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200301700 - Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP): The design and evaluation of monitoring tools for salmon populations and habitat in the Interior Columbia River Basin

Sponsor: Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Budgets: FY07: $3,950,858 | FY08: $4,520,935 | FY09: $4,749,337

Short description: ISEMP is a collaborative effort to design, implement and evaluate Status and Trends Monitoring for salmon and steelhead populations and habitat and watershed-scale Effectiveness Monitoring for restoration actions impacting salmon habitat in the CRB.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $1,836,000 | FY08: $1,836,000 | FY09: $1,836,000

Comment: Interim funding pending further Council consideration of regional monitoring and evaluation framework. ISRP fundable (qualified): address ISRP concerns during further consideration.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This is a good proposal overall. The large scale, basinwide approach is good. A project such as this one is clearly needed in the Columbia Basin to integrate M&E efforts and provide consistency among diverse M&E projects. The technical background and rationale are discussed and clearly establish the need for an integrated monitoring program for the Columbia Basin that could contribute to development of an adaptive management plan for the basin. If the process proposed in this project succeeds in bringing together a wide variety of large environmental data sets in a new and integrated fashion, it will represent a major breakthrough in describing and managing tributary restoration efforts. The proposal is very complex. How are all of the separate parts of the proposal going to be integrated? Some questions related to the technical background of the project and its objectives need to be addressed: 1) What is the role of the sponsors in this project? Coordination? Data collection? Data analysis? Will the sponsors have some involvement in each objective? 2) What does monitoring at the subbasin scale mean? 3) What are some examples of metrics that represent subbasin-scale performance? 4) How will the information generated by the projects be integrated and analyzed to accomplish overall project objectives such as determining limiting factors and evaluation of basinwide project effectiveness? The project history is clearly described, with a good justification of why the work should be continued and why the suggested pilot-scale sites were chosen. The list of accomplishments is impressive. The three-year history of the project shows how it has grown in both scope and linkages over time. The project is linked to numerous state and federal projects within each of the targeted subbasins. The objectives are very broad in most cases and involve continuing work begun in 2003. The Wenatchee and John Day projects do a good job of relating objectives of each individual project to the overall project objectives. The objectives for the South Fork Salmon River and Lemhi are not as clear. How do the objectives for this work relate to overall project objectives (item 3.0)? The South Fork Salmon and Lemhi projects should use the same format as the Wenatchee and John Day. Methods were clearly explained, and the approach will involve innovative techniques. This proposal builds on using many of the best available long-term population status and habitat inventory datasets in the region. The proposal notes that it will take a long time to determine the success of the integrated status and effectiveness monitoring program, but the provisions for long-term monitoring and the choice of monitoring sites were clearly thought out.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $2,982,000 | FY08: $2,982,000 | FY09: $2,982,000

Comment: This project began in the Wenatchee subbasin and has grown to several intensively monitored watersheds. The total project lifetime cost for this project will total more than $60M. Are these the subbasins and is this the effort that the region wants to invest in? This project must be included in the discussion of where to prioritize monitoring for the Program. On member expressed concern that products for management decisions have not been in proportion to costs for this project.