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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem 3 The Adaptive Management Program INTRODUCTION This chapter assesses the Strategic Plan's responsiveness to the Adaptive Management Program. Although it focuses on adaptive management as defined in the Strategic Plan and developed in the context of Glen Canyon Dam operations and the Grand Canyon ecosystem, it begins with a brief overview of the emerging field of adaptive management. It then turns to strengths and weaknesses of the Strategic Plan's sections on adaptive management, the Plan's responsiveness to the Adaptive Management Program, and the roles of independent review in adaptive management. In general, the Strategic Plan reflects the Center's efforts to respond to the new Program, in part by drawing upon general concepts and methods of adaptive management. However, the Plan also has some important weaknesses, as does the larger Adaptive Management Program, that impinge upon the Center's ability to fulfill its scientific monitoring, research, and communication responsibilities. When appraising weaknesses, we focus on the Center's evolving roles within the Program. We ask whether there is a common vision for Grand Canyon resources and whether the core adaptive management experiment has been clearly defined, communicated, and initiated. Because stakeholder-defined management objectives and information needs are intended to guide the Center's monitoring and research programs and provide measurable standards for evaluating adaptive management, we examine the current list of management objectives and information needs and ask whether they are
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem likely to fulfill these roles. As management experiments are conducted, a basis will be needed to evaluate their results and formulate recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior. We consider the potential roles of decision support methods in the complex trade-off analyses stakeholders will make when recommending future dam-operation experiments and adjustments. Because independent scientific review is a key component of adaptive management, we conclude with a discussion of independent review panels. THE EMERGING FIELD OF ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT Adaptive management has received increasing attention and application in recent decades to problems of regional ecosystem management (for recent reviews, see Gunderson et al., 1995; Lee, 1993; and Walters, 1997). It arose from concerns that conventional resource management approaches have not adequately incorporated principles of ecosystem science (e.g., those related to ecosystem dynamics, disturbance regimes, and scientific uncertainty). It argues that these deficiencies tend to increase vulnerability to ecological "surprises" (e.g., extreme geophysical events, exotic species invasions, and dramatic species population changes) and decrease ecosystem resilience (i.e., the rate of recovery from disturbance). It further asserts that some problems and processes encountered in large-scale ecosystems and complex resource management regimes can only be understood through management experiments—sometimes referred to as "learning by doing" (Walters and Holling, 1990). Conventional efforts to address these complex problems seem increasingly bound up in policy "gridlock" among stakeholder, management, and scientific groups. Adaptive management was envisioned as a new paradigm for addressing this suite of ecosystem science and ecosystem management problems through a dynamic interplay of science, management, and policy. Its core concepts and methods coalesced in the 1970s at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria (Holling, 1978). Although those concepts and methods are still evolving and are applied in various ways, one useful working definition states that: "adaptive management is a systematic process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of operational programs. Its most effective form—"active" adaptive management—employs management programs that are designed to experi-
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem mentally compare selected policies or practices, by evaluating alternative hypotheses about the system being managed" (Nyberg, 1998, p. 2). The key components of this and other working definitions include: (1) commitment to ongoing management adjustments based, in part, upon scientific experimentation, (2) shift from "trial and error" to formal experimentation with management actions and alternatives, (3) shift from fragmented scientific investigations to integrated ecosystem science, (4) explicit attention to scientific uncertainties in ecosystem processes and effects of management alternatives, (5) formal experimental design and hypothesis-testing to reduce those uncertainties and help guide management adjustments, (6) careful monitoring of ecological and social effects and of responses to management operations, (7) analysis of experimental outcomes in ways that guide future management decisions, and (8) close collaboration among stakeholders, managers, and scientists in all phases of these processes. These concepts are not entirely new. As Lee (1993) indicates, they have close affinity with the pragmatic tradition in philosophy and public policy that developed during the twentieth century (e.g., Dewey, 1938; Lindblom, 1959; Wescoat, 1992). They seek to refine and integrate, as well as move beyond, established practices in scientific experimentation and resource management. For example, one important refinement underway applies Bayesian statistical methods to the design of adaptive management experiments (Sit and Taylor, 1998). Adaptive management has been tested in various resource management contexts in North America and elsewhere. Early applications occurred in forest and fisheries sectors in the Pacific Northwest region of Canada and the United States (e.g., Lee, 1993; National Research Council, 1996b; Taylor et al., 1997). Other important water resources applications are underway in the Everglades, the Upper Mississippi River Basin, and in California's Bay-Delta ecosystem (Adaptive Environmental Assessment Steering Committee and Modeling Team, 1997; CMARP Steering Committee, 1988; Harwell, 1998; Independent Scientific Group, 1996; NRC, 1996b; Strategic Plan Core Team for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, 1998; Volkman and McConnaha, 1993; Walters et al., 1992). Related ecosystem management activities in the Colorado River Basin include the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fishes Recovery Implementation Program, the San Juan Recovery Implementation Program, and the Multispecies Conservation Program in the Lower Colorado River Basin (Pontius, 1997). Each of these programs seeks to balance resource use with eco-
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem system science, economic values, and public interests in ecosystem services. Some of them may have relevance, through formal comparison or analogy, with the Adaptive Management Program. For example, the Columbia River Basin program has established an effective Independent Scientific Advisory Board and Independent Economics Analysis Board (J. Volkman, Northwest Power Planning Council, personal communication, 1998), neither of which yet exists for the Grand Canyon. The Independent Scientific Group in the Columbia River Basin produced a vision statement, the "normative river concept," which may have relevance for developing a vision in the Grand Canyon. In light of scientific uncertainties and conflicting scientific evidence regarding Snake River chinook salmon restoration, scientists in the Columbia Basin convened a "Weight of Evidence Workshop" that may have relevance when Grand Canyon monitoring and research results need to be analyzed and interpreted. At the same time, the practice of adaptive management is unique to each ecosystem. Programs are structured in different ways to address these unique features. Society has not yet perfected the social, economic, and institutional components of adaptive management needed in specific contexts (Gunderson et al., 1995; Holling, 1978; Lee, 1993; Walters, 1986, 1997). For all of the potentially useful points of comparison with other adaptive management programs, the Grand Canyon is unique in many ways. In addition to its singular physiographic landscape and ecological characteristics, it is situated in the heart of the Colorado River water management system. It has one of the most complex and contested organizational contexts for water resources management in the world, as evidenced by the array of stakeholders and managers engaged in the Adaptive Management Program. This situation calls for innovation as well as creative application of adaptive management concepts and methods to Glen Canyon Dam and the Grand Canyon ecosystem. With this overview of adaptive management in mind, we turn to the evolving application in the Grand Canyon. ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT OF GLEN CANYON DAM AND THE COLORADO RIVER ECOSYSTEM Adaptive management is a central theme and organizing framework in the Strategic Plan. The 1997 Plan states that "Adaptive management begins with a set of management objectives and involves a feedback loop between the management action and the effect of that action on the
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem system. It is an iterative process, based on a scientific paradigm that treats management actions as experiments subject to modification, rather than as fixed and final rulings, and uses them to develop an enhanced scientific understanding about whether or not and how the ecosystem responds to specific management actions" (Center, 1997, p. 30). The Plan briefly discusses the role of dialogue among managers, stakeholders, and scientists; scientific "reality-testing" of management objectives; monitoring and experimental design of adaptive policies; and the close relationship between adaptive management and ecosystem management. Many of these aspects of the adaptive management experiment have not yet been formulated as testable hypotheses (e.g., about the types of dialogue that lead toward or away from adaptive policies; and the types of monitoring evidence that would lead to new management experiments and recommendations). Adaptive management encompasses dam-operation experiments (such as controlled floods and daily flow regimes) hypothesized to achieve downstream ecosystem benefits; monitoring the effects of those experiments; research to explain those effects; design of new experiments to more fully achieve ecosystem benefits; and stakeholder-guided management experiments to weigh monitoring and research results when recommending dam-operation experiments and adjustments to the Secretary of the Interior. Adaptive management is thus a science experiment, a policy experiment, and a science-policy experiment. As will be discussed below, the hypotheses in these experiments have not always been clearly defined and formally tested. The Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement included adaptive management as a common element for all alternatives, and the Record of Decision subsequently mandated its implementation. Adaptive management builds upon the efforts of the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, which explored several lines of inquiry to develop an ecosystem framework that assisted the search for, and evaluation of, dam-operation alternatives (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1995). The Adaptive Management Program strives for this approach by designing monitoring and research programs to provide advice to the Secretary of the Interior about dam operations that preserve and enhance downstream resources. The Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement defined adaptive management as a process "whereby the effects of dam operations on downstream resources would be assessed and the results of those resource assessments would form the basis for future modifications of dam operations" (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1995). It envisioned that the
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem Adaptive Management Program would provide an annual report to Congress and to the governors of the Colorado River Basin states. It also listed a set of principles and goals related to monitoring and research, coordination and communication, public participation, effective use of scientific information, and conflict resolution. It described how the Center would assist the Secretary's designee and the Adaptive Management Work Group by developing annual monitoring and research plans, and by managing and coordinating adaptive management research programs and the data collected in these programs. Given the Center's multiple roles, it is impossible to evaluate the Strategic Plan without examining its relations within the broader Adaptive Management Program. Similarly, because adaptive management is the shared aim of these organizations, it is important to assess the collective understanding of adaptive management and how that influences the Center's scientific programs. Set in this context, the Center and the Adaptive Management Program are participants in a large-scale science-policy experiment involving environmental management constructs that remain unproven and not well understood. The prominence of the Grand Canyon National Park and the Glen Canyon and Lake Mead National Recreation Areas elevate the Adaptive Management Program to a national scale of importance, as indicated by passage of the Grand Canyon Protection Act in 1992. This act focused on protecting the river corridor in Grand Canyon from adverse impacts of Glen Canyon Dam operations. The Adaptive Management Program is in many ways more delimited than other adaptive management programs, involving only a segment of the river within relatively well-defined geographic boundaries. The management actions involve operations of Glen Canyon Dam, which reduces the practical set of alternatives under consideration. Unlike some national-level efforts, however, the Adaptive Management Program is not dominated by a single resource issue (e.g., salmon recovery). Restoration of endangered species and impending loss of biodiversity are often the dominant issues in these other programs. Moreover, the Grand Canyon is one of the only adaptive management programs to have its own monitoring and research center. To date, the Adaptive Management Program has not produced a scientific and stakeholder-based consensus regarding the desired state of the ecosystem (Marzolf et al., 1998; Schmidt et al., 1998). Before the Adaptive Management Program can measure its success, it must first develop a clear statement of what it is trying to accomplish. The controversy over the first three chapters of the 1998 Strategic Plan indicates the
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem need for broader understanding and acceptance among stakeholders of tenets of adaptive management as they apply in the Grand Canyon. It argues for continuing efforts to clarify the definition, aims, and methods of the Adaptive Management Program. Until a common definition of adaptive management is articulated and accepted in the Program, the Center will lack the guidance necessary to perform its function within the Program or to effectively revise its Strategic Plan. The Center's roles in the Program should be founded on: (1) management objectives and information needs identified by stakeholders, (2) ecosystem science to guide monitoring, explain observations, and add neglected information needs, and (3) scientific and stakeholder communication to facilitate "social learning" based upon the knowledge gained from monitoring and research. Without the first, research may wander from its goal of understanding the effects of dam-operation alternatives on downstream resources. Without the second, management objectives may lack an adequate foundation in underlying ecosystem processes. If management objectives and information needs are not integrated within an ecosystem science approach, they are unlikely to anticipate possible "surprises" in ecosystem responses. Without the third, monitoring and research results may go unused, and the learning necessary to refine and revise management objectives may not occur (Parson and Clark, 1995). A well-defined strategic plan would indicate how monitoring and research programs would build in a balanced way upon these three points. STRENGTHS OF THE STRATEGIC PLANS From its inception, the Center has performed a valuable service by articulating the aims, concepts, and methods of adaptive management. Although other Adaptive Management Program documents (e.g., charters and operating rules) describe the structure and procedures of adaptive management, the Center's strategic plans contain the most detailed discussion of the Program's philosophy and implementation in the Grand Canyon to date. Introductory chapters remind participants of the initiating roles of stakeholders' management objectives, feedback provided by scientists through ecosystem monitoring and research (including identification of key information needs), and consequent adjustments in both management and science. The strategic plans include major chapters on stakeholders' management objectives and information needs. The Center has helped facilitate their listing and prioritization. The plans also attempt
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem to outline the roles and responsibilities of the Center relative to the Adaptive Management Work Group and the Technical Work Group. Emphasis on the role of independent review in adaptive management is a second strength of the strategic plans. In addition to detailing the roles of independent review panels in proposal and document evaluation, the strategic plans provide for critical evaluation of Center programs, plans, and performance. Although some weaknesses in these independent review plans are discussed below, the Center has responded to the spirit of previous National Research Council reviews (NRC, 1987; NRC, 1996a). A third strength is the Center's efforts to consult with stakeholders. Although these efforts have not always been entirely successful, the Center has sought stakeholder input on science plans to a greater degree and in more consistent ways than commonly occurs in such organizations, reflecting an appreciation of the aims and methods of adaptive management. Based upon the committee's observations and conversations with stakeholders, these efforts to formalize input seem to have led to greater stakeholder satisfaction than the process associated with the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, although a systematic evaluation has not been conducted. The Center has devoted considerable energy and resources to working with stakeholders, providing scientific information, and experimenting with ecosystem research (e.g., conceptual modeling) related to adaptive management. The introductory chapters on adaptive management in the 1998 Strategic Plan are being reworked in new documents for the overall Adaptive Management Program. If adaptive management is more fully and effectively elaborated, it will be due in part to the Center's initial efforts. Because the first Strategic Plan was initiated before the stakeholder groups were formed, and was revised as organizational roles were reexamined, it seems unlikely that the Center could have successfully articulated the full scope and nature of adaptive management. To produce its Strategic Plan, however, the Center had to try to present its science plans within the evolving context of the Adaptive Management Program. Because the strategic plans do not adequately develop some aspects of adaptive management, we comment upon some weaknesses in the adaptive management chapters and suggest alternative ways to address them.
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem WEAKNESSES OF THE STRATEGIC PLANS The adaptive management chapters of the strategic plans suffer from the following weaknesses: (1) lack of clarity of the Center's roles within the Adaptive Management Program, (2) inadequate discussion of competing goals and ''visions," (3) lack of clearly-defined linkages between adaptive management, ecosystem management, and social learning, (4) disparate management objectives and information needs, (5) inadequate definition of the core adaptive management experiment, (6) insufficient contingency planning, (7) insufficient decision analysis, and (8) uneven progress toward independent program review. The Center's Roles Within the Adaptive Management Program The division of roles and responsibilities among organizations in the Program is unclear. The Center has assumed or been charged with some administrative roles beyond those defined in the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement and charter documents, which may reduce its ability to perform its primary scientific tasks. At this writing, the Technical Work Group was seeking to clarify those roles. The Center's roles were envisioned as designing and conducting research and monitoring activities to meet the needs of the Adaptive Management Work Group and the tenets of ecosystem science. The Adaptive Management Work Group is to develop and make recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior for overall management decisions and to the Center regarding management objectives related to monitoring the effects of alternative dam operations. These responsibilities were described in the original Center operating protocols as "consistent and effective cooperative efforts ongoing in the areas of policy, administrative and science protocols, definition of research needs, and dissemination of research information and technology" and as a "close functional relationship between resource stakeholders and managers and the Center's science group" (Center, 1996). In terms of time and resources expended, the Center appears to have been highly responsive to stakeholder requests from the Adaptive Management Work Group and Technical Work Group. The Center has devoted considerable efforts to stakeholder meetings, information requests, and consultation—at the likely expense of data synthesis, integration of research programs, and implementation of monitoring programs. Center
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem scientists have also spent considerable effort working with the Technical and Adaptive Management Work Groups in developing and revising protocols, plans, and budgets. Although these efforts may have been justified in the start-up years from 1997 to 1998, their persistence may be cause for concern. Early estimates that bimonthly Technical Work Group meetings would be needed between the biannual Adaptive Management Work Group meetings proved unrealistic, as the Technical Work Group began to meet monthly (with some ad hoc groups meeting more frequently). While necessary and valuable for coordinating management—science relationships, this time-consuming interaction between Center staff and the Technical Work Group may have delayed implementation of monitoring programs. In addition to research and monitoring, the Center has provided organizational support and substantive assistance for the activities of both work groups. This is contrary to a model in which these stakeholder groups articulate management objectives, information needs, and a vision for the Canyon ecosystem, while the Center implements monitoring and research programs to address those management objectives, information needs, and vision. The research program has begun, but the monitoring program has experienced delays that may be partly attributable to these broader responsibilities. Although it has helped define the overall Adaptive Management Program, the Center may become a subservient junior partner in the Program. The organizational diagram from the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement is triangular, suggesting an even, collaborative relationship and rough parity between the Center and the Technical Work Group (see Figure 1.2). Instead, the Technical Work Group has emerged as the implementation arm of the Adaptive Management Work Group and seems to exert a de facto review and approval authority over Center documents and budgets (authority that may have been originally envisioned for Adaptive Management Work Group). The committee is concerned that this trend may lead to micro-management and a hierarchical structure, rather than to the balanced, collaborative relationship described in the Center's original operating protocols and the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement. We hypothesize that a balanced, collaborative organizational structure is more conducive to the iterative and experimental aims of adaptive management than the current trend, and recommend that any changes in organizational roles be treated as experiments. Rather than exerting excessive oversight of the Center's plans and activities, stakeholders should guide the Center's scientific
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem programs through clear management objectives and information needs. A critical strategic issue is to ensure that a larger proportion of the Center's resources goes to monitoring and research, which depends partly upon the forthcoming Guidance Document. In articulating the Center's roles and responsibilities, that document will hopefully strike a balance between scientific work in the Grand Canyon, responsiveness to stakeholder information needs, and broader communication of scientific results (e.g., in public fora and research publications). It is important to recognize that the fiscal and human resources needed to manage a newly formed and evolving institution (such as the Adaptive Management Program) are probably greater than those required to manage a decades-old, established program. Recognition of these evolving needs would include realistic estimates of monitoring requirements—and of associated time and effort—to implement the necessary monitoring infrastructure. Finally, an advocate is needed for the adaptive management experiments themselves, particularly regarding their scientific coherence and the long-term integrity of the Grand Canyon ecosystem. There is currently no voice among the stakeholders that represents the interests of these scientific experiments. This role might be explicitly assigned to the Center or to a senior scientist, who could help articulate and interpret scientific aspects of adaptive management within an ecosystem context. The Concept of "Vision" There has been limited progress to date in developing a "vision" of the desired future conditions in the Grand Canyon ecosystem. Strategic plans refer to pre-dam conditions, but pre-dam baselines are not well defined, nor is it likely that they represent desired or attainable objectives (Schmidt et al., 1998). The use of baselines may not be desirable because they do not define "endpoints," i.e., realistic and desired outcomes (cf. Dewey  on "ends-in-view''). Although some scientists have begun to define promising "normative" or "naturalistic" alternatives, these have proven difficult to elaborate or implement (cf. Independent Scientific Group, 1996; Schmidt et al., 1998). Others suggest that such goals may not be necessary or as important as relative improvements in ecosystem conditions and services (cf. Brunner and Clark, 1997; Rogers, 1998). Previous National Research Council committees also noted the lack of clear, coherent goals for Grand Canyon ecosystem management. During Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Phase I, the committee found
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem ment objective listed in Table 3.2 requires that "system dynamics and disturbance" be maintained, while the fourth requires maintenance of "a long-term balance of river-stored sand to support high flows." These objectives are unnecessarily vague and could be stated in simpler language. Some of the information needs developed for the sediment resource program are similarly repetitive, imprecise, and difficult to understand. Biological Resources Program The management objectives and information needs for the Biological Resources Program are also unwieldy and repetitive. There are 16 management objectives listed for biological resources. Within each of these, three to eight information needs are identified. Although identifying many needs may be a helpful starting point, they must be consolidated and reduced in number before a scientific plan for addressing them can be established. Management objective 2 (Table 3.3) provides an example of how some consolidation could be accomplished. It states that "downstream of Glen Canyon Dam to the confluence of the Paria River, sufficient ecological conditions should be maintained . . . to produce a large, self-sustaining population of at least 100,000 Age II+ rainbow trout." Information need 2.1, "Determine ecosystem requirements, population character and structure to maintain naturally reproducing populations of Age II plus fish at 100,000 population levels in Glen Canyon," is an overarching statement that captures the essence of what is desired. The next five information needs (2.2–2.6) express details of information to be gathered to fulfill information need 2.1. Information need 2.5 seems redundant with 2.1. Information need 2.7 is redundant with 1.3. To make the information needs conceptually parallel, they either need to be collapsed into a single, integrated information need similar to 2.1, or 2.1 should be eliminated and the detail in information needs 2.2–2.6 maintained. Sociocultural Resources Program The management objectives and information needs for the Cultural Resources Program are clear and coherent. By contrast, management objectives and information needs for the Socioeconomic Resources Program contain major omissions, elaborated in Chapter 4 and
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem TABLE 3.3 - Biological Resources Program Objectives 1. 1998 Management Objective 1 Maintain and enhance the aquatic food base in the Colorado River ecosystem to support desired populations of native and non-native fish. Information Need 1.3 Determine the aquatic food base species composition, population structure, density, and distribution required to maintain desired populations of native and non-native fish in the Colorado River ecosystem. 2. 1998 Management Objective 2 In the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam to the confluence of the Paria River, sufficient ecological conditions (such as habitat, food base, and temperature) should be maintained, which in conjunction with management by Arizona Game and Fish will produce a healthy self-sustaining population of at least 100,000 Age II+ rainbow trout that achieve 18 inches in length by Age III with a mean annual relative weight of at least 0.90. Information Need 2.1 Determine ecosystem requirements, population character and structure to maintain naturally reproducing populations of Age II plus fish at 100,000 population levels in Grand Canyon. Information Need 2.2 Determine trends in rainbow trout population size, character and structure in Glen Canyon. Information Need 2.3 Evaluate harvested and field sampled rainbow trout to determine the contribution of naturally reproduced fish to the population in Glen Canyon. Information Need 2.4 Determine the availability and quality of spawning substrates in the Glen Canyon reach necessary to sustain the rainbow trout fishery.
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem Information Need 2.5 Determine the growth and condition of rainbow trout in Glen Canyon. Information Need 2.6 Define criteria (e.g., temperatures, flow regimes, contaminants, metals, nutrients) for sustaining a healthy rainbow trout population in Glen Canyon. Information Need 2.7 Determine the trophic relationship between trout and the aquatic food base including the size of the aquatic food base required to sustain the desired trout population in Glen Canyon. SOURCE: Center (1998). Appendix F, Making it unclear how this latter program is to meet the goals of adaptive management. Information Technology Program Management objectives and information needs in the Information Technology Program also appear to be well-organized and internally consistent. A simpler set of management objectives within a consistent ecosystem vision is needed for the Adaptive Management Program. A mechanism is needed for effectively revising and consolidating the management objectives and information needs to make a clear statement of desired future conditions and to provide a basis for formulating adaptive management experiments. It is thus recommended that the Center, along with a newly designated senior scientist, work with the Technical Work Group to reformulate management objectives and information needs and place them within an internally consistent ecosystem context. The revised management objectives would be based on existing management objectives and would be submitted to the Adaptive Management Work Group for consideration. The intent of this recommendation is not to move
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem authority for defining management objectives to the Center. Rather, it is to assign the Center the task of translating stakeholder objectives into scientific needs that are clear and internally consistent and that fully incorporate an ecosystem view of the Grand Canyon. The ecosystem view would likely identify information needs that cut across and help integrate management objectives. Defining the Current Experiment Within the strategic plans and Program documents, this committee found no clear statement of the current adaptive management experiment. As mentioned, this experiment is based on the Modified Low Fluctuating Flow regime and beach/habitat-building flows specified in the Record of Decision. Even if management objectives and information needs are less consistent and less clear than desirable, the clearest possible statement of the current experiment is necessary. Without it, it will be difficult to develop informed opinions about outcomes and tradeoffs, and difficult to develop effective or appropriate follow-up studies. The strategic plans do not elaborate the process for using an experimental approach as a part of the management process. Although there are discussions of this issue in guidance documents and plans, the principles of science-based management and ecosystem integration are not consistently used. Management actions (e.g., flow rate, controlled releases, and temperature of dam releases) are experiments that should have clearly defined hypothesis regarding expected outcomes across resource areas and the ecosystem. Despite this stated approach, there is no consistent presentation of hypothesis-testing in or across resource program activities. The Center's recent dialogue with the Technical Work Group on experimental design of alternative beach/habitat-building flows provides a model that has broader application (Argonne National Laboratory, 1999; Melis et al., 1998; Ralston et al., 1998). This hypothesis-testing approach is an essential component of adaptive management. Although the current management experiment is mandated in the Record of Decision and described in some detail in the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement, an explicit discussion of this experiment does not appear in the Strategic Plan. A set of multiple hypotheses about anticipated outcomes of the current Modified Low Fluctuating Flow experiment should be constructed for each of the nine resource areas. As these hypotheses are tested, the Strategic Plan should indicate how the
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem monitoring and research programs will determine if predicted outcomes occur. It should also provide for periodic discussion of alternative management experiments. Contingency Planning The 1997 Strategic Plan included a section on contingency planning (e.g., for unanticipated hydrologic events that could trigger beach/ habitat-building flows). As noted earlier, contingency planning can be closely related to theories of ''surprise" in adaptive management. In addition to hydrologic events, surprises may include climate anomalies (e.g., El Niño), policy changes (e.g., National Park Service wilderness designation for Grand Canyon National Park), and social changes (e.g., in environmental or economic values). While some of these contingencies may be anticipated and planned for as possibilities, others may be entirely unexpected. A monitoring and research plan for adaptive management should include the latter as well as the former. To its credit, the Center already includes contingency planning for beach/habitat-building flows in its research contracts. However, the 1998 draft Strategic Plan mentioned contingency planning in its executive summary but not in the body of the Plan or budget. The next Strategic Plan should explicitly address contingency planning and, in the spirit of adaptive management, strive to anticipate a broad range of ecosystem and societal "surprises" that could substantially affect scientific monitoring and research. Decision Analysis Adaptive management ultimately involves difficult trade-offs among competing objectives. The Strategic Plan concentrates on quantifying physical, biological, cultural, and conventional market economic consequences of dam operations (using incommensurate units). The Strategic Plan sidesteps the final, equally essential, step of management, the articulation of scientific criteria to guide choices among competing objectives that "protect, mitigate adverse impacts to, and improve the values," identified in the Grand Canyon Protection Act. Although those criteria and choices rest with stakeholder groups, the Center should develop scientific decision support systems to support those efforts.
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem The conceptual modeling effort supported by the Center and the Adaptive Management Program is an important first step in addressing the complexity of issues and potential decision scenarios related to the impacts of dam operations. To ensure that the Program is a working example of complex resource management and policy, additional decision analysis capabilities should be developed. Given the amount and sophistication of data analysis required, these are generally computer-based models referred to as decision support systems. Reitsma (1996) described a promising approach to decision support system applications to resource management, using the Annual Operating Plan for the Colorado River as a case study. That study indicated that decision support systems should be formally implemented at several levels of decision-making, which have several parallels with the Adaptive Management Program. For example, the decision support system might include three major components: State information. State information includes data representing an ecosystem's state at any time. It would include data on Glen Canyon Dam operations, power production, stream hydrology and geomorphology, temperature and oxygen concentration, aquatic primary production and detritus, benthic insect production, riparian vegetation, and animal populations. Reitsma (1996) notes that "State representation by means of databases forms the heart of modern decision support systems" because it files, retrieves, manipulates, and displays information with modern relational database management and geographic information systems. Process information. Process information includes principles that represent the dynamics of various resources. Work currently underway on the Grand Canyon ecosystem model, when complete, will provide stakeholders, scientists, and the public with opportunities to qualitatively evaluate impacts of proposed actions without actually modifying the system. Instead, initial conditions, boundary conditions, parameters, and the configuration of physical submodels can be modified to assess proposed changes. Evaluation tools. Evaluation tools permit quantitative and qualitative analysis and visualization of alternative actions. The components of a decision support system are or soon will be available at the Center. Only the "glue" that might hold them together is missing. If the Information Technology Progra, fills its assigned role as data manager, state information will be available soon. If the Socio-
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem economic Resources Program fulfills its roles, it could develop a capability to quantify the efficiency of proposed dam-operation alternatives in terms of power revenue, white-water rafting, campsite availability, trout availability, and nonmarket values. These actions could enable the Center to concentrate on scientific aspects of policy experiments and develop expertise in objective measurement of social values of the Grand Canyon's nonmarket environmental goods for different stakeholder groups. Each organization in the Adaptive Management Program could benefit from decision support tools that may lead to formal decision support systems for different parts of the Program. The committee recognizes the scientific difficulties and political sensitivities of these tasks, underscoring the importance of maintaining high standards of independent review. Independent Review Independent review played an important role in evaluating, and at times redirecting, the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies. The previous National Research Council committees ran from 1986 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1996. Important changes in the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies were made in direct response to some of the committee's recommendations, including the establishment of an office of senior scientist (based in part on the recommendation of the first National Research Council review), consideration of nonuse values, analysis of power economics, and reevaluation of Lake Powell evaporation. Glen Canyon Environmental Studies underwent fundamental changes during the committee's tenure (NRC, 1996a), including evolution of a framework for administrating science and for monitoring and incorporating scientific information in the policy process. This committee is presented with a very different organization, one that is more complex and situated within a more formal stakeholder organization. The Center and Adaptive Management Program are as yet not settled or fixed. The evolving nature of ecosystem science and management and the interactions between the Center and the Adaptive Management Program argue for continuation of external review.
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem External Review The Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement includes independent review panels as a component of the Adaptive Management Program and states that, "All monitoring and research programs in Glen and Grand canyons should be independently reviewed" (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1995). According to the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement, independent review panels are to be comprised of qualified individuals not otherwise participating in monitoring and research studies and established by the Secretary of the Interior. Furthermore, these panels are to be established in consultation with the National Academy of Sciences (parent body of the National Research Council) and the Adaptive Management Work Group. Review panels would be responsible for periodically reviewing resource-specific monitoring and research and for making recommendations to the Adaptive Management Work Group and Center regarding monitoring, priorities, integration, and management (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1995, pp. 37–38 and Figure II-10). Specific responsibilities of the review panels include annual review of the monitoring and research program, technical advice requested by the Center or Adaptive Management Work Group, and five-year review of monitoring and research protocols. The letter that founded the Center stated that its annual funding was to be proposed by the Center chief after consultation with the Adaptive Management Work Group and an independent scientific review panel (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, 1995). The Center's operating protocols (Center, 1996) provide guidelines for review of short- and long-term science plans, monitoring and science proposals, data, research reports and publications, and general program accomplishments. These guidelines include independent review of the long-term monitoring and research plan by the National Research Council, which is to interact with the Center, the Adaptive Management Work Group, and the Technical Work Group in providing guidance on the Strategic Plan. Monitoring and research within the Adaptive Management Program can benefit from external review at three levels: Proposals and reports. This level of review is in place and operating effectively. Proposals and reports are mail reviewed by external experts, with Center program managers coordinating the reviews. Review panels are convened to provide collective judgment on proposals. Current review procedures are carefully defined and are reasonable and effective.
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem Review of resource programs. A panel of experts within the domain of each program or technical area reviews research projects and advises on program direction. The Center's protocol evaluation program provides some but not all of this function. Within the protocol evaluation program, all resource programs will be reviewed over a three- or four-year cycle. In fiscal year 1998–1999, remote sensing and physical resources underwent protocol evaluation program reviews; biological and cultural resources will be reviewed in fiscal year 1999–2000. The scope of the protocol evaluation program is limited to determining "the most effective and feasible methods of measuring Colorado River Ecosystem resource attributes and their long-term responses to GCD [Glen Canyon Dam] operations under the ROD [Record of Decision]" (Center, 1996). If strictly interpreted, this scope does not encompass full programmatic review. In addition to evaluating whether the best methods are used, external review panels should also be encouraged to evaluate whether the best questions are being asked. The scope of the protocol evaluation panels should be broadened to encompass unrestricted review of each program. Such review would include protocol evaluation and also broader questions of objectives and coordination. Review of the Center and the Adaptive Management Program. In addition to review of individual programs, the Center and the Adaptive Management Program will benefit from review of overall monitoring and research and its effectiveness in addressing the mandates of the Grand Canyon Protection Act, the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement, and the Record of Decision. A multidisciplinary committee is essential for adequate consideration of coordination and balance among resource programs, their combined effectiveness in advancing understanding of the Grand Canyon ecosystem, and progress in defining and testing adaptive management experiments. Programmatic Review Although proposal, report, and resource program review activities are currently effective and should continue, the format and responsibilities for broad programmatic review still need resolution. The Center has proposed the creation of a Science Advisory Board, which could fulfill this broad programmatic review function. In the recent request for proposal for membership, the initial activities included review of requests for proposals, annual plans, and budget priorities. In a final discussion paper (dated
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem March 17–18, 1998; adopted by the Adaptive Management Work Group on July 21, 1998), review responsibilities of the Science Advisory Board included a five-year review of monitoring and research protocols and the long-term monitoring plan. As currently proposed, the Science Advisory Board would face several constraints that may inhibit its ability to provide truly independent review. Part of the Science Advisory Board's proposed role is to provide scientific advice as needed by the Adaptive Management Work Group, the Center, or the Secretary of the Interior. The Science Advisory Board's ability to provide unbiased criticism may be compromised if it has an influence on the types of projects conducted and the methodology used to conduct them. Such a problem was noted by a previous National Research Council committee (NRC, 1996a), which played a dual role in advising on projects and critiquing them. A second obstacle to independent review relates to institutional constraints. According to the March 17–18, 1998 discussion paper, the Science Advisory Board is to be on official subcommittee of the Adaptive Management Work Group. The paper goes on to instruct the Science Advisory Board to "not review, interpret, or otherwise evaluate public policy decisions. . .associated with the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program and activities of the AMWG [Adaptive Management Work Group], the TWG [Technical Work Group], or individual member agencies." These formal constraints, particularly when combined with its "in-house" advisory role, would compromise the Science Advisory Board's ability to provide thorough, rigorous, and unbiased external review. Although review of public policy decisions and legal compliance may not be the principal charge to a review panel, such explicit limitations are neither appropriate nor productive. In the current solicitation, Science Advisory Board members are self-nominated or are nominated by stakeholders. Neither of these methods would promote the perception of independent, unbiased review. These methods of solicitation have also proven ineffective in attracting a pool of applicants with acceptable qualifications. These limitations and its proposed subcommittee status suggest that the Science Advisory Board as defined is not likely to provide the required kind of external, independent review. The format and responsibilities for broad programmatic review must be resolved. Only one body should conduct such review. More than one review body would be inefficient and expensive and would place an unfair burden on the Center staff, who would have to respond to two review bodies and could well get caught between them. If the Science
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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem Advisory Board is to be used for broad programmatic review, a number of changes are required to ensure credibility and independence. It should not be defined as a subcommittee of the Adaptive Management Work Group, which would make it an internal organization. Formal constraints should not be placed on the range or kind of issues that it may consider. Although the Science Advisory Board may be asked to focus on particular issues, it should also be free to comment on broader aspects of those issues. Its membership should be by invitation, with selection determined by Center professional staff with consultation from an ad hoc external scientific advisory group. Finally, the Science Advisory Board's advisory roles should be clarified to minimize potential conflict between advice and criticism.
Representative terms from entire chapter: