A NW EnerNet News Service of Energy NewsData
NW FISHLETTER
NWF.015/AUG.09.1996
***Fish News***
Reports on Fish Policy Development

[1] Senate Amendment Calls for New Peer Review for Salmon Funding :: A new peer review process for salmon funding has come one step closer to reality with the passage of the Senate Energy and Water appropriations bill on July 26. The bill would attempt to remove any suggestion of a conflict of interest by federal and state fish and wildlife employees and the tribes who benefit financially from the present program.

An amendment to the bill written by Sen. Slade Gorton and modified by Northwest legislators and other interested parties spells out the creation of an 11-member panel of scientists to oversee spending of BPA's annual fish and wildlife budget. Legislators will have to conference with members of the House before it is passed, probably after the August Congressional recess.

The amendment changes the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act to direct the NWPPC to appoint the panel from a list submitted by the National Academy of Sciences, "provided that Pacific Northwest scientists with expertise in Columbia River anadromous and non-anadromous fish and wildlife and ocean experts shall be among those represented on the panel." Gorton's initial amendment called for only a 5-person peer review panel.

The new language also calls for establishment of peer review groups that would report to the oversight panel. These peer reviewers would be chosen from a list submitted by the National Academy of Sciences, with a provision for placing Northwest fisheries experts on them as well.

The bill directs the peer review groups and the oversight panel to determine that projects are based on sound science, have a clearly defined objective and outcome with provisions for monitoring and evaluation of results, with an annual review of prior year expenditures.

The peer review groups would review projects to be funded and report to the panel, which then would analyze the information and submit recommendations on project priorities to the Council.

The legislation would also require the Council to explain in writing if it does not incorporate the panel's recommendations. But the Council must still review recommendations from the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, the umbrella group of federal, state and tribal agencies who receive the lion's share of the funding. Language in the bill also directs the council to consider the impact of ocean conditions on fish and wildlife populations, and determine cost-effectiveness of project objectives.

The price tag for this new prioritization process is capped at $2 million. But is it likely to work? Prof. James Crutchfield doesn't think so. As a member of the Snake River Salmon Recovery Team, Crutchfield was part of the NMFS advisory group who recommended more than two years ago that an independent scientific advisory panel was necessary to fill the decision-making void. Rather than clarifying the procedure, he sees the Gorton amendment as adding another layer of confusion to the priority process, clouding overlapping authority with the Council's own Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAG).

And Crutchfield sees a more fundamental flaw in the process. As long as the Council has the final say, he thinks the system will remain unworkable. "The representatives of the Council are from four different states and are simply going to be unable to agree."

But Heidi Kelly from Gorton's office said the amendment is definitely a short-term fix to make the process more accountable. The last line in the amendment calls for the panel's expiration on Sept. 30, 2000. Kelly said the issue should be resolved in a more formal way within the next year or so, because Sen. Gorton feels it is about time to address major changes to the Northwest Power Act.

In a July 30 letter to Gorton, Prof. John Magnuson, past chair of both the National Research Council's Committee on the Protection and Management of Pacific Northwest Anadromous Salmonids and the nominations committee of the Power Council's Independent Science Advisory Board said he was pleased by the Report Language of Gorton's amendment. Magnuson suggested that the amendment language be interpreted to have the ISAB and Gorton's Independent Scientific Review Panel "be the same group charged with the responsibility of setting up the research review system and have the implementation and conduct of that review system be part of their charge."

He offered the idea of having the NRC help with the ISAB nominations, but not be the nominating body. Magnuson liked the idea of scientific review peer groups as well as the language that broadened the perspective of the science advice to include estuaries, ocean residence, coastal streams, other large salmon rivers and the region as a whole , including institutional processes and social sciences.

Magnuson told Gorton that "independent science advice cannot come from a process of agency and stakeholder representation in a legislative sense, yet a broader group of participants than NWPPC and NMFS need to buy into a process that they think is fair and valid in terms of independent science review" [Bill Rudolph].

[2] Mid-Columbia Steelhead Proposed for Endangered Status :: With at least 23 West Coast steelhead populations already extinct, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that 10 of 15 West Coast steelhead stocks have been proposed by the agency for listing as threatened or endangered status under the Endangered Species Act. The agency also listed Oregon's Umpqua Cutthroat Trout as an endangered species. Last year, only 72 cutthroat were counted passing Winchester Dam on the North Umpqua River.

But Northwest regional director Will Stelle said this decision will be rendered insignificant when coastal salmon initiatives are put in place by the states. "I am optimistic they won't have added impact on operation of the hydropower system," Stelle added. He said the decision would have no effect on forestry, because the administration's forest plan is already in place, with "a very sound aquatic conservation strategy."

But Ted Strong, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission disagreed. "The National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to learn from the painful lessons of the past," Strong said in a press release July 30. "NMFS is poised to implement another series of actions that will waste precious resources and throw the region into further chaos."

All four California stock groups were proposed for endangered status on July 30, along with the Upper Columbia River ESU (evolutionarily significant unit). The Mid-Columbia ESU (below Pasco) maintained "candidate" status because the agency needs more information before it can render a decision.

Lower Columbia, Oregon Coast, Klamath-Mount Province, Northern California, and Snake River ESUs were proposed for threatened status.

NMFS determined that several evolutionarily significant units did not warrant listing: Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Southwest Washington, and Upper Willamette.

"Everything was locked up in court five years ago," said Stelle. "Today the situation is completely different."

Stelle told reporters that enormous progress has been made in the last five years because of a new approach based on watershed planning and restoration efforts. He pointed to the actions of California Governor Pete Wilson and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, who are already developing conservation plans to deal with threatened coho salmon stocks on the West Coast--plans that should help embattled steelhead runs as well.

The NMFS regional director had some kind words for mid-Columbia PUDs, too. He said the utilities have applied to NMFS for a conservation permit and the different parties are now negotiating the details of that agreement. With millions already spent on fish screens, hatcheries, a spill program and a prototype surface collector, Chelan County PUD biologist Robert McDonald said it was still too early to figure out if salmon mitigation would have to be done differently for steelhead. He did call them difficult critters, and hard to guide.

"We will be soliciting two additional years' of data from states and tribes," said Stelle, who noted that modifications in fishing regimes and hatcheries are already changing for the better. He noted that good habitat and a "good ocean" are major factors in the stocks' rebound, with the recreational fishery less of a factor.

As for hatcheries, Stelle said that they "can and will be part of the solution" if they produce fish that are genetically and behaviorally similar to wild stocks.

But Inter-Tribal director Strong wasn't buying into the rosy scenario. "The tribes fully expect that NMFS will use this action to keep the tribes from putting fish back into the rivers."

Columbia Alliance spokesman Bruce Lovelin wasn't impressed either. He said the proposed federal recovery plans fail to address the ocean's impact on migrating salmon and steelhead. "Today's listing deals the region's natural resource industries a tremendous blow," said Lovelin, who predicted that the government's recovery ideas would focus on habitat uses and impact farming, river navigation, recreation and forest products industries.

Stelle was optimistic about habitat improvement, declaring that west side forestry problems have been solved with a plan that has been challenged in court, but has proven to be legally and biologically defensible. He said that both large and small landowners now want to enter into binding agreements to provide long-term conservation of all the species on their land.

"I hope we get those state conservation plans within the next 12 months," said Stelle, who admitted it could take up to 20 years to get habitat back in shape. Some riparian biologists are little more pessimistic on the subject, noting that it could take more like 50 or a 100 years to redeem some West Coast fish habitats.

Stelle was also candid about his agency's mission when he said the feds have two hats to wear--to conserve and recover ESA stocks, and to act as a trustee to Indian treaty rights. "But treaty rights aren't much good unless you have fish to catch," said the regional director.

The agency will solicit public comment for the next year before making a final determination on the steelhead stocks. The schedule and location of these hearings will be announced later this summer [Bill Rudolph].

[3] NMFS Inconsistent, Environmentalists Say After Steelhead Announcement :: Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Washington Trout, a conservation group, said, "NMFS is inconsistent in listing steelhead. The agency used life history traits to list Umpqua cutthroat trout as an endangered species, but does not use the same criteria for steelhead. Washington Trout petitioned NMFS to list the Deer Creek (Stillaquamish River) steelhead as a threatened species, but NMFS rejected the proposal.

Beardslee's point is that NMFS should not lump winter and summer steelhead together using only genetic data to support the lumping when life history data are available that point to differences between the two races of steelhead. Beardslee says summer steelhead are in the greatest trouble in Puget Sound because they are more dependent upon the freshwater environment than are winter steelhead. "All summer steelhead runs in Puget Sound would qualify for listing as endangered species," he said. "Every summer steelhead population is doing worse than expected. For example, the Tolt River fish are recovering, but there are only 150 fish in the run that used to be over 500."

Beardslee said, "There are many small summer steelhead populations that remain unrecognized by the fish agencies, yet they represent an important part of the species biological diversity that should be maintained. Examples of such populations are Raging River and Cherry Creek which have are overlooked by the industrial model for fish management which pays attention only to large populations of fish."

"Since the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn't monitor summer steelhead status, there is a poor data base on the abundance and distribution of summer steelhead in Puget Sound. In Washington, the saying goes--no data, no problem," said Beardslee.

Rob Walton, executive director of the Public Power Council commented on the proposed listing for steelhead, saying: "This proposed listing creates the potential for the region to work together like it never had to before. This means individuals and groups must stop fighting and work together and make progress to help all wild anadromous fish populations. If the ocean environment improves and we work together to solve mutual problems, we could be surprised with the result" [Bill Bakke].

[4] Council Allocates $125 million for F&W, Votes to Reopen Program :: Meeting in Astoria on Aug. 7, the NWPPC voted to consider amending its Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program in 1997. The action was taken to prepare for new scientific information on salmon recovery and use recommendations from the Council's own scientific group that are due in mid-September.

"If there is one thing that people of the Pacific Northwest agree on, it is the need for a single, comprehensive program for protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife," said Council chair John Etchart. "We are making the Council available as a forum where the region can identify areas of agreement in the three plans and work to resolve disputes."

The Council will not request recommendations for amendments until February 1997, when efforts will be made to merge three different fish and wildlife recovery plans into a cohesive strategy. Council staff cautioned members about opening up the new planning process this year. Once amendments to the plan are requested, the Council is obligated by law to develop a plan within one year. The heavy workload in 1996 would make reopening the plan nearly impossible.

The Council decided to develop an issue paper containing the recommendations of the independent scientific group to help the public and the fish agencies and tribes develop their amendments to the fish plan.

"We want the people to begin thinking about the amendments, and how the new information should be reflected in the region's fish and wildlife recovery efforts," Etchart said. He acknowledged that a lot of confusion exists about who is in charge of restoration and whose program takes precedence, but he said that if the region could come up with a single plan, the direction would become clearer.

Major issues will once again focus on river operations and reservoir drawdown, which is supported by the tribes, fish agencies and environmental groups, but not all Council members and industry. These issues have typically overshadowed others such as watershed restoration, protection of native salmon, and use of hatcheries to restore wild salmon. In the past this lack of agreement on how to restore declining salmon runs has fragmented the region's ability to implement a comprehensive recovery plan.

The Council also allocated $125 million in public money to fund fish and wildlife recovery efforts next year, following a lengthy and frustrating public review and prioritization by state, federal, and tribal fish and wildlife agencies.

Over $19 million will fund new work, but some proposals were discarded because they were inconsistent with the program--breaching the four federal dams on the lower Snake river, removing lost nets from the river, and developing a hydropower regulator computer model.

Twelve other projects, some new, some ongoing, were tentatively approved but will require further scrutiny before funding. These include certain watershed activities and the work of the Fish Passage Center, the squawfish bounty program, and law enforcement to curb illegal fishing and habitat destruction.

In their letter to BPA, the Council assumed the work plan funding will satisfy BPA's obligations under the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion for species listed under the Endangered Species Act. But the Council requested that BPA "seek expeditious review and explicit findings from NMFS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service before initiating contracting for any new projects." If these federal agencies need additional measures to satisfy the terms of the Biological Opinion, the Council will request the fish and wildlife managers reconvene to revise their work plan.

BPA will not accept a project list from the Council that exceeds the planned budget without direction for reallocating the available funds and will not initiate contract action on new projects until the fish managers have delivered a pending list to the Council that brings the workplan within the planned FY 97 budget or propose a satisfactory alternative consistent with the Administration's fish and wildlife budget agreement.

The Council also identified numerous issues that need to be resolved. Parties other than the fish agencies and tribes did not have adequate access to project funding, and this was a major theme of this year's public comment. The Council said when BPA agreed to develop the annual work plan it "did not surrender authority to select project contractors or negotiate contract amounts." The Council wants clear criteria to be developed for using a competitive procurement process for projects in the future.

The so called "In-Lieu" funding needs to be addressed. The Northwest Power Act prohibits in-lieu funding under which BPA funds a project that would be a normal function of a management entity. A definition of in-lieu will be developed by the Council in cooperation with the fish managers, tribes, BPA and interested parties for the 1998 project funding process.

The Council's program recognizes that maintenance of biological diversity and genetic integrity of wild and naturally spawning populations of salmon and steelhead is crucial to restoration and management of these populations. Implementation of measures to carry out this policy, however, has lagged. As a first step, the Council will conduct an assessment of this issue and formulate specific project proposals for funding in 1998.

Ted Strong, executive director for Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, presented a letter signed by four treaty tribes to Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-OR) that asks that Mitchell Act hatcheries be reprogrammed to release fish upstream to benefit tribal commercial fisheries. The Mitchell Act, passed in 1938, has provided the funding for hatchery construction and operation and installation of fish screens at water diversions in the Columbia River Basin. Most of these hatcheries are located on the Columbia and tributaries from Bonneville Pool downstream.

In part, Strong's letter states "...we request that you limit Mitchell Act appropriations to actions that directly assist the rebuilding and restoration of natural runs above Bonneville Dam and to the operation of facilities that are used to implement the Columbia River Fish Management Plan during FY 1997." Strong requested the active support of the Council in this matter, but members did not act. They said they will review it and get back to the tribes [Bill Rudolph, Bill Bakke].

[5] Tribes Mum on MOA After White House Discussions :: Northwest tribes met with administration officials last week in Washington D.C. to discuss the fish cap memorandum of agreement that would limit spending on fish mitigation in the Northwest. Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission spokesman Rick Taylor said they were still working on the agreement and had nothing new to say, other than that all parties involved had agreed not to talk about it.

But no regional officials were present at talks with the White House Council of Environmental Quality, although there were representatives from OMB, Interior, Commerce and the Energy Department.

NWPPC's Doug Marker said if negotiations are taking place, "the Council wants to be involved." Marker said that it wasn't the meeting that federal agencies were expecting. Agreement on the spending cap and contingency funds were close to being resolved when the tribes went East, but by week's end, the message the tribes has left with the administration was harsh in tone and non-specific in the complaint department.

The White House considered the issue "urgent but gave Northwest tribes up to 60 more days to consult with their members and develop a list of issues to iron out before an agreement is reached.

Big questions over governance issues seemed to be back on the table, while Sen. Mark Hatfield was circulating a letter in the Northwest delegation to help bring the agreement to a speedier settlement. The letter to vice president Gore expressed concern about the potential delay in finalizing the MOA "if items for negotiation are expanded beyond the original agreement. The legislators asked that Gore provide them with a version of the MOA that is acceptable to the administration and report on its progress by Sept. 3, prior to the conclusion of the Conference on the FY 1997 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The letter was signed by all eight Northwest senators [Bill Rudolph].

[6] New Report Shows Smolt Survival Fell as Gas Went Up :: A new study has backed up findings from 1995 that showed smolt survival dropped substantially in May of that year as dissolved gas supersaturation increased in the Snake River. S.P. Cramer and Associates has released the report, commissioned by the DSIs, which also backed up last year's finding that survival dropped as the smolt migration rate increased.

Last year, NMFS agreed with Cramer that PIT-tag analysis showed a drop in mortality, but the agency pointed out that gas supersaturation in the river could not be directly tied to the drop. It has been the agency's view that gas supersaturation factors cannot be separated from other variables such as temperature and travel time.

But a July 12 NMFS memo from Michael Schiewe to regional director Will Stelle has raised the possibility that gas was the culprit this year. The memo says that smolt survival estimates between Lower Granite and Little Goose Dams and from Little Goose to Lower Monumental Dam were slightly higher than last year, but survival estimates from Lower Monumental Dam to McNary Dam were more than 10 percent lower than in 1995, what NMFS calls "significantly (statistically) lower." The memo goes on to say, "The decreased survival may be due to increased exposure to elevated concentrations of total dissolved atmospheric gas (TDG) in the river, as the large spring runoff resulted in much more spill than in 1995."

According to Cramer's new report, improvements in this year's study included using counts from a new flat-plate PIT-tag detector installed in the fish bypass of the first powerhouse at Bonneville. Also, the number of PIT-tagged chinook from the Snake counted at John Day was 17 percent greater than 1995, up to 1,832 fish.

Cramer found that smolt survival was greatest between April 28-30, a time that "corresponded to the period when dissolved gas supersaturation was lowest in all tailraces combined." Survival lessened starting on April 22, corresponding to a spike in supersaturation in the Lower Granite tailrace, and the most substantial drop in survival occurred after May 3 when a sharp increase in supersaturation below Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor Dam was observed. The report noted that this year's drop in survival was different from 1995 because it happened before a large share of the smolt population had outmigrated.

Smolt travel time (the inverse of migration rate) was positively correlated with survival, which was noticed in last year's study as well. Cramer's report states, "This previously unexpected correlation is strongly suggestive that the river conditions which accelerate migration rate also accelerate mortality rate."

Cramer said the data showed the migration rate of the fish was highly correlated with flow, which, in turn, was highly correlated to the percentage spill. "Therefore, the negative correlation of survival to migration rate was probably a reflection of mortality associated with increasing dissolved-gas supersaturation produced by spill" [Bill Rudolph].

[7] Sparks Fly Over Passage Model, PIT-tag Forecaster Review :: A critique of the Columbia River Salmon Passage (CRiSP) model and the PIT-tag forecaster by state agencies and tribes has generated some heat and strong words, as James Anderson and John Skalski rebutted the salmon managers' conclusions.

According to a memo from the states and tribes to TMT chairperson Cynthia Henriksen, BPA had asked fish managers to review the effectiveness of the two projects and products "regarding their application to in-season fish passage management decision making," with the objective to gain the TMT's endorsement of the use of these two products and secure a higher funding priority than was gained in the recent regional prioritization process.

But TMT member Dan Daley of BPA said his agency did not request the review, nor was it tied to the funding prioritization process in any way. Daley said Henriksen and the TMT requested the salmon managers take a look at it after he had suggested using the projects as "two more tools in our toolbox." Henriksen agreed with Daley's characterization of the situation.

Washington, Oregon, and Idaho fish managers and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission found both projects wanting. They did not support the use of CRiSP as a management decision-making tool and "do not view the PIT-tag forecaster or its continued funding in 1997 as critical to in-season management decisions or implementation of the Biological Opinion."

The fish managers complained about the relationship between flow and spill in CRiSP, calling it "a source of concern." They said the CRiSP modellers had been selective in their choice of flow and survival data points during calibration of the model--resulting in minimization of the effects of flow augmentation while maximizing survival. "This interpretation of the available mainstem survival data contained in CRiSP is not supported by the salmon managers."

They also criticized the model's gas mortality function and its "extremely optimistic assumptions regarding the effectiveness of transportation."

Finally, they expressed dissatisfaction with using the TMT process as an alternative to the regional prioritization process for project funding.

CRiSP project head Prof. James Anderson was quick to respond. In his own memo to Henriksen, he called the charges "unfounded and fallacious" and based on misunderstandings about the model and how it worked.

"The managers criticize CRiSP because its results do not follow their estimates of in-river survival derived from their adult survival indices," says Anderson's memo. "They seem to conclude that since smolt survival and adult survival indices are different, that CRiSP is wrong. They ignore decadal climate factors that have a major impact on survival."

Anderson said the CRiSP model fit PIT-tag estimated survival very well and included a chart showing that 1996 PIT-tag survival estimates of Snake River smolt survival to John Day Dam was 55.9 percent, while his model came up with 54.9 percent.

He suggested that the Salmon Managers FLUSH model, "which embraces many of the alternative approaches that seem to be implicit in their critique of CRiSP, be evaluated through the PATH process as CRiSP is." He recommended the PATH (Process for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses) process be accelerated to test both models against the past 30 years of survival studies, "which would quickly show which flow-survival and transportation relationships are consistent with the data and which are not."

In closing, Anderson said he believed "the Salmon Managers need to spend more time thinking about whether the measures they propose are actually assisting salmon, using tools such as CRiSP to aid their determinations, and spend less time "killing the messenger."

PIT tag researcher John Skalski, professor of biological statistics at the University of Washington, sent his own response to the states' and tribes' critique of the PIT-tag forecaster. He said their memo contained many inaccuracies, from wrong funding figures to misrepresenting the function of the PIT-forecaster itself.

Skalski wrote, "On multiple occasions, we have invited CBFWA personnel to attend presentations, seminars, and workshops--and they have refused. We have tried to work with the FPC personnel: we have asked to see their alleged predictive approaches and when given the opportunity, to compare methods head-to-head. We have shown in our 1994 BPA annual report how their methods have an error rate many times that of the PIT-forecaster. We have yet to see documentation on their methods or any post-season evaluation of their capabilities. The PIT-forecaster provides a unique capability to estimate run timing in the Mid-Columbia, Snake and mainstem Columbia rivers that should not be lost because of irresponsible and inaccurate rhetoric."

Skalski finished his rebuttal with the following remarks: "The bottom line is that we have demonstrated the accuracy and precision of our run timing predictions over the last three years. The greater issue is whether we as a community want informed resource decisions based on the best available science or politics to govern the stewardship of Pacific salmon" [Bill Rudolph].

[8] Alaska Chinook Catch Better Than Expected :: Commercial salmon trollers in Southeast Alaska harvested 74,300 chinook during a 10-day opening that began on July 1. According to a report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the catch was greater than the department's pre-season expectations. Despite almost 20 percent fewer boats participating in the fishery, the troll fleet caught nearly the same number of fish as last year. From the initial catch, it looks like chinook abundance is higher than anticipated by fish managers on either side of the border.

Southeast Alaska troll biologist Dave Gaudet said that the catch actually picked up during the second half of the opening. The Alaskans have agreed with other U.S. members of the Pacific Salmon Commission for an all-gear Southeast harvest of 140,000 to 155,000 fish.

Canada has complained loudly about the Alaska fishery because they have kept their own commercial chinook fishery closed this year to ensure escapements to streams and hatcheries on the west coast of Vancouver Island and Georgia Strait, where stocks were decimated by mackerel predation during the El Nino event of 1993.

The U.S. members of the salmon commission felt the Canadians did not have the evidence to back their attempt to get the Alaska fishery closed.

Gaudet said his department is studying coded wire tag recoveries and will soon meet with other members of the U.S. delegation to discuss the results. He maintained that only 21 percent of the catch can be explained by hatchery tags. What about the other 79 percent? "You just don't know."

The Alaskans have long felt that the harvest model used by the salmon commission shortchanges their fishery. Half of Southeast Alaska's chinook catch normally come from Canadian streams, with most of the rest originating in Northwest rivers. Tag recoveries have shown that the trollers' harvest this year has only included about 6 percent Alaska hatchery stocks, which usually make up about 15 percent of their catch. It's another signal that tells Juneau biologists chinook abundance may have been underestimated. But they will have to convince the rest of the U.S. section before they can keep any more kings this year.

Meanwhile, their coho season is in full swing and promises to be a dandy. The catch is on track to be the second highest ever--possibly over 3 million coho may be caught by the end of the summer. In 1994, Southeast Alaska trollers caught 3.5 million coho, and net fishermen landed another 1.5 million, for a record harvest in that part of the state of 5 million cohos [Bill Rudolph].

[9] Salmon Saviors or $3 Billion Boondoggle? :: A three-part series in the Spokane daily newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, has documented the last 15 years' worth of effort to save salmon runs and found that Northwest taxpayers have precious little to show for it.

Reporter Lynda Mapes concluded the series with a list of reforms needed to overhaul salmon recovery efforts. These include using private contractors to do some of the work, because "they can do some things better, faster and cheaper"; change the way contracts are selected by removing fish managers from a process that now creates the appearance of a conflict of interest; keep better track of how the money is spent; build a framework for recovery that is based on best available peer-review science; and monitor the results, using independent peer-reviewed analysis.

Mapes covered the recovery effort from every major angle, pulling no punches. In her third installment on July 30, she quoted Charles Mann, co-author of Noah's Choice, a book about the Endangered Species Act, who said, "The effort is essentially deranged. What I don't get is why you don't start on the easy ones first. The Quinault River. The Elwha. Figure that out. Then say, 'Why not try the Snake' [Bill Rudolph].

***Document Annex***
Works Cited

DOCUMENTS FROM NW FISHLETTER 015 :: Below are listed available documents referred to in the text of NW Fishletter issue 015.

THE ARCHIVE :: Previous NW Fishletter issues and supporting documents.


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