This paper describes the process used to conduct the 16 risk assessment panels and a subsistence working group held during revision of the Tongass land management plan. It provides an overview of how results from the panels were used by forest managers in plan-related decisionmaking, discusses some reactions to the effort, and identifies some opportunities to improve the process. The panel results provided estimates of the relative risk that implementation of a range of alternative approaches to management of the Tongass National Forest would pose to the continued persistence across the landscape of an array of species or resources and estimates of potential socioeconomic effects on communities. As anticipated, results from these risk assessment panels became an integral component of the effects analysis section of the environmental impact statement that provided the context for successfully completing the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan.
Fishery managers are currently spending millions of dollars per year on habitat enhancement for anadromous salmonids but often do not have the tools needed to ensure success. An analysis of factors limiting production of salmonids in streams must be completed before any habitat-enhancement program is begun. This paper outlines the first formal procedure for identifying physical habitats limiting production of coho salmon.
We describe a protocol to monitor the effectiveness of the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) management standards for maintaining fish habitat. The protocol uses juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in small tributary streams in forested watersheds. We used a 3-year pilot study to develop detailed methods to estimate juvenile salmonid populations, measure habitat, and quantitatively determine trends in juvenile coho salmon abundance over 10 years. Coho salmon have been shown to be sensitive to habitat alterations, and we use coho salmon parr as the primary indicator in the protocol. A priori criteria for type I and type II error rates, effect size, and sample sizes for the protocol were derived with estimates of variance computed from the 3-year pilot study. The protocol is designed to detect trends in abundance of coho salmon parr, as well as coho salmon fry and Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma), in small streams managed according to TLMP standards and guidelines and to compare these to trends in unmanaged (old-growth) watersheds. Trends are adjusted to account for statistically significant habitat covariates. This information provides an important element in monitoring land management practices in the Tongass National Forest. The methods we describe may have application to monitoring protocols elsewhere for fish populations and land management practices.