Given the history of abundant salmon populations above Bonneville Dam and the complexity of jurisdictions and interest groups whose activities have contributed to their demise, the tribes conclude that significant actions must continue to be undertaken if we are to preserve our cultural heritage and treaty-guaranteed property rights. These actions are summarized in the technical recommendations that follow.
The preferred approach for managing these required activities is adaptive management. This approach combines the objective approach of scientific methodology with social and political decision making processes.
Adaptive management is a process consisting of identifying a problem, taking actions to address the problem, observing the results, and modifying the assessment of the problem and needed remedies. Adaptive management requires taking actions of a magnitude large enough to be likely to demonstrate measurable results in the face of inherent biological variability. It is a flexible process that does not require perfect knowledge to begin. It is self-correcting as new information is obtained.
An adaptive management approach to restoring salmon production in the Columbia River Basin above Bonneville Dam includes:
- Initial assessment of the problem;
- Formulation of goals, hypotheses about the nature of the problem(s), and needed solutions;
- Identification of the expected results of the proposed actions;
- Implementation of the proposed actions;
- A monitoring program to observe the actual result of actions;
- Communication of results among interested parties; and
- Reevaluation of the problem definition and modification of management actions.
The technical recommendations made in the 1995 plan addressed steps 1 through 3 of this process. Between 1995 and 2013, numerous of the recommended actions were implemented—step 4, and to varying degrees, results were monitored and communicated—steps 5 and 6. The Update reassesses the problems (as identified in the 1995 technical recommendations) and the actions taken and offers new and modified actions—step 7.
The Update’s new technical recommendations address steps 1 through 3.