Draft Clearwater Subbasin Plan, the Technical Guide for Subbasin Planners, the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, and the review criteria for subbasin plans as amended by the Council March 17, 2003.

Artificial production management is not discussed extensively in the Clearwater Subbasin Plan because several regional activities are currently underway and will affect these issues. Those activities include: completion of the Hatchery Genetic Management Plans, Artificial Production Review and Evaluation, and the U.S. vs. Oregon case. Problem Component 3 was developed to address coordination of artificial production in the Clearwater.

History of Clearwater Subbasin Plan Development (Section 1 Clearwater Management Plan)

  • The Clearwater Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) was convened in August 1999 to guide development of the Clearwater Subbasin assessment and plan. The PAC is comprised of subbasin fish, wildlife, land, and water managers. 

  • The assessment phase of subbasin planning in the Clearwater began in late 1999 as the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) was amending their fish and wildlife program.

  • The Council approved amendments to the two Focus Program coordination contracts and several implementation contracts in April 2000 that allowed work on the subbasin assessment and planning to proceed. Funding was also requested and approved for assessment work from the Idaho Soil Conservation Commission. 

  • The subbasin summary and provincial review process for the Clearwater occurred in 2001 and work on the assessment was temporarily suspended, although the PAC continued to meet and work on assessment issues.

  • The Clearwater Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) began the planning phase in January 2002 and the Council's technical guide had by then become available.

  • The PAC submitted the Final Draft Clearwater Subbasin Plan to the Council in November 2002.

  • Late November 2002 a workshop was held for the Independent Science Review Panel (ISRP) to discuss the final draft.

  • The ISRP submitted their review findings to the Council in February 2003.

  • The Council amended their program March 17, 2003 upon recommendation by the ISRP to add three more criteria to use for subbasin plan reviews.

  • The PAC met in April 2003 to discuss the 231 comments on the Clearwater subbasin plan that the ISRP presented in their report. Comments were clustered into groups and the PAC selected seven clusters to address in a revision phase, considering in part available funding and time. The clusters were themselves prioritized.

  • A meeting was held with NOAA Fisheries personnel to discuss work the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team was doing in May 2003.

  • Summary of Activities from September 1999 ? October 31, 2003:

    • 33 PAC meetings

    • 23 Subcommittee meetings

    • 6 Focus Staff special contracting meetings

    • 5 NOAA specific meetings

    • 11 Public meetings

    • 23 drafted component releases

    • 8 drafted whole plan releases

    • 114 individuals participated by providing review, comment, and /or draft material  (See Clearwater Management Plan Table 2)

Participating in the process were tribal, state, and federal fish and wildlife managers in the Clearwater as well as other resource agencies, and members of the public. The Clearwater Subbasin Plan was submitted to the Council for adoption November 2003

Revisions in the Clearwater Subbasin Plan Reflecting Responses to the ISRP Report 2003-3

  • Linkages between the assessment, management plan, and inventory were improved. The problems, objectives and strategies in the management plan are directly linked to the assessment and the research, monitoring and evaluation plan by specific section references. A discussion section following each objective was added to provide additional background or explanatory information to the issue addressed. Data and information citations were improved, methodologies described more fully, and scientific participation and review more explicitly identified. Habitat and population descriptions are linked with watersheds, creek names, and Potential Management Units (PMU) in the Clearwater Subbasin Inventory in narrative form and in an Excel spreadsheet that can be used in planning exercises.

  • Aquatic and terrestrial focal populations were connected by habitats and watersheds. Listed fish species are also connected to the TRT distribution identification.

  • An analysis of existing projects was done by looking at projects, populations, restoration needs, limiting factors, and PMU characteristics by drainages (watersheds) to identify gaps between actions that have already been taken or are underway and additional actions that are needed. 

  • The assessment socio-economic section of the subbasin was enhanced and component problems were also enhanced for clarity and to provide direction for future economic analysis.

  • Component Problem 10 dealing with wetlands and riparian habitats was strengthen to better coordinate future work that will affect both terrestrial and aquatic species.

  • Appendix D Discussion of Regional Modeling Efforts in Relation to the Clearwater Subbasin was prepared to assess the viability of modeling in the Clearwater as a tool for forecasting the response of aquatic populations to habitat improvement projects.

  • Artificial Production Review and Evaluations (APRE) were in draft form and being edited when the Clearwater Subbasin Plan was being completed. To address issues related to APREs, Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMP), and other issues Component Problem 3 Objective C Strategy 1 calls for the organization of a subbasin hatchery production committee of fisheries managers to enhance communication and coordination. APREs and HGMPs are included in the Clearwater Subbasin Plan by reference.

Technical Guide for Subbasin Planners Comparison

Variations from the Technical Guide are related to the Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment Method that was not used for Clearwater. The following discussion addresses the omissions.

  • Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment Method (EDT) was not used in the subbasin assessment process because preliminary data sets were not available during that time. Preliminary data sets were made available during the subbasin planning phase, but attempts to populate/validate the data sets were unsuccessful largely due to a lack of clear guidance. The intended products of EDT such as, description of population abundance and life histories, habitat capacity, system productivity, limiting factors, and development of the working hypothesis and biological objectives, have been addressed using alternative methods in the Clearwater assessment and planning processes. A discussion of EDT results that were available in early 2002 can be found in Appendix D of the Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan.

  • The EDT was not available for modeling and therefore the results were not available for developing the working hypothesis or biological objectives. However, synthesis, analysis, and definition of Potential Management Units (PMU) that were completed for the assessment provided structure for the Technical and Terrestrial subcommittees of the PAC to develop the working hypothesis, biological and environmental objectives, and strategies. Membership on these subcommittees overlaps and included PAC members, PAC member agency staff, and other subbasin technical staff.

Council's Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Language

  • Hydropower secondary and operational losses are addressed in the Council's program, ?Subbasin plans will serve as the vehicle to provide mitigation for direct operational losses and secondary losses.? (Council 2000-19, p31)  A program to mitigate for these losses will be drafted for the Clearwater when regional guidance is developed. This is described in the Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan under Component Problem 17, Objective KK, Strategy 3.

  • The role of the Clearwater Focus Program and the Clearwater Policy Advisory Committee after adoption of the subbasin plan is defined in the Clearwater Subbasin Inventory Section 2.1 Programs. This requirement is in the Council's program in the Transition Provisions section (Council 2000-19, p57).

  • An estimated 10-year implementation of the plan budget was developed. This is a required component of subbasin management plans and is described in Subbasins Section 5 (Council 2000-19, p41).

  • The Council's program calls for ?a proposed sequence and prioritization? of strategies (Council 2000-19, p41).The Clearwater planning process did not identify priority areas or priority data gaps to fill. The Clearwater Management Plan throughout the objectives however calls for identifying and prioritizing actions (see Table 4 Clearwater Management Plan) Problem 19 defines the need for prioritization of habitat areas and data gaps, these issues to be addressed within one year from the adoption of the Clearwater Subbasin Plan. The schedule for completion of this exercise should coincide with the next Provincial Review for the Clearwater.

Clearwater Plan Additions

  • Nine goal statements were developed because the PAC decided an intermediate step was needed between the vision statement and the working hypotheses, component problems, objectives, and strategies. Developing the goal statements served another purpose beside the one for which it was intended. That is, the discussions and debates that took place during the two development meetings served to solidify the meaning of the PAC's mission and their common commitment toward achieving the Vision Statement. The Vision Statement and Goals were adopted by the PAC on February 21, 2002.

  • The Technical Guide describes subbasin plans as products to be developed locally and in collaboration with fish and wildlife managers, local governments, interest groups, and other state and federal land and water resources managers. The Clearwater had already organized the PAC, which was not intended to function as the larger community of interests suggested in the guidance. The PAC decided to develop and implement the Public and Government Participation Plan to seek input from subbasin governments, other agencies, interest groups, and private citizens. The PAC adopted the Public and Government Participation Plan on March 27, 2002.

  • Three objectives were developed for a socioeconomic component problem to address related issues and to strengthen consistency with the Northwest Power Act section 4(h)(6). The Council's Independent Economic Analysis Board has released a guidance document to address these issues (ISAB 2003-2) although socioeconomic issues are not yet explicitly guided by the Council's program or the Technical Guide.

Council Program Review Criteria

  • Is the Clearwater assessment thorough and substantially complete? The Clearwater assessment is as thorough and substantial as possible relative to the size of the subbasin and the available quantitative data on aquatic and terrestrial species populations and their habitats.

  • Are the subbasin goals, objectives, and strategies scientifically appropriate in light of the assessment and inventory? Problem components, objectives and strategies were derived from the assessment and inventory by the Clearwater technical subcommittees and are considered by the managers as scientifically appropriate. The relative scientific relationships have been enhanced via more explicit linkages between the subbasin plan components as described below.

  • Are the goals, objectives, and strategies consistent with those adopted in the program for the province and/or basin levels? The goals, objectives, and strategies are consistent with the Council's for the Columbia basin. None have been articulated for the Mountain Snake Province.

  • Does the plan demonstrate that alternate management responses have been adequately considered? The PAC determined that the program requirement regarding alternate management responses (Council 2000-19, p43) was related to the Ecosystem Diagnostic Treatment model which was not used in the Clearwater as described earlier in this document. However, alternative action options were the focus of 32 technical and policy meetings held during the planning phase (not assessment phase). The selected management alternatives are presented in the Clearwater Management Plan.

  • Does the plan demonstrate a linkage between the strategies, the biological objectives, the subbasin vision, and the assessment? Linkages between the assessment, plan, and inventory have been made more explicit and more extensive.

  • Does the proposed subbasin plan include a procedure for assessing how well subbasin objectives are being met over time? The research, monitoring, and evaluation section of the Clearwater Management Plan provide for this.

  • Does the plan provide a scientifically supportable procedure for refining the biological objectives as new information becomes available about how fish, wildlife, and the environment interact, and in relationship to how the plans are implemented over time? The plan provides steps for refining objectives throughout the plan. A prioritization, implementation, monitor and evaluate, adapt management sequence is used, for example see Problem 2: Anadromous fish production is limited by habitat quantity, quality, and connectivity in portions of the subbasin.

New Information in the Clearwater Plan

Assessment

  • Chapter 3 - Overview of Data Collection, Analysis and Synthesis

  • Section 4.10.2 - Socioeconomic Overview ? This compliments additions or modification in the preceding Demographics section (4.10.1)

  • Inventory

  • Information on the Comprehensive State Water Plan for the South Fork Clearwater River Basin (section 3l3)

  • Section 3.6 - Discussion of Artificial Production Review and Evaluation (APRE) products

  • Chapter 6 has been overhauled and now includes the Inventory Review and Conclusions. Table(s) describing individual projects will be included on the accompanying CD, but will no longer be in the Inventory document itself.

Management Plan

  • Section 4.2 (Hypotheses, Problems, Objectives and Strategies) has been revised throughout by the Technical Teams.

  • Discussion sections have been added for each objection in Section 4.2 to provide further linkages between the Management Plan and Assessment.

  • Appendix G Using the PMUs for Project Planning and Review has been added.

  • Appendix H Response to NOAA Fisheries Comments has been added.

This document provided by the Clearwater Policy Advisory Committee:

George Enneking, Idaho County Commission, Chairman Cal Groen, IDFG, Vice Chairman
Terry Cundy, Potlatch Corporation Bob McKnight, Idaho Department of Lands
Bill Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kyle Hawley, ID Assoc. of Conservation Districts
Allen Slickpoo, Jr., Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee Larry Dawson, Clearwater National Forest
Dale Brege, NOAA Fisheries Bruce Bernhardt, Nez Perce National Forest
Kerby Cole, ID Department of Environmental Quality

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