Initial Review of BiOp Fast Track Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Proposals

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At the Council and Bonneville Power Administration’s request, the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) reviewed 19 proposals intended to address high priority research, monitoring and evaluation needs identified in the Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). These needs were identified for immediate action during the recent Columbia Basin Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) Collaboration process and workshops in November 2009. These 19 fast-track proposals include 11 new projects and modifications to 8 ongoing projects.

The ISRP found that 9 proposals met scientific review criteria; 5 of these had qualifications that the ISRP recommended could be considered by the Council and addressed by the proponent and BPA during contracting. These 9 proposals are ready for immediate Council and BPA decisions. In response to the Council and BPA’s stated desire to implement the fast track action in 2010, we considered the option to specifically identify if a fast track work element is justified independently of other project actions. We found that 2 proposals justified the fast track component of their project but the complete project needed a response. These 2 proposals received an "in part/response requested" recommendation. The ISRP also requested a response on the remaining 8 proposals.