At the Council’s September 15, 2009 request the ISRP reviewed the Yakama Nation’s Columbia River Fish Accords proposal titled Columbia Cascade Province MOA Habitat Projects (2009-003-00). The project’s goal is to improve habitat for salmonids in the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow subbasins to a degree capable of supporting sustainable populations. This proposed project is specifically intended to restore ecological functions to stream habitat in the three identified subbasins to contribute to recovery of salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. In addition, the project is intended to be holistic in nature and thus improve habitat for other fish and aquatic as well as terrestrial species present in these areas.
The ISRP requests a response. Because the proposal primarily focused on describing the background and justification of the process of prioritizing habitat restoration in the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow subbasins, it is premature for the ISRP to comment on this project’s scientific soundness until more information is provided. The narrative suggests that the planned activities are consistent with other inventory and planning efforts in the province, and the ISRP assumes that funding from the Accord MOA will help provide needed human and other resources in subbasins where such resources are spread thin.
The ISRP requests a revised proposal that provides sufficient detail for a technical review including:
- Procedures by which watershed assessments and prioritization of projects will be conducted.
- Summary data on stock and current habitat status (productivity and capacity estimates of past and current conditions) to provide context for the slate of priority activities identified in the proposal.
- The anticipated effects of habitat improvements on fish and wildlife populations; and the details of a monitoring program that facilitates adaptive learning.