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10 Institutional Influences on the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE OF GCES Institutional frameworks influence the quality, quantity, efficiency, and cost of scientific activities. Research almost always reflects the nonscientific influences of aciministration, politics, bureaucracies, and, of course, funcling. The Glen Canyon Environmental Studies (GCES) were strongly affected by the institutional environment within which they developed and operated. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the connection between institutional arrangements and the scientific research conducted in GCES. Factors to be considered include the structure of GCES itself, interagency conflicts and goal substitution, external oversight, and the funding and timing of research. The chapter concludes with some generalizations about GCES that might be useful lessons for other similar government research initiatives. The internal structure of GCES changed as the organization gained experience and grew (see Chapter 2~. In theory, its final configuration (after 1993) reflected atwo-part management teem administering multiple research groups and contractors. The GCES program manager directed the basic operations of GCES, including personnel and budget, and was the major liaison between GCES and outside agencies. The program manager con- ducted most of the organizational activities of GCES and coordinated the agency's interaction with the public. The second member of the management team was the senior scientist, who was responsible for direct oversight of the scientific research, including planning and execution. The senior scientist's most critical responsibility was the maintenance of scientific quality. The National Research Council (NRC) review committee, after their review of 186
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 187 GCES Phase I (NRC, 1987), argued that division of the administrative duties of GCES from the scientific duties would be advantageous. In practice, this division of labor turned out to be imperfect because the program manager had primary control over most aspects of the research, while the senior scientist served more as an internal critic and organizer of the intellectual effort. The senior scientist devoted 40 percent of his time to these re- sponsibilities by mutual agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), but experience showed that his responsibilities were more commensurate with a full-time position. GCES was administered by the BOR, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior (Figures 10.1 and 10.2~. Within the BOR, GCES was underthe Upper Colorado Regional Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although as a scientific research unit, GCES was unique within the bureau, its institutional position in the region was similar to that of regional operational units such as planning, construction, and maintenance. In reporting to the regional cli- rector, the administrator of GCES was forced to deal with a portion of the BOR's hierarchy especially sensitive to local interests. As a result, the GCES administrator competed for influence and control with local water and power users who had long-established lines of communication with the office of the regional director. Decisions about GCES often took a strongly regional perspective. For example, when contemplating scientific experimentation with releases from Glen Canyon Dam, regional administrators naturally were most concerned with the effects of operational changes on regional power marketing PAPA, 1990~. If decisions had been made at a higher level within the BOR, other considerations of broader significance could have come into play more strongly, such as the national significance of the Grand Canyon and the importance of GCES as a prototype research effort that might be necessary in other locations for other large dams operated by the bureau. Much to the BOR's credit, after considerable debate, the regional administrators agreed to forego some power revenues in order to conduct the experimental releases that were part of GCES (Patten, 1991~. GCES was part of just one of several regional offices. This arrangement became a problem when the research interests of the BOR were different from the research interests of other federal agencies within the Interior Department. Because the conduct of scientific research begins with the formulation of research issues or questions, the position of GCES determined an early focus on issues primarily of interest to the BOR. Despite the fact that other Interior agencies, particularly the National Park Service and the Fish and
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188 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon Secretary of the Interior Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation I Safety Office Regional Director, Upper Colorado River Basin Public | Affairs I Equal Employment Opportunity Office Assistant Regional Director Information Resource Division l Property l . Design Planning Construction Assistant Assistant Regional Regional Dirt ctor Director Contracts L Water and Land 1 Personnel Power l ~ 1 1 Colorado River Studies Office Glen Canyon Environmental Studies FIGURE 10.1 General organizational chart showing the bureaucratic position of GOES in the BOR and Department of the Interior. SOURCE: Redrawn from data provided by D. Wegner, Bureau of Reclamation.
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Institutional Influences on the GCES Project Manager Senior Scientist Research Advisory Panel Hydrology and Limnology Economics and Sociology Sediment and Beaches 189 Logistics Geographic Control Database Management Geographic Information Systems Aquatic Studies Endangered Cultural Species Resources Databases Ecosystems Archives FIGURE 10.2 Organizational chart showing the general design of the GCES. SOURCE: Redrawn from data provided by D. Wegner, Bureau of Reclamation. Wildlife Service, were included in the research, their interests were initially secondary. The original narrow focus changed over the life of GCES, with a continual widening of research activities to more directly account for the interests of other agencies (see Chapter 2~. A better arrangement would have been to place GCES administratively in such a way that the research unit could fully accommodate the needs of several agencies from the beginning (NRC, 1987~. The placement of the research unit in the Interior Department
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190 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon such that it reported to an assistant secretary would likely have resulted in better coordination of scientific research questions and a more rapid route to consensus among the various agencies. Instead, the history of GCES is marked with interagency conflicts that could have been minimized or avoided. Placement of GCES above the regional level would also have broadened the perspective of the project. GCES developed as an effort specifically focused on Glen Canyon Dam and Grand Canyon. Researchers in other areas, however, were simultaneously investigating similar problems on other rivers. An exchange of information and ideas between these studies never took place, even though in some cases the work was being conducted under the direction of the BOR. Bureau-sponsored research on Trinity River below Trinity Dam in Northern California, for example, included specific in- vestigations of dam operations designed to move sediment through the downstream system, and experimental flows were used in a test case very similar to those of GCES (U.S. Senate, 1984; Kondolf and Wolman, 1993~. Although the GCES project manager visited the Trinity River and held conversations with workers there, no comparative studies or formal transfer of results occurred. It also appears that BOR-sponsored research on the Gunnison River was completely ignored by GCES investigators, even though the work on the Gunnison included experimental releases intended to move boulders in downstream rapids (Chase, 1992; Auble et al., 1991~. While the Trinity and Gunnison rivers and their canyons are smaller landscape features than Grand Canyon, the strong similarities in research questions and the use of experimental flows argue for substantial interchange of information and ideas. INTERAGENCY CONFLICT IN THE EVOLUTION OF GCES During the 13 years of GCES research, conflicts developed between the BOR and the National Park Service (NPS), the Fish and Wildlife Service, various state agencies, Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), and the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association. Conflicts with NPS were probably inevitable because of the overlapping jurisdictions of the Park Service and the BOR (Johnson and Carothers, 1987~. During the early phases of GCES, there was a notable lack of cooperation between the two agencies (NRC, 1987~. During the later phases of GCES, cooperation improved, although research activities appeared to be separate. For ex- ample, the NPS sponsored extensive investigations of beach erosion pro
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 191 cesses, including collapse of beach faces, the erosive role of pore pressure from ground water within the beaches, and the general adjustments by beeches to changes in stream flow (Cluer, 1991~. Meanwhile, research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) emphasized sand transport and storage at a larger scale, as well as depositional processes that created beaches and affected archeological sites (Hereford et al., 1991~. The draft final reports of all these activities do not show any significant integration of the research activities, almost as though each agency pursued its own activities without reference to the other. Institutional barriers between the NPS and the BOR and other agencies may also have been responsible for awkward funding arrangements for individual researchers. Because the BOR contracted much of GCES research to other agencies, the most important investigators often were not BOR employees or independent contractors. Much of the archeological research, for example, was conducted by NPS employees. Rather, they owed their institutional allegianceto anotheragency: a most important general ecologist was an NPS employee, a most critical native fish specialist was an Arizona Department of Game and Fish (ADGF) employee, and the primary sediment transport experts were USGS employees. In all of these cases the re- searchers had primary responsibilities to their home agencies ratherthan the BOR, so when funding or scheduling conflicts arose, the bureau's position was secondary. The result was instability for GCES because important reports were delayed, and their results could not be used for midcourse corrections or further planning for other related projects. Significant conflict developed between GCES and the Fish and Wildlife Service during the last phases of the research. This conflict focused on endangered native fish species and demonstrated the problems inherent in positioning the primary research organization low in the organizational hierarchy of the Interior Department. GCES was charged with investigating the effects of Glen Canyon Dam operations on native fishes, particularly the humpback chub. Through several years early in GCES, the BOR's con- tractors collected data about the fishes and began formulating conclusions (e.g., Kubly, 1990~. When the Secretary of Interior decided that an en- vironmental impact statement (EIS) was to be written concerning the dam's operations, the GCES data and conclusions were an obvious source of scientific information. The Endangered Species Act, however, required that the Fish and Wildlife Service provide an opinion concerning endangered species in the canyon (Behnke and Benson, 1980~. The Fish and Wildlife Service then undertook an expensive research effort, funded through the
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192 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon GCES budget, in order to develop its own conclusions. Later, when the BOR endorsed a preferred alternative for operating the dam as part of the EIS, it relied on the conclusions of the GCES. The Fish and Wildlife Service, relying on its own research, settled on a different set of operating rules. The result was that two agencies in the Interior Department took different positions on how best to protect the endangered fish, and both positions were based on research funded through GCES. By late 1993 the issue was settled by an arrangement whereby the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to support the BOR's position in return for a guarantee of continued funding to the NPS for investigations of the endangered-fish population. The entire effort would have been more effective if the institutional arrangements for the research had been centralized within the Department of Interior (perhaps in such an agency as the National Biological Survey), so that the research could have beenfocused, noncluplicative, and productive of a single defensible conclusion. Differences of opinion and interpretation in research efforts are inevitable and generally healthy, but their early resolution saves time and money. Earlier in GCES, another conflict had developed around research on the effects of dam operations on fishes. The trout fishery immediately down- stream from the dam was viewed by the state of Arizona as an important recreational benefitofthestructure (Moues, 1980), and research bytheADGF had been funded by both the state and to a lesser degree by the bureau through GCES. ADGF had developed considerable scientific expertise re- garding the trout and game species in Lake Powell, but when the Secretary of Interior directed the BOR to write an EIS for the dam operations, the bureau initially refused to include the state agencies as cooperators in the effort. At a symposium held in Santa Fe in 1990 on the state of knowledge for the Grand Canyon environment, the NRC committee was especially critical of the BOR's exclusive policy regarding cooperators on the environmental impact statement. Eventually, the bureau included as cooperators all the interested parties in an effort to build a consensus for a preferred alternative. During the subsequent 3 years, in an attempt to broaden its base of support, the BOR gradually expanded its group of cooperators, and the state wildlife agencies were included. Eventually, the BOR completely reversed its exclusionary position and invited a wide range of interests to become cooperators, many of whom had direct interests in the scientific research in the canyon. This expansive policy was successful in improving the exchange of information and aided in the process of building a consensus position for a preferred alternative for operating Glen Canyon Dam. The expanded range
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 193 of interests also impacted the research structure of GCES by broadening the range of questions that were asked. Native American concerns and interest in non-use values expressed by representatives in the discussions, for example, resulted in new research questions that became part of the ex- panded GCES agenda. The WAPA, as the federal agency marketing hydroelectric power from Glen Canyon Dam, and the BOR, as the agency using hydroelectric power revenues from the dam to repay costs, have had a direct interest in scientific research in the canyon because the conduct and outcomes of the research might affect future dam operations PAPA, 1990~. The Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA) represents the interests of electrical con- sumers of a significant portion of the power generated by Glen Canyon Dam. Most of CREDA's members are rural electrical cooperatives and small towns; these consumers are highly sensitive to changes in electric rates. Hy- droelectric marketers and consumers therefore were direct players in the administration of science in the canyon throughout the history of GCES. Initially, the hydroelectric interests wanted the research to be concluded as quickly as possible so that the dam could be operated to its maximum potential for electric power production (Barrett, 1992~. Their position, simply stated, was that the scientific research was prohibitively expensive. They consistently made this position known to the regional director of the BOR, who oversaw the GCES, and they were always present to state their position at public meetings of the researchers and even at meetings of the NRC committee. Initially, their position was that a delay in implementing new operating rules for the dam was costly in terms of foregone power revenues. Despite the problems inherent in the interaction between the NRC committee and the GCES while research was on-going, the continuous involvement of the committee as an external, unbiased review body resulted in an improved research effort and a more fruitful expenditure of public resources. To have waited until the completion of the research and then offer committee guidance would have diminished the potential contribution of the NRC. By 1990 two points had become clear: first, GCES research in the canyon would not be completed quickly, and, second, researchers were beginning to make the case that the dam should be operated for a time in an experimental mode that might further restrict operations for power pro- duction. At the 1990 meeting of researchers and administrators in Santa Fe and in subsequent statements, WAPA and especially CREDA began to state support publicly for scientific research in the canyon. The hydroelectric power interests obviously wanted to see reasonable answers to their ques
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194 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon tions about the effects of dam operations as a way of preventing further, long- term delays on normal operations. Short-term costs appeared to be a rea- sonable investment in a more stable and predictable future unencumbered by additional research. WAPA and CREDA's members were naturally opposed to adjusting dam operations for research purposes, even in the short term, because researchers wanted flows that reduced the value of Glen Canyon Dam electrical output. Through a year-long series of negotiations by GCES managers, the regional BOR office, and WAPA, a plan for research flows was agreed on. WAPA, in discussions with the NRC committee, suggested that costs in terms of lost power revenue would exceed $30 million. Estimates varied from time to time, but the WAPA model (\/\/APA, 1989) was not especially accurate (Hughes, 1991; see Chapter 9~. Conversations between BOR representatives and the NRC committee after the flows were complete suggested the actual foregone revenue was much less (about $3 million). During the period of research flows, CREDA raised their electrical rates by almost 40 percent and declared that a significant portion of the increase was caused by scientific research in the canyon (Barrett, 1992~. The NRC committee concluded that the increased costs resulted from two other sources more important than GCES: low runoff, which resulted in reduced power production from the dam irrespective of the research flows (ne- cessitating the purchase of more expensive replacement power), and adjustments in rates to reflect generally increasing costs that would have occurred in any event. The lesson to be learned from the conflicts between GCES and the hydroelectric power interests is that not only is science expensive, but its costs can impinge on the interests of particular groups rather than a general unidentified population. In attempting to satisfy hydropower users, scientific researchers found it necessary to modify their plans in order to reach a compromise between what was scientifically optimal and what was politically acceptable. GOAL SUBSTITUTION BY AGENCIES WORKING FOR GCES Interagency conflict was not always obvious and direct during the conduct of GCES. Some agencies worked on the scientific research in the Grand Canyon as contractors for the BOR and GCES. GCES administrators assumed that the contractors would adopt GCES goals, but in some cases
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 195 the NRC committee found that contracting agencies in fact were more interested in pursuing their own goals by using GCES funds as a means of support. The contracting arrangements therefore had a strong influence on the scientific products that ultimately resulted (see Chapter 2~. For example, the USGS sought to pursue its own research and mon- itoring interests through GCES. Stream gauges in the canyon might logically be operated as part of the national network of stream gauges on the nation's most important rivers, receiving funding from a national appropriation to the USGS for such efforts. In order to obtain critical gauge data, however, the GCES budget shouldered the cost for maintaining gauges on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Thus, instead of GCES simply supporting ad- ditional needed research on using and interpreting the data, it paid for the initial collection. In some cases the USGS had research interests in or near the canyon, and particular researchers desired support for special projects theywanted funded. Unable to support research into historical photographic sites, extended investigations into debris flow processes, exploratory flow moclels, and some tributary studies, the USGS sought funding for these from GCES. These topics were potentially of interest to GCES but in some cases did not have high priority. Instead of working directly with GCES to develop a coordinated series of projects specifically targeted to BOR's needs, the USGS proposed unrelated projects reflecting its own interests. Eventually, GCES declined to fund some proposed projects or funded others only briefly, but the end result was a poorly integrated research effort in the earth and water science areas. Agency ties to GCES were not wholly disadvantageous. In the final analysis, some of the best science in the GCES program was that derived from the work of the USGS, but the relationship of GCES to USGS was an uneasy one. An example of successful communication between agencies also involves the USGS. After the first phase of GCES, it became apparent that BOR's models of the dynamics of sediment in the canyon failed to describe observed conditions and that they were not useful for predictive purposes (NRC, 1987; see Chapter 5~. After discussions with GCES personnel, USGS researchers established specific projects that would show how much sediment was moving through the system, how it was deposited in pools along the canyon, and how it was moved to beaches during high flows (Schmidt and Graf, 1990~. Using observations of actual processes in the river rather than abstract modeling, the USGS effort not only successfully contributed to basic scientific knowledge about river processes but also
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196 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon contributed useful applied knowledge that the BOR later used in considering options for dam operations (BOR, 1993~. It was an example of science at its best because the goals of the funding agency (the BOR) and the research group (the USGS) were similar and had been agreed on prior to the research. Goal substitution also occurred within the BOR when the need for an EIS was announced. As the best source of information about the Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River, GCES managers and researchers immediately became involved in the preparation of the EIS. GCES administrators began to manage research that supported the needs of the EIS, particularly as related to cultural and archeological resources. A great deal of GCES in- tellectual effort went into debating the appropriate flow option that would be designated as the preferred alternative in the EIS. As a result of these institutional arrangements, the goals of the BOR's EIS supplanted the goals of GCES, and the conduct of science was diverted from the long-term perspectives of GCES to the short-term perspectives of the EIS. Consistent preoccupation with short-term goals to the detriment of useful long-term research has been common in BOR research (Leopold, 1991~. One casualty of the emphasis on the short term may have been the long-term monitoring plan (Patten, 1993), which was originally conceived as a precise product of GCES research. With the advent of the EIS, however, the long- term monitoring plan became part of the EIS. The plan was highly general rather than specific (NRC, 1994~. One outcome of the fragmented GCES research spread throughout several agencies was a remarkable lack of integration of results. Because contracting agencies partlyfollowecl their own agendas and sometimes their own time tables (private contractors were more responsive to GCES requirements), GCES Phase 11 ended without a final integrated report. This shortcoming was especially serious because the basic philosophy of the studies was that they were ecosystem studies that not only provided understanding of the various components of the natural and artificial environment of the canyon but that they also explored the connections among those components. Part of the lack of integration, however, was also due to inadequate planning by GCES management. Integration must be a part of the effort from the beginning, rather than viewed as only the final task. Interim progress reports can be used during the research itself to begin the early development of an integrated perspective that can grow and mature as the project progresses.
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198 River Resource Management in the Grancl Canyon the highest-qualTty product, it seemed that the two participants were some- times in an adversarial relationship. Such adversarial relationships between an NRC committee and its client agency are not unusual, but in most other cases the tension has decreased as the work progressed (Graf, 1993~. One problem with the relationship between the NRC committee and GCES was the dual role of the committee in providing advice during the research and in providing judgments at the conclusion of the work. When the committee made recommendations/hat subsequentlywere notfollowed, the committee was highly critical. For example, the committee strongly urged GCES to take into account nonuse values in its calculations regarding the economics of power generation by Glen Canyon Dam. GCES was slow to include such approaches in its work, and this engenclered sharply negative responses from the committee. Eventually the BOR included nonuse values in its economic studies (Colby and Goodman, 1993), but the results lost some of their effectiveness because they came very late. The NRC committee review process is not especially well suited to providing advice for research in progress, because all NRC reports, including brief letter reports, must pass through an extensive review and evaluation system of their own. The process is reasonably efficient when compared to similar arrangements in other organizations, but it still requires about 2 months. As a result, the advice needed by a sponsoring agency may be stale by the time it arrives, particularly if the work is seasonal. The hydrological and ecological systems that concerned GCES imposed many constraints on timing, which were also complicated by administrative time tables and the complicated process of meshing release schedules for the dam, research needs, and the EIS schedule (BOR, 1991~. While research is in progress, the comments of a review body can sometimes be more disruptive than helpful. In any case, micicourse corrections in research depend on timely submission of documents for review and expeditious handling of the documents by the review agency. There were notable successes in the relationship between GCES and the NRC committee. GCES managers and researchers sometimes used the committee as a sounding board for ideas, and the intellectual exchanges often were of high quality. Presentations of research and results in oral form provided workers with an opportunity to refine their thinking before going on to other more public forums. Occasional contact with GCES managers and researchers provided the committee members with insights that allowed them to function much more efficiently in their evaluations than otherwise would have been possible. Involvement of the committee in early planning for the
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 199 second phase of GCES studies resulted in several substantial improvements that carried through the remainder of the project, including the establishment of the Office of the Senior Scientist and the effort to diversify the research contracting process. The committee played a key role in, for example, pointing out critical and unacceptable weaknesses in the original studies of sediment transport, identifying the need for a senior scientist on the man- agement team, indicating the significance of omissions of nonuse values in the power economics studies, endorsing research flows, broadening the geographic scope of the work, and calling for external review of the research by advisers other than the senior scientist. THE ROLE OF FUNDING IN GCES During the life of GCES, there were always two sets of plans: research and finance. The financial planning was, to a remarkable degree, un- predictable on an annual basis and outside the control of GCES managers. Annual fluctuations were considerable (Figure 10.3~. Because the exact amount of support expected for the following year was often unknown, the conduct of multlyear research efforts was a risky business. The long-term requirements of natural science research and the short-term planning for agency budgets often conflicted with each other. For example, assessments of chemical characteristics of water, sediment, and biological samples require a multlyear effort. Selection of sample sites, initial collection of samples, preparation of materials, and ancillary measurements prececlethe laboratory chemical analysis. Frequently, repeat sampling is required to obtain an understanding of the chemical stability of the system involved. When GCES workers assessed chemical contents of biological materials, they en- countered problems in an important part of the work because the length of time needed for the research was longer than the annual funding cycle. When funding for the USGS, the agency in charge of the chemical analysis, decreasecl during GCES, the samples were available, but there was no money to analyze. Research on native fishes was especially constrained by the short-term nature of predictable funding levels. The annual funding cycle for the research was an outcome of the institutional arrangements for the work. GCES received its funding from power revenues generated bythe operation of Glen Canyon Dam through the regional office of the BOR in Salt Lake City. The level of funding made available to GCES was therefore a function of the internal priorities of the re
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200 15 n Cal O 10 o an 0 ._ = _ ._ River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon 1 1 ~ I I I Annual Total - GCES Budge O _ 1980 / . / , 1 985 1 990 1 995 FIGURE 10.3 Annual funding history of GCES. SOURCE: From data provided by D. Wegner, Bureau of Reclamation. gional office and of the revenues generated from a source that was somewhat variable from one year to the next because of variations in water flows and market conditions. WAPA(1988J predictions of power revenues were made by using questionable assumptions (Hughes, 1991), which further com- plicated the financial picture. The mismatch between short-term budgets and long-term research might have been rectified by a multlyear funding scheme similar to the approach used by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Agricultural Research Service, and other federal agencies. These organizations authorize research for a particular level of funding over several years. Each year, as the federal budget is approved, the agency funds the next installment in the grant or contract. While GCES attempted to replicate this approach, funding uncertainties made short-term financial support the order of the day, to the detriment of more appropriate and more stable multlyear commitments (Leopold, 1991~. Legal requirements that directed certain funds for particular purposes also constrained the management of GCES research. During GCES Phase 1, most of the research was determined by the need to understand the Grand Canyon environment. Funding for Phase 11 research was much higher than for the earlier work (Figure 10.3), but the total budget is somewhat mis- leading. Beginning in 1989, increasing amounts of the total GCES buciget were apportioned to mandated research consisting of investigations required
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 201 by law or policy (Figure 10.4; see Chapter 2~. Occasionally, mandated re- search produced information not directly useful to GCES or produced monopolistic research rights for other agencies to clear with issues and data within the legitimate scope of GCES. When numerous archeological sees appeared to be endangered by dam operations in the canyon, laws related to the preservation of antiquities came into play that demanded some ex- penditure of funds to assess the sites. When the Department of the Interior decided to produce an EIS and use the GCES framework for the funding of supporting research, the diversion of funds from standard scientific research to marinated research became even more pronounced, especially with regard to endangered native fishes. At first archaeological studies were conducted by the National Park Service (NPS) pursuant to various federal laws and did not include par- ticipation by Native American Tribes. Then, various I ndian tribes with interests and history in the Grand Canyon received financial support to conduct investigations of cultural connections to sites in the canyon that were of religious or historical significance. Funding for such work was from the GCES budget, which was augmented for the purpose, but administrative costs for the work, particularly time, effort, and coordination, were extensive. By policy, the federal government preferred to offertribes the opportunity to train their own members to conduct as much of the work as possible. Some tribes preferred to contract at least part of their investigative work to researchers outside the tribe, but the end result was that by 1992 less than half of the total GCES budget was allotted to scientific research outside the mandates superimposed on the original goals of GCES (Figure 10.4~. Whether or not this research caused a decline in the quality of other science in the GCES effort is unclear. A funding issue that plagued GCES from start to finish was the manner in which contracts were arranged. During the first phase of the research, the BOR contracted almost exclusively with its own investigators or with government agencies with which it had close relationships. The pool of potential researchers for any given part of the project was therefore limited, and reviewers of the early research questioned the failure of the BOR to more widely advertise for bicis on the proposed work (NRC, 1987~. One objective of the senior scientist was to open the process of requesting proposals to a broadly defined research community that included government workers, private companies, university researchers, and individuals. During the second phase of research, however, the range of investigators was only moderately more general than in the first phase. The contracting and adver
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202 a, 0.8 m in c, 0.6 CD ~ 0.4 o o · _ o 0.2 0.0 . 1 980 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon 1 GCES Science (non-mandated) i · , ~ ~ ' . Mandated , 'A 'A f \ , I ._ I ~ 1 985 1 990 i. 1 995 FIGURE 10.4 Portion of GCES annual budget allotted directly to GCES science and to mandated research required by other laws or customs. SOURCE: From data provided by D. Wegner, Bureau of Reclamation. tising requirements for federal agencies turned out to be so cumbersome that it was impossible to secure the services of researchers through broad solicitation and still meet the time limitations imposed by the annual funding process. As a result, qualified researchers and organizations not in direct contact with GCES had no opportunity to bid on the work, and the BOR had no assurance that it ultimately contracted with the most cost-efficient or scientifically effective workers. The GCES experience suggests that com- petitive bidding for scientific research should be pursued by federal agencies as a means of controlling costs and assuring quality.
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 203 Management of GCES also lacked control over the reporting of results by federal agencies. GCES administrators reported that they were unable to stop payments to agencies that were late in generating reports. If a con- tractingagencyfailed to produce a report, GCES could notwithhold payment and had to continue payments into the next year in order to obtain data and results. Thus, the constraints and controls available in contracts with private agencies seemed not to be available for public agencies. As a result, government agencies had much less incentive to produce their work in a timely fashion and infect may have had an inceptive to clelaytheir production in order to obtain extended funding. TIME CONSTRAINTS IN GCES RESEARCH Time constraints posed as many problems for GCES research as clid financial considerations. Timing affected the research because of unforeseen changes in the natural system and uncertainty about the amount of time available to conduct the research. Rigid planning and inability to make midcourse changes in research severely reduced the effectiveness of thefirst phase of GCES because of the timing of major changes in the ecosystem resulting from the 1983 flood (NRC, 1991~. While it might be argued that there was no way to predict the timing of the flood, which was actually a reservoir spill, research planning should have taken into account the possibility that drastic changes might occur during the project. Although the timing of the flood was a research opportunity, it was treated as an unwanted intrusion on the conduct of the research. GCES managers learned a great deal from the failure to plan adequately for the flood, and in subsequent work they adopted innovative plans forthe research that not only allowed them to accommodate radical changes in discharge but that actually called for such changes. Researchers adjusted their own work to the timing of the natural processes and, more importantly, to those processes controlled by experimental re- leases of water from the dam (Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, 1992~. Researchers therefore used time in the second phase much more effectively because they were more flexible in at least some aspects. Specific time I imitations for GCES research were the prod ictable outcome of research conducted within bucigets, but throughout the history of the studies there was considerable uncertainty about the duration of the research effort. Especially during the second phase of GCES, managers of the work were uncertain each year whether the work would continue the next year.
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204 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon This uncertainty forced many researchers to adopt designs focused on quick results rather than the best results. When the Department of Interior decided to generate an EIS, its established schedule added more short-term thinking to GCES, which was the primary data source for the EIS. It was only with the acivent of the long-term monitoring plan, mandated by the Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992, that planning horizons expanded to more realistic proportions. FUTURE INSTITUTIONS The Department of Interior is now considering the formation of a research center, based in Flagstaff, to house the administrative entity that will conduct the long-term monitoring program and research associated with Glen Canyon Dam and its operation. This new entity, anticipated to report to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, will inherit the data and other products of the GCES, and will be an important part of the adaptive management program because it will supply data and expertise for the interpretation of the data. The research center will have the same needs for long-term planning, sound use of scientific methods, and external review as GCES required previously. Of particular importance is the need for an external review panel of inclependent scientists who can offer credibility to the center's research and who can introduce new ideas. All major research foundations, museums' and experimental facilities have such panels, and the Glen Canyon research center would require one to be considered legitimate by the scientific com- munity. RECOMMENDATIONS The quantity, quality, and usefulness of scientific research are partly the result of the institutions within which the work takes place. Despite a varied history, the GCES made substantial contributions to basic and applied science for the Grand Canyon environment, as shown by this report. The following recommendations may be useful for the future: 1. Organizations such as GCES should be located within the Department of Interior at an appropriate level that reports to an assistant secretary to ensure the efficient flow of funding, plans, information, and products.
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Institutional Influences on the GCES 205 2. Competitive bidding for all future research in Glen Canyon and similar areas should be open to all qualified agencies and individuals to ensure that the best and least expensive alternatives are used. 3. As a means of quality control, contracts with other government ag- encies should be designed to ensure transfer of funds from GCES only upon the delivery of products and reports. 4. Deadlines for completion of scientific research should be clearly specified by GCES and rigorously enforced through contract mechanisms. Scientists, whether working in government agencies or as private consultants, should all be held to the same standard: work should be completed on time and within original budget estimates. If it is not, GCES should terminate further funding and seek remedies for the deficiencies. 5. Studies such as GCES should take into account similar research being conducted in other areas. 6. Long-term planning (several years) is essential for effective research and wise use of financial support. 7. In deciding which contractors to support, projects such as GCES should evaluate not only the quality of proposals but also the degree to which the proposed work directly supports project objectives. 8. The funding of research should be based on management needs, not on perceived political requirements. 9. Final integration of projects such as GCES research should be an integral part of the research plan. The essence of the ecosystem approach to research and adaptive management is the definition of relationships and connections among the elements of the system. The GCES effort explicated indiviclual elements without connection to others. 10. For projects of broad scope or long duration, the position of senior scientist should be full time rather than part time. 11. Any internal research center administered by the BOR for the purpose of managing the continuing Glen Canyon research (such as the proposed research center at Flagstaff) should have the benefit of an external oversight and review board to provide unbiased advice and perspective.
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206 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon REFERENCES Auble, G.T., J. Friedman, and M.L. Scott. 1991. Riparian Vegetation of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado: Composition and Response to Selected Hydrologic Regimes Based on a Direct Gradient Assessment Model. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reportforthe National Park Service Water Resources Division, National Park Service, Ft. Collins, Colo. Barrett, C. 1992. Letterto Sheila David, Program Officer, NRC Committeeto Review Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, February 10, from Clifford Barrett, Executive Director, Colorado River Energy Distributors Ass- ociation. Behnke, Rid., and D.E. Benson. 1980. Endangered and Threatened Fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, Bulletin 503A, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. Bureau of Reclamation. 1991. Glen Canyon Dam, Interim Operating Criteria, Draft Environmental Assessment. Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Col- orado River Regional Office, Salt Lake City. Bureau of Reclamation. 1993. Operation of Glen Canyon Dam, Colorado River Storage Project, Arizona. Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 3 vole, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado River Regional Office, Salt Lake City. Chase, K.~. 1992. Gunnison RiverThresholds for Gravel and Cobble Motion, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument. M.S. thesis, Col- orado State University, Ft. Collins. Cluer, B.L. 1991. Daily Responses of Colorado River Sand Bars to Glen Canyon Dam Test Flows, Grand Canyon, Arizona. National Park Service, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. Colby, B.G., and 1. Goodman. 1993. Memorandum to National Research Council GOES Committee, Summary of Non-Use Values Peer Review Meeting, August 23. Glen Canyon Environmental Studies. 1992. Glen Canyon Dam, Interim Operations, Interim Flow Monitoring Program. Glen Canyon En- vironmental Studies Office, Flagstaff, Ariz. Graf, W.L. 1993. Landscapes, commodities, and ecosystems: the re- lationship betNeen policy and science for American rivers. Pp. 11-42 in Sustaining our Water Resources. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
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Institutional Influences on the GOES 207 Hereford, R., H. Fairley, K. Thompson, and d. Balsom. 1991. The Effect of Regulated Flows on Erosion of Archeologic Sites at Four Areas in Eastern Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: A Preliminary Analysis. U.S. Geological Survey Report for Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, U.S. Geological SuNey, Flagstaff, Ariz. Hughes, T.C. 1991. Reservoir operations. Pp. 207-225 in Colorado River Ecology and Dam Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Johnson, R.R., and S.W. Carothers. 1987. External threats: the dilemma of resource management on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, USA. Environmental Management 1 1 :99-107. Kondolf, M., and M.G. Wolman. 1993. The sizes of salmonid spawning gra- vels. Water Resources Research9~7~:2275-2285. Kubly, D.M. 1990. The Endangered Humpback Chub (Gila cypha) in Arizona: A Review of Past Studies and Suggestions for Future Research. Bureau of Reclamation, Salt Lake City. Leopold, L.B. t991. Closing remarks. Pp. 254-257 in Colorado River Ecol- ogy arm Dam Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Molles, M. 1980. The impacts of habitat alterations and introduced species on the native fishes of the Upper Colorado River basin. Pp. 163-181 in Energy Development in the Southwest, vol. 2, W.D. Spofford, A.L. Parker, and A.V. Kneese, eds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. NationalResearch Council. 1987. River and Dam Management: A Review of the Bureau of Reclamation's Glen Canyon Environmental Studies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. National Research Council. 1991. Colorado River Ecology and Dam Man- agement. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. National Research Council. 1992. Letter report to Michael Roluti, Bureau of Reclamation, October 21, 1992, Committee to Review the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies comments on May 1992 draft report "Power System Impacts of Potential Changes in Glen Canyon Power Plant Operations." Water Science and Technology Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. National Research Council. 1994. Review of the Draft Federal Long-Term Monitoring Plan for the Colorado River Below Glen Canyon Dam. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Fatten, D.T. 1991. Glen Canyon Environmental Studies research program: past, present and future. Pp. 239-253 in Colorado River Ecology and Dam Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
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208 River Resource Management in the Grand Canyon Fatten, D.T. 1993. Long-Term Monitoring in the Grand Canyon: Response to Operations of Glen Canyon Dam. Draft, Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, Tempe, Ariz. Roluti, M.J. 1993. Letter to William M. Lewis, Chair, NRC Committee to Review Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, Subject: Power System Impact of Potential Changes in Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, April 29, from Michael d. Roluti, Chair, Power Resources Committee, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Regional Office. Schmidt, d.C., and d.B. Graf. 1990. Aggradation and Degradation of Alluvial Sand Deposits, 1965 to 1986, Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1493, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C. U.S. Geological Survey. 1991. Guide for Authors of Reports of the U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C. U.S. Senate. 1984. Fish and Wildlife Restoration in the Trinity River. Senate Report 98-647, to Accompany H.R. 1438, Calendar No. 1295, 98th Congr., 2nd Sess. Western Area Power Administration. 1988. Analysis of Alternative Release Rates at Glen Canyon Dam. Salt Lake City: Western Area Power Ad- ministration. Western Area Power Administration. 1989. Analysis of Proposed Interim Releases at Glen Canyon Powerplants. Salt Lake City: Western Area Power Administration. Western Area Power Administration. 1990. Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Research Releases: Economic Analysis. Salt Lake City: Western Area Power Administration.
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