At the Council’s March 9, 2009 request, the ISRP completed its review of a scope change submittal for the Nez Perce Tribe’s project Reestablish Connectivity and Restore Fish Habitat in the East Fork of the South Fork Salmon River Watershed (project #200712700). This review takes into account the Tribe’s response to our January 2009 review of this scope change, in which we asked for a response to a number of issues. The Tribe responded by revising their proposal and limiting the scope of their request to Fiscal Year 2009 activities.
ISRP Recommendation: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified).
Further work is needed to provide adequate monitoring and evaluation to confirm that sedimentation is the limiting factor and to demonstrate likely benefits to fish. These monitoring and evaluation improvements should be reflected in the project history and evaluation of activities in the next proposal review.
Satisfactory responses were provided for most of our concerns identified in the January 2009 scope change review. The section on implementation monitoring and other monitoring and evaluation (pg. 9) was not as detailed, but the implication was that the Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Project (ISEMP) would provide, at least via modeling if not using before-after surveys, the necessary detail to assess the biological effectiveness of the fish passage and road decommissioning planning and efforts. We encourage the further development of monitoring and evaluation actions that indicate the quantitative value of the planned efforts in terms of juvenile abundance, and in particular, smolt yield as the key response variable. This evaluation would most appropriately be in a control-treatment based adaptive management experiment in cooperation with other rehabilitation works in the subbasin or province.
One aspect of the original proposal that was not included in the revised version was the reconstruction of a section of the Sugar Creek floodplain. It was not clear whether this project was eliminated from the proposal – we assume it has been. According to the cover letter, "The revised proposal submitted here is only working on fish passage and road decommissioning." The detail that was provided on the latter aspects was technically thorough and complete.