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199800401 - Columbia Basin Bulletin

Sponsor: Intermountain Communications

Budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $150,000

Short description: Delivers by e-mail (and posted on the web) to policymakers, Basin stakeholders, and general public a weekly electronic newsletter containing objective, timely, summary information about Columbia Basin fish and wildlife mitigation and ESA recovery issues.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $150,000

Comment: ISRP fundable (qualified). Supplement this need from other sources- sponsorships, advertising.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This proposal is to continue support for the Columbia Basin Bulletin (CBB). The proposal clearly and concisely describes the need for trusted, neutral, and timely information on Columbia Basin fish and wildlife issues and references earlier Council support for its work. In the eight years of its operation, the CBB has become a widely used and proven source of timely and reliable information. Dissemination of information to stakeholders and agencies in the Columbia River Basin is critical. The CBB seems to be a cost-effective mechanism for disseminating technical and policy information about fish and wildlife in the Columbia Basin. The proposal stresses the CBB’s role as a coordinator of information in the Columbia Basin. It makes the point that trustworthy information is the basis for collaboration on the complex and contentious issues of the Columbia Basin. The proposal makes a convincing argument for the CBB’s communication value beyond the fish and wildlife interests to the broader group of river interests and for the benefit of having a neutral provider of information. The proposal has a single objective to provide summary information related to fish and wildlife to the Basin in order to assist policymaking and help achieve restoration goals. Methods are briefly but adequately described as the routine tasks of information gathering and newsletter production. It is not clear how the CBB staff decide which scientific papers they will profile. One suggestion, if they are not already doing this, would be for staff to scan the American Fishery Society publication website which cites "most downloaded (or read)" papers. If particular papers deal with Columbia River Basin issues, they might be worth mentioning in the CBB. The proposal history is a short summary of the evolution of the CBB from a web-based product in 1998 to the current email delivery product with a subscriber list of 5000. Summary usage information is provided. Thorough monitoring of outreach and information provision would require a specific analysis to see if the CBB is increasing stakeholder/agency knowledge about Columbia Basin fish and wildlife issues relative to other web sites, and print/visual media. However the increasing number of hits and story reads indicates the CBB is increasing its popularity as an information source. Earlier ISRP review comments had requested that information regarding quality control mechanisms be included in the proposal, and this information should continue to be provided.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: In the past, CBFWA has recommended that NPCC pay for this effort out of their public relations budget. It is a very important communication tool for the region although not a high priority for Program funding.