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Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion
Tributary Habitat Program — 2012 Expert Panel Workshops


FCRPS Home | 2012 Expert Panels | Background | Meetings | Map Tools | Workshops | Quick Reference


Expert Panel workshops are being planned to address RPA 35 table 5 priority and other populations for the chinook ESUs and steelhead DPSs in the following areas:

  • Upper Columbia steelhead and spring chinook salmon in the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan subbasins
  • Snake River steelhead in Clearwater, Lower Snake, Grande Ronde/Imnaha, Lower Salmon, and Upper Salmon subbasins
  • Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon in Lower Snake, Grande Ronde/Imnaha, Lower Salmon, and Upper Salmon subbasins
General Planning Information

The Action Agencies (AAs) began planning for the 2012 Expert Panel workshops in January 2011. Working closely with existing watershed planning groups that manage planning and implementation of habitat improvement projects in each of the subbasins listed above, the AAs held general information meetings that began in August 2011.

Presentations made at the general information meetings were intended to initiate planning for the upcoming workshops (BiOp Expert Panel Briefing [BPA Power Point], FCRPS BiOp Tributary Habitat Implementation Update [Reclamation Power Point]). Topics included:

  • Refresh participants on expert panel purpose, objectives, methods, and schedule
  • Summary of results from the last workshops
  • Options for standardizing limiting factors
  • New tools to help identify and prioritize sustainable tributary habitat improvement projects
  • Preparing tables of projects for the 2009-2012 cycle (“look back”) and 2013-2018 cycle (“look forward”)
  • Using monitoring info to support expert panels
FCRPS BiOp and AMIP Requirements
The 2010 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp includes a review of the latest scientific information that can be referenced to inform the expert panels.

The Adaptive Management Implementation Plan (AMIP) resulted from a scientific review of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp. AMIP Amendments 4 and 5 include the consideration of additional information by the expert panels in evaluating effects of habitat improvement projects on changes to limiting factors.

AMIP Amendment 4 directs the Action Agencies to evaluate climate change data. Relevant climate change data that can be referenced by the expert panels for consideration at the workshops was summarized by NOAA Fisheries in the 2010 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp and is extracted here for easy reference. A climate change literature review was prepared by NOAA Fisheries in 2011. The 2011 USGS Report to Congress on Climate Change is also available.

Amendment 5 directs the AAs to evaluate projects considering the effects of invasive species and toxicology issues. These data are made available by appropriate state and federal agencies. Any invasive species information or toxicology issues brought forward by expert panel members or the AAs for consideration of habitat projects will need to be documented as to source using standard citation protocol for sharing with the appropriate regulatory agency.

Invasive species are interpreted by the AAs as aquatic plant or animal species that adversely affects the survival or recovery potential of salmon and steelhead listed as threatened or endangered by the Endangered Species Act. A strategy for invasive species prepared by the US Forest Service includes maps near the end of the report that show locations of invasive species in Washington, Oregon, and parts of Idaho.
Limiting Factors
Standardizing Limiting Factors
In early 2011, NOAA Fisheries released a set of standard limiting factors with definitions of Ecological Concerns and Ecological Sub-Concerns. The standardized terms provide a mechanism to use common terms and definitions throughout the region. All participants at the general information meetings thought this was a good idea and began the process of transitioning from the original limiting factors used in earlier expert panel workshops to the standard set of limiting factors. The original set of limiting factors will be used for evaluating actions completed through the 2012 expert panel workshops. The standardized limiting factors will be used for evaluating actions planned for implementation from 2013-2018.
Limiting Factor Guidance
Changes to limiting factors associated with implementation of habitat improvement projects is at the core of the approach for the expert panel process. This process was developed with guidance from the Habitat Collaboration Workgroup (HCW). The AAs prepared guidance for evaluating limiting factors for the FCRPS BiOp. This paper presents guidance for how habitat functions for limiting factors can be developed consistent with the HCW guidance.
New Map Tools for Prioritizing Habitat Improvement Projects for the FCRPS BiOp — Pie Maps
View Pie Maps>>
Tributary habitat for each steelhead and chinook salmon population is composed of geographic areas called “assessment units”. Limiting factors that influence the survival and potential for recovery of salmon and steelhead are different among the assessment units for each population. Large numbers of limiting factor habitat functions are evaluated at expert panel workshops. These numbers have been managed in spreadsheet tables for review, assignment, calculation, and reporting purposes. Sometimes it is difficult to see the “big picture” simply by looking at all of the numbers in the spreadsheet tables.

The AAs have developed “Pie Maps” that illustrate the numerical data in the spreadsheets using pie charts (pies) and bar graphs (bars). A pie illustrates each limiting factor in the assessment unit. Pie size is relative to the limiting factor weight, or importance of a particular limiting factor relative to other limiting factors within the assessment unit. Pie slices represent status of limiting factor habitat functions and potential through 2018 (the term of the 2008/2010 FCRPS BiOp). Bars illustrate a “roll up” of the habitat functions illustrated by the pies for the entire assessment unit. The width of the bar is proportional to the “intrinsic potential”, or importance of a particular assessment unit relative to other assessment units that comprise the population.

The AAs prepared limiting factor pie maps for the original limiting factor habitat functions and for the standardized limiting factor habitat functions.
Guidance for preparing tables of projects for the 2009-2012 cycle (“look back”) and 2013-2018 cycle (“look forward”)
Tables of completed projects will need to be compiled from available BPA, Reclamation, and watershed group records for comparing to the projects planned for completion in the 2010-2012 implementation cycle. It will also be necessary to include any projects completed in 2009 that were not evaluated at the last expert panel workshop for completeness.

The “look back” and “look forward” tables of projects are being assembled prior to the expert panel workshops. Tables of projects are planned to be loaded into a database tool which will replace the use of spreadsheets to store and report data but will maintain the integrity of the data formerly captured in spreadsheets.

Presentation: BPA BiOp Expert Panel Briefing PDF 517 kb
Presentation: Reclamation FCRPS BiOp Tributary Habitat Expert Panel Update PDF 4.2 mb
Review of Latest Scientific Information (from the NOAA Fisheries 2010 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp) PDF 83 kb
2009 AMIP (links to PDF on SalmonRecovery.gov) PDF
AMIP Tributary Habitat Amendments 4+5 PDF 67 kb
Relevant Climate Change Data Summarized by NOAA Fisheries in the 2010 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp PDF 100 kb
Literature Review for 2010 Citations for BiOp: Biological Effects of Climate Change (prepared by NOAA Fisheries in 2011) PDF 233 kb
2011 USGS Report to Congress on Climate Change: Strengthening the Scientific Understanding of Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Resources of the United States

PDF 10.5 mb

2011 USFS Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Strategy and Management Plan PDF 1.73 mb
Ecological Concerns and Ecological Sub-Concerns (prepared by NOAA Fisheries) PDF 42 kb
Guidance from the HCW — Appendix C: Analysis of the Effects of Tributary Habitat Actions PDF 342 kb
Guidance for Evaluating Limiting Factors PDF 104 kb
Guidance for Preparing Tables of Completed Projects PDF 52 kb
Guidance for Preparing Tables of Projects Planned for Implementation from 2013-2018 PDF 67 kb
Jude Trapani
Habitat Coordinator
(208) 378-5358
Bureau of Reclamation
Pacific Northwest Region
1150 N Curtis Road, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83706

FCRPS Home | 2012 Expert Panels | Background | Meetings | Map Tools | Workshops | Quick Reference

Last Update: June 18, 2014 7:49 AM