BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Life-Cycle Model Development and Application to System and Subbasin Planning in Snake River

BPA project number   9203200

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   ID-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDanny Lee
 Mailing addressU.S. Forest Service
Intermountain Research Station
316 East Myrtle Street
Boise, ID 83702

BPA technical contact   Mark Shaw, EWP 503/230-5239

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Improve decision-support tools for (1) assessing overall program effectiveness, and more specifically (2) assessing the impacts of land-use activities on resident and anadromous salmonids.

Project start year   1992    End year   1999

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
9202603 Idaho Model Watershed: Modeling for Planning and Implementation

Project history
This project is part of a larger effort that has been funded by the USDA Forest Service (FS), Bonneville Power Administration, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. It began as an effort to (1) improve the Stochastic Life-cycle Model and provide parameter estimates for Snake River stocks, and (2) investigate means for cataloging habitat inventory information within a Geographic Information System (GIS) . The effort has since grown to a more fully integrated look at how spatially explicit habitat and landscape information can be incorporated into population viability assessments. Most recently, this effort contributed to methods used within the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) that was completed by the FS and Bureau of Land Management. The principal FS investigator also participates as a member of the interagency committee that is engaged in the PATH process, providing data, analyses, and technical expertise. Funding to support the principal investigator and other scientists working on this project has come primarily from the Forest Service. Supplemental funds from Bonneville and NMFS have been used to support biological technicians and contract personnel, and cover miscellaneous operating expenses.

Decision-support tools developed under this project play an important role in ongoing assessment and planning activities. The SLCM model is one of the principal models used by Bonneville and NMFS in assessing the possible impacts of proposed activities on threatened and endangered chinook stocks. Stream inventory and GIS techniques developed by Forest Service researchers are used throughout the Northwest. recent work included development of a set of models, called the Bayesian Viability Assessment Modules (BayVAM) that can be used to assess habitat condition in terms of suitability for both resident and anadromous salmonids. These models are unique in that they allow expert knowledge to be combined with quantitative and qualitative information in a rigorous, repeatable, and defensible manner. They have been tested in watersheds throughout the Northwest, and will soon be incorporated into the Federal watershed analysis protocols. Technical transfer is an integral part of the overall effort; numerous presentation and workshops have been presented to ensure widespread distribution of research products and ensure feedback from endusers.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers
1992 and 1993 Annual Reports
Lee, D.C., and J.B. Hyman. 1992. The Stochastic Life-cycle Model (SLCM): Simulating the population dynamics of anadromous salmonids. Res. Pap. INT-459. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Ogden, UT.
Lee, D.C. and W.E. Grant. 1995. A hierarchical approach to fisheries planning and modeling in the Columbia River Basin. Environmental Management 19:17-25.
Lee, D.C. in press. Assessing land-use impacts on bull trout using Bayesian belief networks.

Management implications
This project has been instrumental in advancing the analytical methods and tools available to land-management agencies in the Columbia River Basin. Currently, biologists in Regions 1, 4 and 6 of the Forest Service use the population models and GIS techniques developed here to help identify priority watersheds for protection or restoration, to evaluate potential impacts of proposed land-management activities, and to identify monitoring needs.

Specific measureable objectives
The objective is the development of tools that lead to a more sophisticated and informed land management that better addresses the needs of fish. I'll let others decide how to measure that.

Testable hypothesis
The primary hypothesis is that land management has a measurable impact on the viability of naturally reproducing anadromous and resident salmonids. Subcomponents of this hypothesis address where, how, and to what degree.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
I assume that Federal lands will remain under Federal management, subject to environmental laws, and that Congress will allow a modest amount of research to continue within the Forest Service.

As part of the ICBEMP, we compiled a comprehensive, broad-scale database on the status and distribution of seven widely distributed salmonids within the interior Columbia Basin, and a large amount of information on landscape characteristics such as physiographic features, vegetation, roads, dams, mines, etc. We also developed an extensive database of stream inventory data. The PATH process is currently collecting similar types of information, some of it at finer resolution than that compiled for the ICBEMP. Other data collection efforts are underway by the various regions of the Forest Service. Collectively, these data present a tremendous opportunity for exploring causal linkages between land management and fish populations. In the ICBEMP, we explored several innovative statistical techniques in order to build models that would allow us to map predicted fish distributions across the landscape, and anticipate changes in these distributions resulting from alternative management futures. We looked at generalized logistic models, empirical-k-nearest-neighbor techniques, and classification trees for this purpose. Though we made substantial progress, our work along these lines was hindered by the hurried nature of the ICBEMP project. Given more time and resources, we think that significant further gains in understanding are possible. Future work will build on our earlier efforts and improve the accuracy and extent of our models, and branch into other areas such as Bayesian methods and hypothesis testing. It also has been suggested within the PATH process that the use of Bayesian belief networks in retrospective analysis be investigated. We will not be working directly with fish.

Brief schedule of activities
Work in 1997 will be a continuation of efforts beginning in 1996 to refine the spatially explicit models and development of improved methods for hypothesis testing. Significant changes in 1998 and beyond are dependent on progress in the current effort and cannot be predicted.

Biological need
Land management is a critical component of protecting and restoring fish and wildlife. To date, we have not proven capable of multiple-use management that does not harm fish populations. We would like to reverse that trend.

Critical uncertainties

Summary of expected outcome
We expect to gain a better understanding of fish-land relations using existing data, develop protocols for improved data collection, provide a set of tools for spatial analysis that could be adapted for a variety of applications, and improve on available methods for viability analysis.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Completion of the ICBEMP. Funding for Forest Service research.


Monitoring activity
Annual reports. Application of modelling efforts to real time projects such as the model watersheds. Application to specific projects for expected results. GIS products and application to analysis of FHR.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
1992: 51,160
1993: 40,646
1994: 40,917
1995: 15,280
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 0
Planned: 50,000
1997: 65,000
1998: 68,000
1999: 30,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $65,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $65,000