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Watershed -- management, Fishery management, Habitat conservation -- Pacific Northwest


In the fall of 2012, after consulting with a wide range of salmon recovery partners, NOAA Fisheries asked Oregon Consensus and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center (university-based, neutral, third-party institutions devoted to promoting collaborative governance and consensusbased public policy) to conduct an independent, impartial situation assessment to explore regional views about how best to approach comprehensive, long-term salmon and steelhead recovery in the Basin. The centers assembled an Assessment Team comprised of practitioners and academics from Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The Assessment Team conducted 206 semi-structured interviews with individuals selected for their knowledge of, engagement in, and/or concern for salmon recovery planning in the Basin. The overall goal of the assessment and this report is to provide a summary of key themes, issues and perspectives identified from the interviews, and to describe potential process options to better achieve desired outcomes regarding longterm salmon and steelhead recovery in the Basin.

This report begins with an explanation of the assessment process, followed by a brief overview of recovery processes in the Basin. The report then presents a synthesis of information gained through the interviews, focusing on key themes. The last section presents a conceptual framework for assessing the salmon recovery system, along with key findings and process options for improving the system and addressing salmon and steelhead recovery in the long term. Supplemental information is provided in appendices.

The centers are making this assessment available to NOAA Fisheries and all other interested parties, in the hope that it helps inform discussions about longterm salmon and steelhead recovery processes in the Basin by providing options to consider, updated information, and a “bird’s eye view” of a complex policy environment the team learned few see in its entirety.


This report is a joint production of the National Policy Consensus Center at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington.

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