Proposal to add Province-level biological objectives

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To Interested Parties:

The Council invites your review and comment on this proposal for how to add biological objectives of a certain type to the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. These objectives will express in quantitative terms the nature of the changes the program seeks to achieve in key fish and wildlife populations and their habitats in the different ecological provinces of the basin. Objectives of this type would add significantly to the Council’s ability to guide program expenditures in the most efficient direction and evaluate the success of the program’s activities over time.

In May 2005 the Council staff presented a plan for developing and adding biological objectives of this type to the program. The plan proposes two phases for this work: 1) a period to organize and integrate recent information on populations and habitat conditions, and 2) a policy process to develop the objectives and amend them into the program. The Council envisioned moving ahead more quickly but did not, for reasons explained in this document. Nonetheless, the Council remains committed to the concepts and steps in the plan. The purpose of this document is to review those concepts and steps and present a rationale for taking more time for this program amendment initiative than originally intended.

The Council invites your comments as to whether it should follow the course described in the proposal (See “Premises and proposed schedule and tasks,” and “Key questions for comment”) or a different course and schedule. See blue sidebar for comment instructions.