Building Science and Accountability into Community-Based Restoration

BUILDING SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY INTO COMMUNITY-BASED RESTORATION: CAN A NEW FUNDING APPROACH FACILITATE EFFECTIVE AND ACCOUNTABLE RESTORATION?

Fisheries.org, January 2006
By Todd Reeve, Jim Lichatowich, William Towey, Angus Duncan

In 2004, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) reviewed the results of its first five years of watershed restoration funding in the Pacific Northwest states of Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We examined completed restoration projects, interviewed watershed managers, and reviewed past project proposals to determine if BEF’s conventional one to two-year grants were promoting accountable, scientific, and watershed-scale restoration. Our evaluation indicated that BEF’s short-term funding was likely to promote site-specific interventions and discourage rigorous, sustained monitoring and a watershed-scale approach. In an effort to advance accountable and increasingly effective restoration, BEF developed and is now applying an experimental long-term funding approach. We present this new approach in order to stimulate discussion and propose an alternate funding policy that might enhance the region’s ability to effect watershed-scale restoration.

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