Over the past decade there has been increasing interest at the executive level in improving our collective ability to track and communicate changes in environmental conditions and salmon populations in easily understood terms. Doing so fosters accountability, encourages consensus, supports priority-setting and budgeting, and can engender support. Regional indicators are typically derived from one or more individual metrics across broad geographic scales and are intended to communicate complex information in easily understood terms for use in reports to Congress, legislatures, governors, and the public.
PNAMP has been working toward improved indicator reporting for many years. Here are just a few examples:
- In response to a need identified at the Northwest Environmental Information Sharing executive summit in 2008, PNAMP produced a report summarizing 1) high level indicators currently in use in the PNW; 2) who is using the indicator; and to the extent possible, 3) metrics being used to support the indicator. Report link: http://www.pnamp.org/document/2023
- In 2009 PNAMP produced another report that built upon the earlier work, substantively advancing and providing recommendations for watershed health and salmon indicators. Report link: http://www.pnamp.org/document/2060
- In 2010 PNAMP began the Coordinated Assessment for Salmon and Steelhead Project to develop efficient, consistent, and transparent data-sharing among the co-managers and regulatory/funding agencies of the Columbia River Basin for anadromous fish related data. Project page link: http://www.pnamp.org/project/3129
In 2015, after recognizing overlapping interests, PNAMP partners and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council staff decided to collaborate to identify regional habitat questions and indicators of common interest that could be informed by existing monitoring. As a pilot, we have chosen to focus on water quality and quantity indicators. The goal is to come to agreement on a small set of indicators for which data will be efficiently coordinated and communicated to allow comparisons at multiple scales across the region, while respecting the goals and unique mandates of the individual partners. Here is a link to a two-pager
with details about what we hope to accomplish and how.