At the Council’s request of March 31, 2021, the ISRP reviewed a response from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP), regarding Project #1995-004-00, Libby Reservoir Mitigation Restoration and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E). The submittal, Response to final ISRP and Council Resident Fish and Sturgeon category review comments and recommendations for Libby Dam Mitigation (Project 1995-004-00), is intended to address conditions placed on the project, by the Council, as part of the Resident Fish and Sturgeon Project Review in October 2020. The Council recommended: “Manager to respond to ISRP conditions in a report no later than March 31, 2021.”
The ISRP’s earlier review (2020-8) recommended five conditions that MFWP addressed in their response submittal. The ISRP finds the responses are thoughtful, comprehensive, and reveal the depth of the pre-proposal effort that provides a foundation for the proposed activities of this multi-faceted mitigation project. The ISRP recommends that, overall, the response partially meets the five conditions. The condition regarding the limited spatial scope of some activities is fully met. The conditions regarding desired future conditions, climate and land-use change, and donor stocks for westslope cutthroat trout reintroduction are partially met and can be fully addressed as the project proceeds, with progress described in annual reports. However, the ISRP recommends that a detailed implementation plan for the river nutrient fertilization objective be developed and reviewed by the ISRP.