In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s February 7, 2020 request, the ISRP reviewed the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s (CTUIR) response to the Council’s recommendations and ISRP qualifications for Project #2002-037-00, Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration. The Council’s conditions and the ISRP’s qualifications (ISRP 2019-2) were placed on this project as part of the Mainstem and Program Support Project Review from 2019.
The mussel project’s long-term goal is to use research and monitoring findings to guide development and implementation of restoration actions for freshwater mussels in the Umatilla River and other mid-Columbia basins on ceded lands, as part of an ongoing effort to rebuild ecosystem diversity, function, and traditional cultural opportunities in the context of First Foods.
The ISRP appreciates the responses by the CTUIR to qualifications from past reviews of the project. This is an important undertaking, one having significant implications for both the region and the CTUIR. However, the responses raise significant concerns and do not satisfy the ISRP’s qualifications.
The concerns stem from having most direct responses postponed, to be provided later in the final Master Plan. The CTUIR’s response cover letter acknowledges this: “Some of the final responses to ISRP qualifications will be fully addressed through the CTUIR Master Plan for Freshwater Mussel Conservation, Supplementation, Aquaculture, Restoration, and Research which is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2020.” Nevertheless, the ISRP expected the proponents to provide initial attempts to address all qualifications, even if labelled as “provisional,” to demonstrate that the project and master plan development are on a scientifically sound trajectory. Therefore, the ISRP requests an audio-visual teleconference with the proponents to discuss the responses to past qualifications and to better understand current plans and anticipated structure and content of the Master Plan.
See the ISRP’s full memo for detailed comments.