At the Council’s July 2007 request, the ISRP reviewed Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ (MFWP) revised Master Plan for the Sekokini Springs Isolation Facility (previously called the Sekokini Springs Natural Rearing Facility and Educational Center), Hungry Horse Mitigation, Project #199101903. The ISRP reviewed previous versions of the Master Plan and participated in direct discussions with the project sponsors regarding the ISRP’s scientific concerns with the proposed project. MFWP revised the previous Master Plan to address the ISRP’s concerns and the Council’s Three Step Elements. The revised Master Plan is intended to address release of westslope cutthroat trout produced at the Sekokini Springs Isolation facility as mitigation for operating the Hungry Horse hydropower facility.
The ISRP found that the project proposed in the current Master Plan evolved over the past two-plus years. Even with the ISRP's ongoing examination of the project goals, actions proposed, measurable objectives, approaches and alternatives, the ISRP was unable to conclude that a transparent logic pathway or framework exists to achieve the project’s primary purpose to re-establish non-hybridized populations of westslope cutthroat trout in locations where existing hybrid populations threaten the status of adjacent non-hybridized westslope cutthroat trout because they are expanding their range. Some portions of the Master Plan were strengthened or otherwise clarified in response to previous reviews (e.g., improved articulation of linkages to other related plans and activities). Ultimately, however, the ISRP concludes that the Sekokini Springs Isolation Facility Master Plan as yet does not meet scientific review criteria largely because the proposed benefits to fish and wildlife continue to be unquantifiable. Specifically, the plan does not establish what success is or describe a timeline for achieving it. As a result, M&E is only broadly described and thus ill-defined relative to a specific set of measurable objectives.