The Regional Setting
The Plan is intended to be implemented within the Upper Columbia River Basin, which includes the Columbia River and its tributaries upstream of the confluence of the Yakima River to the base of Chief Joseph Dam. The Upper Columbia Basins consists of six major "subbasins" (Crab Creek, Entiat, Lake Chelan, Methow, Okanogan, and Wenatchee), several smaller watersheds, and the mainstem of the Columbia River.
The Plan emphasizes actions that may lead to delisting of three independent populations of spring Chinook within the region's Evolutionarily Significant Unit (Entiat, Methow and Wenatchee); four steelhead populations (Entiat, Methow, Okanogan and Wenatchee); and recovery of bull trout within the Entiat, Methow and Wenatchee subbasins.
Implementation of the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Plan cannot be successful without the help and support of a number of organizations and individuals. The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Plan implementation structure relies on the existing local groups for project implementation in each of the watersheds - they are referred to as "Watershed Action Teams." Representatives from each of these WATs will work with the regional Implementation Team to coordinate funding sources and implementation schedules across the region as well as coordinating monitoring and adaptive management activities of the plan.
Upper Columbia Implementation Team
An Implementation Team (IT) was convened to facilitate implementation of the Recovery Plan in a coordinated manner across the entire ESU/DPS under direction from the Board. The formation of the IT addresses the federal guidelines that measure recovery at an ESU scale rather than in one specific watershed. The IT is comprised of representatives from a broad spectrum of interests and groups involved in the recovery of Upper Columbia salmonids. The Board’s Associate Director acts as the Implementation Team Leader, whose role is to convene, manage and facilitate the IT in its duties to foster successful implementation of the Recovery Plan. Other IT members include the three Lead Entity representatives (one for each county), the RTT chair, and representatives from local, state, NOAA Fisheries and other federal agencies, tribal resource management agencies, mid-Columbia Public Utility Districts, Watershed Action Teams, and local stakeholders.
The IT has been active since May 2007, and has adopted formal operating procedures.
- Promotes coordination of recovery actions across watersheds to increase effectiveness and efficiency;
- Identifies issues of implementation and develops recommendations for the Board’s consideration;
- Conducts a periodic process audit of the adaptive management framework to regularly evaluate the overall efficacy of the framework’s process flow; and
- Compiles an annual summary of plan progress and implementation actions for the Board.
This group meets regularly to coordinate funding sources, coordinate and update the Recovery Plan implementation schedule, and coordinate monitoring and adaptive management of the Recovery Plan. The Implementation Team has no regulatory or enforcement functions.