GCDAMP Planning

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GCDAMP Monitoring and Research Planning

The GCDAMP is based on an adaptive environmental assessment and management (AEAM) approach to natural resources management (Holling, 1978; Walters, 1986), now commonly called ―adaptive management. The approach assumes that managed natural resources will always change, that scientific understanding of ecosystems is constantly improving, and that natural resource managers need the best available information to make decisions. AEAM unites the strengths of different scientific disciplines to meet the information needs of resource managers. It encourages scientists and managers to work collaboratively to use scientific information in the management process.

AEAM consists of two parts—adaptive assessment and adaptive management. Assessment investigates how ecological systems work and evaluates management alternatives to achieve goals. Management involves learning by doing and testing, which may include monitoring system responses to natural changes (passive adaptive management) or deliberate manipulation of key processes (active adaptive management).

Adaptive management acknowledges that policies must satisfy social objectives, but policies also need to adapt to both changes in understanding and changes in managed systems. Managers using an AEAM approach learn how a natural system works and how their actions affect the system; this knowledge helps them to perform better in complex and uncertain environments.

GCDAMP Strategic Plan
The GCDAMP Strategic Plan (AMPSP) is a long-term plan drafted in August 2001 by GCDAMP and GCMRC participants that identifies the AMWG’s vision, mission, principles, goals, management objectives, information needs, and management actions.
Strategic Science Plan
The GCMRC Strategic Science Plan (SSP) identifies general strategies for the next 5 years to provide science information responsive to the goals, management objectives, and priority questions as described in the AMPSP and other planning direction approved by the AMWG.
Core Monitoring Plan
The GCMRC Core Monitoring Plan (CMP) describes the consistent, long-term, repeated measurements using scientifically accepted protocols to measure status and trends of key resources to answer specific questions. Core monitoring is implemented on a fixed schedule regardless of budget or other circumstances (for example, water year, experimental flows, temperature control, stocking strategy, nonnative control, etc.) affecting target resources.
Monitoring and Research Plan
The GCMRC Monitoring and Research Plan (MRP) specifies (1) core monitoring activities, (2) research and development activities, and (3) long-term experimental activities consistent with the strategies and priorities established in this SSP to be conducted over the next 5 years to address some of the strategic science questions associated with AMWG priority questions.
Triennial Work Plan (TWP)
The GCMRC Triennial Work Plan (TWP) identifies the scope, objectives, and budget for monitoring and research activities planned for a 3-year period. When completed, the triennial work plan will be consistent with the MRP.

GCDAMP Planning Process

The GCDAMP science planning process aims to develop a credible, objective science program that is responsive to AMWG goals and priority needs. The AMWG specified 12 goals that provide general guidance for planning, monitoring, and research efforts.

The Goals of the GCDAMP are:

  1. Protect or improve the aquatic food base so that it will support viable populations of desired species at higher trophic levels
  2. Maintain or attain viable populations of existing native fish, remove jeopardy for humpback chub and razorback sucker, and prevent adverse modification to their critical habitats
  3. Restore populations of extirpated species, as feasible and advisable
  4. Maintain a naturally reproducing population of rainbow trout above the Paria River, to the extent practicable and consistent with the maintenance of viable populations of native fish
  5. Maintain or attain viable populations of Kanab Ambersnail
  6. Protect or improve the biotic riparian and spring communities, including threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat
  7. Establish water temperature, quality, and flow dynamics to achieve the GCDAMP ecosystem goals
  8. Maintain or attain levels of sediment storage within the main channel and along shorelines to achieve the GCDAMP ecosystem goals
  9. Maintain or improve the quality of recreational experiences for users of the Colorado River ecosystem, within the framework of the GCDAMP ecosystem goals
  10. Maintain power production capacity and energy generation, and increase where feasible and advisable, within the framework of the GCDAMP ecosystem goals
  11. Preserve, protect, manage, and treat cultural resources for the inspiration and benefit of past, present, and future generations
  12. Maintain a high-quality monitoring, research, and adaptive management program

In August 2004, the AMWG reviewed these goals and identified Five Priority Questions to help guide the GCDAMP science program:

  1. Why are the humpback chub not thriving, and what can we do about it? How many humpback chub are there and how are they doing?
  2. Which cultural resources, including traditional cultural properties, are within the area of potential effect, which should we treat, and how do we best protect them? What is the status and trends of cultural resources and what are the agents of deterioration?
  3. What is the best flow regime?
  4. What is the impact of sedimentloss and what should we do about it?
  5. What will happen when a temperature control device is tested or implemented? How should it be operated? Are safeguards needed for management?

The GCMRC will use these five priority questions as the primary, but not exclusive, basis for designing the science program.

Documents and Links

Science Questions and Information Needs

Papers and Presentations





ADHOC groups

SCAHG ---- Steering Committee Ad-Hoc Group
CMAHG ---- Core Monitoring Ad-Hoc Group
AHCIO ---- Ad-Hoc Committee on What's In and Out of the Strategic Plan