ISRP Final Review of Proposals submitted for Fiscal Years 2007-2009 Funding through the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

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This report provides the final comments and recommendations of the Independent Scientific Review Panel and Peer Review Groups (together referred to as ISRP) on 540 proposals submitted for Fiscal Years 2007-2009 (FY07-09) funding through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. This report finalizes the ISRP's FY07-09 review that began with the ISRP's two-part preliminary review of June 1, 2006 (ISRP 2006-4A&B). Part 1 of that report provided comments and recommendations on scientific and process issues that cut across proposals and the program. Part 2 of that report included the specific ISRP recommendation and comments on each proposal.

With the release of the ISRP's preliminary report, project sponsors were provided several weeks to respond to the ISRP's comments. The ISRP received 219 responses. The ISRP reviewers who had reviewed the original proposal again reviewed the response related to that proposal, and the ISRP review teams as a whole discussed the responses. This report captures the ISRP's final comments and recommendations for all the proposals taking into account the responses received. It thus replaces the ISRP's preliminary review of proposals (ISRP 2004-6B). This final report does not, however, replace the ISRP's programmatic recommendations that were provided in June. The ISRP understands that the Council has begun deliberations on those programmatic issues and continues to refer the Council to that initial report (2006-4A). However, in this report the ISRP provides further comments and clarifications on the review process, reporting of results, and monitoring and evaluation.

In this final review the ISRP, considering the technical merits and potential benefits of each proposal, finds that: 369 proposals are fundable or fundable in part (69%); 118 proposals are not fundable (22%); eight proposals are primarily administrative in nature (1%); and 45 proposals needed a response for the ISRP to make its final recommendation, but responses were not provided (8%). Overall, the ISRP continues to see a general improvement in the quality of the proposals and the scientific basis of the Fish and Wildlife Program. However, further directed effort is needed in certain areas especially prioritization of habitat actions, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting of results.