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 reviewed these proposals in two steps. On February 24, 2010, the ISRP released an initial review of the proposals identifying 9 proposals that met scientific review criteria and 10 proposals that needed a response to the ISRP's scientific concerns before the ISRP could make a final recommendation (ISRP 2010-7). On April 14, the Council made recommendations to Bonneville Power Administration supporting the implementation of those 9 proposals that met criteria. The attached report contains the ISRP's final recommendations on those remaining proposals that needed and were augmented with responses.
This review should not only inform decisions on fast-track work elements but for most proposals also serve as the review for the larger RM&E categorical review anticipated to begin in June 2010. The ISRP understands that the proposals and the accompanying ISRP review comments will be included for context to inform review of similar projects in the RM&E category review and to facilitate efficient implementation of RM&E across the program. Unless otherwise recommended, the project proponent will not be required to submit another full proposal for that review. However, if additional information is requested by the ISRP, Council, or BPA, the proponent may augment their fast-track proposal as it moves forward to the RM&E categorical review.
In sum, the ISRP found that 18 proposals justified their primary Fast-Track work elements, although many of those proposals received "qualified" or "in part" recommendations with comments to improve their implementation. One proposal did not meet scientific review criteria, but the ISRP thought the proposal was worth pursuing and recommended an updated response and revised proposal be submitted in the RME categorical review this summer.