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200737500 - Does the Decline of Idaho Sockeye Salmon Correlate with a Mountain Beetle Infestation?

Sponsor: bluefish.org

Budgets: FY07: $10,000 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Short description: This proposal aims to study the nutrient recycling question: Does the decline of Idaho’s Sockeye contribute to ecosystem stress in the upstream habitat where their marine-derived nutrients were historically deposited?

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable


This is an inadequate proposal based on purported correlations between lack of sockeye nutrient deposition in lakes and the infestations of pine beetle. The proposal contains no review of the literature, citation of ongoing research, or evidence of scientific expertise needed to conduct the study. Also, no explanation or itemization of the $10k budget is provided. The background to this proposal consists mostly of an excerpt from an abstract on nutrient recycling. The proposal states that it seeks to test the hypothesis that an Idaho mountain pine beetle outbreak may be related to the decline in sockeye salmon returns. However, there is no reference to or citation of regional work in this area on the part of scientists at the USFS, private firms, or academic institutions. The rationale for the work consists of extensive excerpts from the Lower Snake and Salmon Subbasin Plans, including the vision and strategies designed to achieve objectives related to terrestrial species and habitats. These have general but not specific relevance to the work proposed here. The work elements list several steps to obtaining GIS data on infestation in order to make GIS-based comparisons. The proposal does not explain how the GIS data will be used to test the hypothesis, beyond "neural network analysis." There is also no discussion of the limited utility of correlations in contributing to a broader understanding of the relationship between sockeye abundance and beetle infestation.

State/province recommendation: Not fundable

Review group: Snake

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

Comment: Project was placed in inappropriate Province. No link to SBP. Reviewed in Mt. Snake Province, prioritized Tier 3.