Final Report for the Geographic Review

Evaluation of Anadromous Fish Habitat Restoration Projects

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This report provides the Independent Scientific Review Panel’s (ISRP) final recommendations on 83 proposals submitted for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and the Bonneville Power Administration’s Geographic Review of ongoing habitat projects in the anadromous areas of the Columbia Basin for the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program (Program). In this final review, the ISRP recommends that 20 proposals meet scientific review criteria (24%), 55 proposals meet criteria with some qualifications (66%), 4 proposals did not meet criteria (5%), and 4 proposals were not amenable to scientific review (5%).

In addition to individual project reviews, this report contains a brief retrospective evaluation of habitat improvements and comments on important issues that involve most projects and apply to the Program in general. Topics covered include regional research, monitoring and evaluation (RM&E), strategic restoration framework, productive partnerships, workforce support, and restoration methods and assessments.

This is the last set of projects to be reviewed in the Category Review process. To the ISRP's knowledge, every project funded through the Fish and Wildlife Program has now been evaluated by the ISRP through the Category Reviews. The ISRP is supportive of many features of the Category Review approach and looks forward to helping shape the next review process based on lessons learned.

The ISRP especially appreciated the efforts of project sponsors and Council and BPA staff in organizing and providing invaluable site visits and presentations. The ISRP also appreciated the constructive and detailed responses by project sponsors that addressed the ISRP concerns raised in the preliminary review. The proposals, responses, tours, and presentations demonstrated that the projects are led by dedicated staff and progress is being made. Specifically, greater understanding and appreciation of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program goals for native species and ecosystem restoration are evident in the projects visited and reviewed by the ISRP.

Please note, the ISRP recommendations and comments are unchanged for the 50 proposals that received final recommendations in the ISRP’s preliminary review. These are the proposals that the ISRP recommended met criteria (some with qualifications) and responses were not requested.