land uses and water quality conditions. The NAWQA program, with its interest in monitoring water quality, and the NBS program, with its interest in identifying and protecting populations of aquatic organisms, both require information on the distribution and abundance of aquatic organisms in different environmental settings.

Recent awareness of the rapidly declining status of 76 anadromous fish stocks in the Columbia River Basin (Nehlsen et al., 1992), together with documentation of declining freshwater habitat conditions (Sedell and Everest, 1991), has resulted in intensive efforts by several federal agencies to head off potential extensive curtailment of their resource extraction activities throughout the entire river catchment. Of immediate concern is the fact that protections offered for threatened and endangered fish under the ESA could result in severe curtailment or alteration of U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management activities. Ideally, improved management of aquatic and riparian ecosystems on lands administered by these two agencies, combined with improvements in hydropower operations, hatchery practices, and fish harvest management, can prevent additional stocks from becoming extinct and preclude the need to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act to other at-risk anadromous fish stocks (U.S. Forest Service-U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 1994).

In addition, both agencies are required by the Clean Water Act of 1976 (33 USC 1251, 1329) to ensure that activities occurring on lands they administer comply with requirements concerning the discharge or runoff of pollutants. A reasoned response to this new information on serious declines in anadromous fish stocks and aquatic habitat conditions is crucial to the two agencies' success in meeting the "continuing compliance" obligations of NEPA, ESA, the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), and other environmental laws. By using the latest scientific information on chemical, physical, and biological integrity, the agencies will be better able to ensure the long-term viability of anadromous fish species and the continuing production of goods and services from public lands. Interim and longer-term management strategies are being examined in several geographically specific environmental impact statements as required under NEPA; also under development is a comprehensive ecosystem management plan for the interior Columbia River Basin (Science Integration Team, 1994).


The biological integrity of inland aquatic ecosystems is being assaulted in many ways (Power et al., 1988; Resh et al., 1988; Covich, 1993). Numerous

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