This report provides the Independent Scientific Review Panel’s (ISRP) preliminary comments and recommendations on 44 proposals submitted for the Resident Fish and Sturgeon Category Review to implement the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. In this preliminary review, the ISRP finds that 1 proposal meets scientific review criteria and requests responses on 43 proposals to determine if they fully meet scientific review criteria. Project proponents are provided an opportunity to respond to the ISRP’s concerns. The original deadline for responses was April 30. However, because entities may be affected by partial or complete shutdowns, the Council has extended the deadline for responses to June 23, 2020. Earlier response submittals are welcome. The proponents’ responses will inform the ISRP’s final report to the Council, previously scheduled for June 4, and now tentatively scheduled for August 6, 2020.
The ISRP recognizes the personal and societal hardships and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ISRP greatly appreciates the effort put into this review by all involved. The Council will continue to assess the situation and will inform the project proponents and ISRP of any further changes to the review schedule.
Although the ISRP is requesting responses on all but 1 of the 44 proposals, this does not reflect poorly on the projects or the Fish and Wildlife Program. In fact, the ISRP was impressed with the proponents’ commitment to the objectives of the Program as evidenced by their many accomplishments, the effort they devoted to the proposals and presentations, their support and interest in other projects beyond their own, and their constructive approach toward scientific review. The ISRP is using this preliminary review to continue its dialogue with the project proponents to improve clarity on the projects’ goals, objectives, methods, and results.
Based on the proponents’ responses, the ISRP’s final report will provide final recommendations on each project and discuss programmatic issues that apply across projects to inform Program development and performance. Programmatic topics will include integration of projects within geographic areas, goals and objectives, adaptive management, native and non-native fish management, habitat restoration, climate change, and review process issues. The ISRP strives to ensure that its multi-year recommendations for the projects and the Program have a sound, well-documented scientific foundation.
Response instructions: The proposal that meets the ISRP’s scientific review criteria does not need to submit additional material to the ISRP for the final review. For the 43 projects that the ISRP requests a response, the project proponents should develop a point-by-point response to the ISRP’s concerns. For some projects, the ISRP requests modifications to objectives and methods that would be best documented in a revised proposal to ensure efficient tracking of the proposal as it is implemented. The ISRP acknowledges that addressing some of the ISRP’s concerns may take more than the time available in the response loop. If an ISRP concern cannot be fully addressed in the response time frame, the proponents should describe how the concern will be addressed through future efforts. Proponents should submit their response and, if applicable, revised proposal to the Council by Tuesday, June 23, 2020, unless notified by the Council of an updated schedule. Earlier response submittals are welcome:
- If you are revising your proposal, please download the Word version posted on the Council’s review webpage, which was edited by Council staff to remove extraneous review instructions. Using this version will allow an efficient comparison of changes made in the revision process.
- Once your response is complete and ready to submit, name your response in this format: Response_Project Number_Project Title. If you are also submitting a revised proposal, name it using this format: Revised_Project Number_Project Title. No hyphens are necessary for the project number, and you may abbreviate a long project title.
- Email your response, revised proposal, and other important supporting files to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do send additional supporting files, please ensure they are referenced in your response.
- For questions about the Council’s review process or scheduling issues please contact Mark Fritsch (email@example.com). If you have questions about the ISRP’s response requests, please contact Erik Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org).