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200708300 - Grande Ronde Cooperative Salmonid Monitoring and Evaluation Project

Sponsor: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Budgets: FY07: $455,000 | FY08: $477,750 | FY09: $501,642

Short description: This is a continuation of an ongoing O&M/RM&E program. It has been separated from its O&M component for this solicitation. Monitor status and detect changes in salmonid abundance, productivity, diversity, and spatial structure in the Grande Ronde Subbasin.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment: M&E component of this project tied to project 199800703. The budget is considered a combined budget with 199800703 and CTUIR will define the split and work elements for each project.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

The proposed project is for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to participate with co-managers on a subbasin-wide monitoring and evaluation (M&E) program in the Grande Ronde subbasin. Previously part of the operation and maintenance (O&M) project, the project is an expanded M&E effort. The need for monitoring and evaluation is clear. The proposal provides details for many M&E activities for Spring/Summer Chinook, Bull trout, and Steelhead. The project addresses critical needs for information identified in the Grande Ronde subbasin plan and connects to various other plans and projects. However, the primary thrust of this project is aimed at assessing natural productivity in the subbasin. The relationships to other projects in the subbasin and in the region are clearly described. Collaboration is an important element of the work proposed in the project. The project has the potential to provide information that will benefit spring/summer Chinook, steelhead, bull trout and fall chinook. Ultimately, it is fairly extensive in its coverage. The project defines several biological objectives, plus several programmatic objectives. Objectives include assessing status and trends of salmonids in subbasin, assessing salmonid productivity, assessing both life history and genetic salmonid diversity, assessing related program effectiveness, coordination, and reporting/disseminating findings. There is a need to separate the monitoring from the evaluations, and from research. Some monitoring of population dynamics at a few key sites may be useful for management. Evaluation of management actions experimentally is warranted to assess effectiveness where possible, but not everywhere. The work proposed here should prioritize the data collection, analysis, and interpretation activities. Priorities by species, life stage, and geography would help ensure efficiency of this extensive project. Most methods are adequately described. The proposal contains much variation in the level of sophistication and validity of statistical methods proposed. Some statistical methods are not appropriate such as using Scheffe's method for multiple comparisons only after the ANOVA shows significant differences or using Spearman's correlation for relating scale loss to season. The claim that cause-effect relationships can be inferred from an observational study is not scientifically sound without additional justification. These issues indicate that the sponsors should engage additional personnel to assist with data analysis and interpretation. A statistician should be involved with the project to provide advice on appropriate analysis methods and to provide support during analysis and report writing. Facilities appear to be adequate. Personnel know the subbasin well based on previous work in the area. Information transfer is described and has an entire objective associated with reporting, analyzing, and disseminating information and data. It is unclear if the current personnel will be able to adequately process the data generated to provide peer reviewed publications.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: OSPIT - Blue Mountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: M&E component of this project tied to project 199800703. The budget is considered a combined budget with 199800703 and CTUIR will define the split and work elements for each project. Additional recommended high priority to restore this budget to proposed levels if additional funding is avialable.