The draft Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Reporting (MERR) Plan consists of three parts:
- Strategic Plan – provides broad policy guidance to assist in allocation of resources during Program implementation of research, monitoring, and evaluation (RME) and reporting actions.
- Implementation Framework – provides direction for focusing and conducting RME and reporting.
- Implementation Strategies – provides specific guidance on what and how RME and reporting will be conducted for anadromous fish, resident fish, wildlife, and their habitat. These strategies are to be collaboratively developed with the region’s experts and managers and are to be appended to the MERR Plan.
The Council invites public comments (see sidebar) on this plan, both in general and more specifically on:
- the suggested Program – prioritization criteria, priority species and habitat characteristics, and higher-ranked Program biological objectives;
- research, monitoring, reporting and evaluation approaches;
- the tools and approaches suggested to assist in prioritization and decision-making;
- the general guidelines and regional approach for developing the implementation strategies.
The Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (Program) is one of the largest regional efforts in the nation to recover and rebuild populations of fish and wildlife. The goal of the program is to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife, and related spawning grounds and habitat that have been affected by the construction and operation of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries.
The Council is responsible for adopting and overseeing implementation of the Program. In order to assure the region that the Program is implemented in a cost-effective and efficient manner, the Council needs to: (1) assess its progress toward meeting its responsibilities under the Power Act; and, (2) report on Program progress.
The Council revises the Program at least every five years. The 2009 Program, the most recent revision, focuses on performance and commits to developing a monitoring and evaluation framework to improve reporting of Program progress and to better inform Council decisions. Accordingly, the Council designed a draft monitoring and evaluation framework that builds on past work of the Council, the Independent Scientific Advisory Board, the Independent Scientific Review Panel, and regional entities. The framework aligns with goals and objectives of the 2009 Program.
Thank you for your interest in helping the Council improve monitoring, evaluation, research, and reporting of projects implemented through the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program.
Stephen L. Crow, Director