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200307200 - Habitat and Biodiversity Information System For Columbia River Basin

Sponsor: Northwest Habitat Institute

Budgets: FY07: $997,107 | FY08: $1,068,287 | FY09: $1,030,199

Short description: A principal habitat and biodiversity informational source for ecoprovinces and subbasins within the Columbia River Basin, within the region it is considered a "Key Informational Source", "Best Available Science", and as "Best Practices".

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $157,831 | FY08: $157,831 | FY09: $157,831

Comment: Interim funding pending Council review of data priorities. The Council will need to decide on the appropriate interim funding level pending further action on recommendatios from the data management workshop.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

This is a detailed and thorough proposal for a big project. Among the database proposals, this is among the best justified. It includes an excellent recounting of the history of this effort, but little is said about how results have guided work in the Columbia River Basin, or how they solicit and utilize regular feedback on their products. Are all the users happy with the way habitats are quantified and displayed? As an example consider the following comment from the ISRP's review of the Flathead and Kootenai Subbasin Plans: "Planners used a biome approach informed by IBIS to assess wildlife. Specifically, they developed the Terrestrial Biome Assessment (TBA) tool to get to a finer level of analysis than that provided by IBIS, which is limited to qualitative measurements. The Terrestrial Biome Assessment includes both quantitative and qualitative data fields." www.nwcouncil.org/library/isrp/isrp2004-7.pdf. IBIS has likely progressed and can get to finer scales. The rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs is clearly and exhaustively described. Data developed by this proposal relate to the Fish and Wildlife Program, BiOp, and the ISRP retrospective report. This project provides data to, or works directly with, a wide range of projects. The proposal provides a good description of connections to many projects, BPA funded and otherwise. The objectives and work elements are clearly described. The sponsors propose new decision support tools using data from the RME process: ELVIS (to provide guidance on wetland vegetation planning and monitoring protocols). Project effectiveness monitoring is proposed, as are quality control checks and data refinements. Information transfer includes a website to disseminate habitat and biodiversity information and performance tools to support decision making, presentations at meetings, professional material development, peer reviewed publications, and an education outreach effort in a habitat assessment course offered at PSU.

State/province recommendation: MS: Core Program

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $440,000 | FY08: $440,000 | FY09: $440,000

Comment: Significant increase in proposed budget should be evaluated against regional needs. Guidance for this project should be included in the Streamnet discussions. This project focuses on habitat information. One member expressed a desire for improvements in data accuracy and better technology for query and data acquisition.