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
PATH - Participation by State and Tribal Agencies

BPA project number   9600800

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameHoward Schaller
 Mailing addressOregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
2501 SW First Avenue, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97207

BPA technical contact   Jim Geiselman, EWI 503/230-5732

Biological opinion ID   96-8

NWPPC Program number   6

Short description
PATH (Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses): an iterative process of defining and testing hypotheses underlying key salmon management decisions in the Columbia River Basin with scientists/managers from BPA, NPPC, NMFS, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife(WDFW), and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and their member tribes, as well as independent peer reviewers.

Project start year   1996    End year   2000

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
9600600-(PATH, Facilitation, Tech Assistance & Peer Review)- work with facilitator to develop specific PATH workplans and reports to be submitted to PATH peer review process.

Project history
PATH began in 1995. In 1993 and 1994, funding was provided to facilitate cooperative efforts by the Bonneville Power Administration, the Northwest Power Planning Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and their member tribes to compare and enhance the models they use to evaluate salmon management options. Results from these model comparison activities and associated peer-review efforts showed that each modeling system has different strengths and weaknesses, several common patterns of model behavior, and some significant differences. In 1994, an independent scientific review panel (coordinated by Dr. Larry Barnthouse, then of Oakridge National Laboratory) completed an interim report in which they concluded that there were three major differences between modeling systems: 1) the distribution of survival over the life span; 2) the effect of flow on survival; and 3) the benefit of transportation. The panel felt that as long as these differences exist the models were going to give different answers in a fairly predictable fashion. This would result in conflicting advice to decision makers and would make further analysis of details of model behavior relatively unproductive. The panel concluded that it would be more fruitful to focus on describing and attempting to resolve the fundamental issues, through hypothesis formulation and testing (applying Bayesian and other approaches). The 1995 NMFS Biological Opinion on operation of the federal Columbia River Power System (pg. 124, Rec. 17) stated that “The BPA shall participate with NMFS in activities to coordinate the regional passage and life cycle models and to test the hypotheses underlying those models.” NMFS noted that the emphasis should shift to analyses that test the different assumptions underlying the models, rather than refining our understanding of how the models are different. NMFS concurred with the recommendation of the Scientific Review Panel (SRP) to conduct an analysis of alternative hypotheses, and worked with BPA to ensure that this work was funded out of the $30 million envelope dedicated to actions arising out of the Biological Opinion. This was the genesis of the Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses (PATH). Critical to the success of PATH are three components: 1) facilitation and funding of the interagency scientific working groups, 2) specialized expertise in Bayesian statistics, multivariate analysis, and Columbia Basin salmon stock assessment and population dynamics; and 3) external, independent peer review.

Biological results achieved
PATH is developing a rigorous framework to maximize the rate of learning while minimizing the risk to conserving severely depressed populations and the potential to develop sets of management actions to recover endangered Columbia River salmon populations. This will ultimately benefit fish populations by first attempting to minimizing the risk to the populations and second guide the best use of limited resources for fish population expenditures. Several participants commented that the first PATH workshop was one of the best workshop held in the last decade in the Columbia River basin, and regional managers are keenly interested in the progress made to date.

Annual reports and technical papers
Petrosky, C.E. and H.A. Schaller. 1996. Evaluation of Survival Trends in the Freshwater Spawning and Rearing Life Stage for Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook. Draft prepared for PATH Workshop 2.
Petrosky, C.E., H.A. Schaller and R.C.P. Beamesderfer. 1995. Spawner-recruit relationships for spring and summer chinook populations in several Columbia and Snake River subbasins. Draft prepared for PATH Workshop 1.
Schaller, H.A, C.E. Petrosky and O. LANGNESS. 1996. Contrasts in Stock Recruitment Patterns
of Snake and Columbia River Spring/Summer Chinook Populations. Draft prepared for PATH Workshop 2.
Marmorek, D.P. and I. Parnell (eds.). 1995. Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses (PATH): Information package for Workshop 1 - Design of retrospective analyses to test key hypotheses of importance to management decisions on endangered and threatened Columbia River salmon stocks. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC with contributions from ANCOOR (Analytical Coordination Working Group) and Dr. R. Deriso, 88 pp. and appendices.
Marmorek, D.R, I, Parnell, L. Barnthouse and D.R. Bouillon. 1995. PATH - Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses. Results of a Workshop to Design Retrospective Analyses. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd. Vancouver, BC for Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, 71 pp. and appendices.
Marmorek, D.R., I. Parnell, and D.R. Bouillon. (eds., in prep). PATH - Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses: Draft Report on Retrospective Analyses. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC for Bonneville Power Administration, Portland OR.

Management implications
The logical framework developed in PATH will greatly assist in providing the scientific basis for appropriate management decisions concerning the Columbia River Basin anadromous salmon ecosystem and the conservation and restoration of these populations. By rigorously assessing the value of additional information from research studies, monitoring, and adaptive management experiments, PATH will provide a scientific basis for prioritizing expenditures for conserving and restoring these populations given limited financial resources. The design of this adaptive management framework is already in progress: it is being driven by the management questions of interest, the alternative hypotheses relevant to these questions and the data available to test these hypotheses.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Publish peer-reviewed reports and journal articles demonstrating the overall level of support for key alternative hypotheses based on existing information. Provide guidance to management agencies based on these outputs. Propose other hypotheses and/or model improvements that are more consistent with the data.

2. Publish peer-reviewed reports and journal articles which assess the ability to distinguish among competing hypotheses from future information. In generating these outputs, develop a quantitative adaptive management framework for development and implementation of a regional salmonid recovery program. Advise various institutions (NMFS, NPPC, BPA, USFW, IDFG,ODFW, WDFW, and Columbia River treaty tribes) on research, monitoring and adaptive management experiments which would maximize the rate of learning, minimize the risk to salmon conservation, and clarify decisions. Integrate the future information from basin wide research, monitoring, and adaptive management experiments in a quantitative framework to provide ongoing, coordinated, and peer reviewed management advice.

Testable hypothesis
A number of testable hypotheses will be developed and tested as part of the PATH process. For the retrospective analyses, these hypotheses fall into three groups: 1) Level 1 Hypotheses are exploratory analyses to assess patterns of change in stock indicators over space and time to identify differences in trends among species and stocks, without investigating mechanisms to explain those differences; 2) Level 2 Hypotheses attempt to explain trends in stock indicators in terms of changes in either the survival of particular life history stages, or the stresses affecting life stage survivals, thereby providing inferences on where to focus management actions; and 3) Level 3 hypotheses attempts to explain mechanisms and correlation of stressors associated with observed trends in survival of key life stages identified at Level 2, and link them directly to management decisions on hydro system, harvest, habitat or hatcheries.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The PATH process is designed to specifically address underlying assumptions and critical constraints of previous research and modeling, and explore the response of salmonid populations under a wide variety of conditions. Indeed, this is the first systematic effort in the Columbia Basin to link critical assumptions directly to decisions and data using advanced statistical and analytical approaches. The project is dependent on the continued regional commitment of the participation and cooperation of the technical expertise of all the PATH participating fish agencies and federal hydrosystem operating agencies.

PATH consists of an iterative series of workshops, analytical activities and reporting steps, coordinated by an interagency PATH Planning Group. The PATH activities directly relate to a number of components in both the 1994 NPPC Fish and Wildlife Program, the NMFS Biological Opinion and the NMFS Proposed Recovery Plan. The following description (for FY96) is indicative of the approach to be taken in subsequent years.
Workshop 1: The first workshop was held in October 1995, focusing on retrospective analyses. The objectives of the first workshop were to: review the hypotheses framework developed for the meeting; develop specific approaches for testing stated hypotheses; examine existing data available to apply these approaches; develop testing approaches for both life-stage specific hypotheses and aggregate hypotheses encompassing the complete life cycle; work out methods of integrating hypotheses tests across different levels of analyses; formulate specific plans for data analyses, model runs to quantify hypotheses, and prototype framework development; and establish dates and protocol for exchange of preliminary results of analyses dealing with existing data only. A workshop report was produced summarizing the workshop’s discussions and conclusions. This report is serving as a quarterly work plan to guide analytical activities by ANCOOR and outside experts.
Retrospective Report: Following the first workshop, a series of work groups (including both ANCOOR members and outside technical participants) carried out a series of analyses as determined at the first workshop. The product of these analyses will be a retrospective report describing the supporting evidence for alternative hypotheses regarding salmon survival in the Columbia River. The report will present the results of hypotheses tests and their implications for: the relative level of support for alternative hypotheses; the structure and assumptions of current passage and life cycle models; current management actions; and future data collection and adaptive management experiments. Of particular interest is the development of decision trees for different components of the Columbia River system. The report will be peer reviewed by a panel of scientific experts coordinated by Dr. Larry Barnthouse.
Workshop 2: The second workshop will take place after the completion of a draft retrospective report. This workshop will be guided by the interim retrospective analyses but will take a more prospective approach. It will use the retrospective report and modeling/statistical framework as a basis for examining future data collection, including field and laboratory experiments, tagging studies, and adaptive management experiments. The basic driving question addressed at this workshop will be: 1) how can we improve current data sets and our abilities to distinguish among existing hypotheses; 2) what are the implications of the retrospective analysis for decisions to be made in the year 1999/2000; and 3) what would you need to observe over 5, 10, and 20 years to be able to distinguish among competing hypotheses with a high level of confidence? The group will design a series of modeling experiments to simulate possible outcomes and a set of statistical procedures to analyze these simulations and determine their consequences for both testing alternative hypotheses and promoting stock recovery. Workshop discussions, conclusions and work schedules will be summarized in a workshop report. This report will serve as a second quarterly work plan for analytical activities.
Prospective Report: This report will contain the results of work proposed at workshop two and will recommend research , monitoring and adaptive management strategies which will allow managers to tailor future data collection to maximize learning and improve their ability to gauge the relative credibility of competing hypotheses. This would include procedures to periodically update the amount of support for alternative hypotheses. It would explicitly address the technical support of different management actions such as transportation, flow augmentation, drawdown, and hatcheries with respect to conservation and restoration of salmon populations.
Workshop 3: This workshop will involve both concluding activities and future planning. The concluding aspect will involve reviewing and finalizing reports on previous activities and preparing a succinct set of recommendations for future research and monitoring by the agencies . The workshop would include an outside peer review by an independent panel of experts. The future planning aspect would be to solidify the design of an adaptive management framework and set of procedures to continually evaluate results of research monitoring and adaptive management experiments with respect to determining the support for various hypotheses and alternative decision paths. This work would continue through the year 2000, as this is the period where many critical management decisions must be made.

Brief schedule of activities
This schedule is very preliminary.
Fall 96: Respond to reviewers’ comments with respect to both the retrospective analysis, the prospective analysis and the adaptive management framework. Link planned research and monitoring designs (as well as management experiments) directly into the framework to show the implications for alternative decision paths. Work out the implications of the work in FY96 for the use of models in future decision making (e.g. Bayesian weighting of competing model predictions based on retrospective analyses, structural revisions, inclusion of uncertainty, convergence of assumptions). Fill critical data gaps where possible, and advise managers on priority needs for further data collection and experiments.
Winter/Spring 97: Design and implement a more meaningful structure for analytical support to management decisions (e.g. biological opinions) on hydrosystem, hatcheries, harvest, and habitat, with respect to conservation and restoration of Columbia River salmon populations. This would use existing models, linked to Bayesian statistical frameworks developed in FY96 that show the level of empirical support for each model. Move towards integration of the different modeling systems by jointly building a single modular framework. Incorporate the results from research and monitoring experiments completed in FY96, and assess the implications for research, monitoring and adaptive management priorities in the next fiscal year.
Summer 97: Work with managers and researchers to develop a revised decision path for each of the 4 H’s and integration of the 4 Hs, based on the results to date.
FY98-2000: Continue to improve and integrate the adaptive management framework, the region’s research and monitoring designs and decision support tools. Adapt the set of hypotheses and tools as new information is acquired.

Biological need
Salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin have been in decline since the early days of western settlement, with dramatic declines occurring in the last three decades. The annual production of the Snake River spring/summer chinook during the late 1800’s was probably in excess of 1.5 million fish or 39% to 40% of all Columbia River spring/summer chinook (NMFS Biological Opinion, 1995). Today the population of Snake River spring/summer chinook is approximately 0.5% of its historic abundance, with approximately 1,800 spring/summer chinook returning to the Snake River. The story is similar for the Snake River fall chinook. From 1938, when Bonneville dam was completed, to 1950, the returns of Snake River fall chinook fell from approximately 72,000 to 29,000. Today, after completion of the Snake River dams approximately 350 Snake River fall chinook return. Such declines have led to both races of Snake River chinook being listed under the Endangered Species Act, though both have continued to decline since listing (NMFS, Proposed Recovery Plan for Snake River Salmon, 1995). Past efforts to halt the decline have been ineffective because they have not shared a common adaptive management framework (analytical monitoring, evaluation and management assessment approach) for guiding research and monitoring activities and providing management advice for salmon population conservation and restoration. Therefore, there is an urgent need for coherent, defensible biological guidance to decision makers.

Critical uncertainties
Rates of Learning: There are serious limitations on how quickly we can improve the existing data base, due to both the serious condition of the stocks (which limits the possible range of experimentation and monitoring), and the time needed to accumulate sufficient statistical power to have ‘comfortable’ levels of confidence in decision paths taken. However, due to the extremely depressed status of many of the salmon populations there will be an extremely high conservation risk if status quo management is maintained. Decisions will need to be made under considerable uncertainty; PATH can help to maximize the learning associated with chosen decision paths and assist in minimizing the risks to salmon population conservation.
Litigation: Substantial progress has been made in FY96 due to a reduction in litigation. The amount of future litigation is highly uncertain and has the potential to impact progress.

Summary of expected outcome
Increased consensus among scientists and managers in different agencies on the state of knowledge, range of possible trajectories of endangered stocks, and appropriate management actions.
Improved consolidation of decision support tools, and stronger links of these tools to empirical evidence.
Improved prioritization of research, monitoring, and adaptive management expenditures.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Budget category into which PATH is placed (i.e. ESA tasks associated with Biological Opinion, or Fish and Wildlife tasks in CBFWA category).
PATH currently involves NMFS, BPA, NPPC, ODFW, IDFG, WDFW, CRITFC, USFS, CBFWA, CORPS, as well as experts and consultants from a number of academic institutions (U.Washington, Simon Fraser University, U California- Davis, UBC, U. Rhode Island) and private firms (ESSA Technologies, Paulsen Environmental Research, Don Chapman Consultants). PATH provides a formal process to efficiently utilize and focus the regional technical expertise.

The project does not involve any field work, and has no direct risks to the populations. The risk of not implementing the project is that decisions may be taken (or not taken) which result in less learning than would have been possible with PATH, less effective use of limited resources, and ultimately a slower rate of recovery of endangered stocks. PATH will also help identify the conservation risks associated with no change in management action (maintaining the status quo regimes).

Monitoring activity
The project’s progress is being monitored by both the PATH Planning Group and a senior policy group (CPT), to whom the Planning Group regularly reports and guided by an independent scientific peer review panel.

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
1996: 498,598
Obligation: 498,598
Authorized: 0
Planned: 498,598
1997: 716,200
1998: 534,300
1999: 553,000
2000: 572,400

* 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   $716,200

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $716,200