Scientific Review for Large Ecosystems: Comparisons and Contrasts

John M. Epifanio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Restoration of large altered ecosystems generally includes some element of project review to ensure the activities are consistent with best-available science. The Northwest Power Act requires Bonneville Power Administration to regularly identify and fund fish and wildlife restoration and mitigation activities in the Columbia River basin. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC) – through its Fish and Wildlife Program - has primary authority and responsibility to ensure that these activities meet basic criteria of scientific merit. To achieve this goal, an Independent Science Review Panel (ISRP) is retained by NPCC to provide formal reviews for new and ongoing projects. Each project and program is examined not only for technical merit, but also against the backdrop of eight principles that serve as the scientific foundation for rigorous review. Each project is reviewed prior to approval for adherence to current state-of-the-science for inclusion of a robust design of monitoring and evaluation of overall effectiveness. Programs also may be reviewed as part of broader reviews focusing on thematic issues (e.g., habitat restoration, artificial production, or harvest) or on a geographical basis (e.g., mainstem, subbasin, or ecological province), often retrospectively. Here we will compare and contrast approaches used by the ISRP with restoration and mitigation efforts in other large ecosystems (e.g., the Great Lakes, Colorado River) as case studies to identify common approaches and practices, as well as significant differences.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society (AFS 2011); 4-8 Sep 2011 Seattle, Washington
StatePublished - 2011


  • INHS


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