Regional Habitat Indicators

Project Description

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:
  • 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:
  • 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:

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.

Project Team

Nancy Leonard (NPCC) and Amy Puls (PNAMP) are facilitating this project. Are you interested in participating? Contact Amy Puls ( to learn more about how you can engage.


Looking for Your Input on Indicators

May 1, 2017 - 12:06pm

Last year we went through a process to identify management questions of greatest common interest. You can read about the outcome of that process in the summary of the first workshop. Now that we have our questions, we want to identify the best indicators to inform those questions. To get your input on indicators we have created four surveys, one for each topic. By taking the surveys you will help us identify a short list of indicators for more in-depth evaluation and will inform the final selection of indicators that will be the focus of discussions about data accessibility and sharing and eventually targets and reporting.

You are invited to take all four surveys or as many of them as you feel comfortable completing. Please complete surveys by May 15, 2017.

Flow Survey:
Macroinvertebrate Survey:
Water Temperature Survey:
Water Quality Survey:

If you have questions about the surveys or the project in general, contact Amy Puls (

Developing Recommendations for Regional Indicators

February 11, 2016 - 10:37am

We need your help! PNAMP is kicking off a pilot project to develop recommendations for regional habitat indicators. The pilot will focus on management questions, indicators, and objectives for water quality index, macroinvertebrates, water temperature, and flow. Here is a link to a two-pager with details about what we hope to accomplish and how.

We are currently searching for additional work group co-leads and technical participants. We are planning our first meeting for March 16, 2016. If you would like to co-lead, participate, or just learn more about this effort, please contact Amy Puls (

We look forward to hearing from you!

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