Part 1: ISAB and ISRP's review of the Council's draft Columbia River Basin Research Plan
Part 2: Example Summary Plan extracted and adapted from the draft Plan by the ISAB/RP for consideration by the Council
In May and June 2005, the ISAB and ISRP (ISAB/RP) jointly reviewed an earlier draft of the research plan. Although the ISAB/RP found that draft to represent an important first step to develop a much needed regional planning document, the ISAB/RP suggested that the plan could be significantly improved by reducing redundancy, eliminating unnecessary detail, and focusing more closely on key elements. Such changes were recommended to make the document clear, compelling, flexible, and useful as a planning and prioritizing tool. The ISAB/RP understood that to be a preliminary review and suggested a follow-up review of a revised plan.
The November 2005 version of the plan is much improved from the draft the ISAB/RP reviewed last spring. This iteration has taken the earlier critique seriously, and many of the ISAB/RP’s previous comments are incorporated into this version. In particular, the document now has a shorter and more focused list of research priorities, with a more appropriate level of background information to motivate those. The organization is also much improved and more synthesis is demonstrated. The sharper focus and shorter core sections make the Plan more useful. However, to be of highest use to decision-makers and researchers, the plan can be further improved by another round of organization and editing. In its current form, regional managers and researchers likely will have difficulty using the Plan to set research priorities under the Fish and Wildlife Program (FWP or Program).
To be maximally effective, the Plan should be much shorter and more to-the-point. A roughly 15-page Plan that is effectively an Executive Summary/Plan, with other details as appendices, would likely suffice and be most accessible to users. This is especially true given the stated intent to invoke more regional planning and research (e.g., the proposed Regional Research Partnership, the incorporation of subbasin planning and provincial integration) and to incorporate ongoing scientific input and review (e.g., revising the work plan associated with the Plan each three years, ISRP/AB or other independent review). We attach an example 15-page summary plan extracted from the draft Plan we reviewed, and suggest that this length and format would serve well the purposes of the Council’s Research Plan.