Appendix A

Statement of Task

The committee will evaluate the scientific and technical aspects of the biomonitoring program design's ability to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of FWS properties and trust resources. In light of the recent establishment of the National Biological Survey (NBS) within the Department of the Interior, this committee will also consider appropriate design(s) for the program in the context of the NBS.

The committee will specifically address whether the program as proposed can address the following questions:

  • Will the biomonitoring program be able to identify problems—changes in condition of populations, communities, and ecosystems—well enough and early enough to be useful? Will (and should) the program's design permit FWS to identify the causes of any observed changes in the status of resources? In other words, will the program improve FWS's ability to identify potential, existing, and emerging problems on FWS lands and to FWS trust resources and to determine whether any problems are related to contaminants, to other human causes, or whether they represent natural fluctuations? Is the program study design adequate to identify what contaminants are affecting National Wildlife Refuges and what are the probable contaminant sources and pathways?

  • The biomonitoring program is intended to develop information to determine which trust resources are deteriorating or improving on a national, regional, and/or local scale. What criteria will be used to evaluate the condition of resources and to decide whether they are improving or becoming degraded?

  • How should the cost-effectiveness of the information be evaluated? What criteria would be helpful to the program managers in deciding what—and how much—information is enough, and how much is too much?

  • Is the biomonitoring program flexible enough to identify emerging contaminant-related problems while simultaneously maintaining sufficient consistency to ensure the development of a useful, long-term data base?

  • Can the biomonitoring program provide the means for FWS to prioritize issues of concern and determine regions where action is required? Can it provide information to support activities to reduce and prevent contaminant impacts as they relate to trust resources?



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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Appendix A Statement of Task The committee will evaluate the scientific and technical aspects of the biomonitoring program design's ability to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of FWS properties and trust resources. In light of the recent establishment of the National Biological Survey (NBS) within the Department of the Interior, this committee will also consider appropriate design(s) for the program in the context of the NBS. The committee will specifically address whether the program as proposed can address the following questions: Will the biomonitoring program be able to identify problems—changes in condition of populations, communities, and ecosystems—well enough and early enough to be useful? Will (and should) the program's design permit FWS to identify the causes of any observed changes in the status of resources? In other words, will the program improve FWS's ability to identify potential, existing, and emerging problems on FWS lands and to FWS trust resources and to determine whether any problems are related to contaminants, to other human causes, or whether they represent natural fluctuations? Is the program study design adequate to identify what contaminants are affecting National Wildlife Refuges and what are the probable contaminant sources and pathways? The biomonitoring program is intended to develop information to determine which trust resources are deteriorating or improving on a national, regional, and/or local scale. What criteria will be used to evaluate the condition of resources and to decide whether they are improving or becoming degraded? How should the cost-effectiveness of the information be evaluated? What criteria would be helpful to the program managers in deciding what—and how much—information is enough, and how much is too much? Is the biomonitoring program flexible enough to identify emerging contaminant-related problems while simultaneously maintaining sufficient consistency to ensure the development of a useful, long-term data base? Can the biomonitoring program provide the means for FWS to prioritize issues of concern and determine regions where action is required? Can it provide information to support activities to reduce and prevent contaminant impacts as they relate to trust resources?