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Progress Towards a Comprehensive Approach for Habitat Restoration in the Columbia Basin: Case Study in the Grande Ronde River

Mar 19, 2021


Despite immense resources directed towards habitat restoration, recovering fish populations remains a daunting and perplexing issue. In 2015, recommendations for a comprehensive approach to habitat restoration in the Columbia River basin were published in Fisheries, which included elements of landscape ecology and resilience, broad public support, governance for collaboration and integration, and capacity for learning and adaptation. Using the Grande Ronde River basin as a case study, we convened a working group consisting of local restoration practitioners, managers, and researchers involved in habitat restoration research, monitoring, and evaluation to assess progress towards meeting these recommendations. We concluded that partnerships and collaborations in governance have been formed and research using a landscape perspective has been integrated into decision making, but efforts would benefit from gaining broader public support, formalizing an adaptive management strategy, and defining objectives and indicators for biological and ecological diversity. Continued progress will require consistent policy and funding support from the broader region. We envision this self‐assessment at the 5‐year milestone would be helpful to other groups facing similar challenges.


Seth White, Sarah Brandy, Casey Justice, Kayla Morinaga, Leslie Naylor, James Ruzycki, Edwin Sedell, Jesse Steele, Alexandra Towne, James Webster, and Ian Wilson


White, S.M., S. Brandy, C. Justice, K.A. Morinaga, L. Naylor, J. Ruzycki, E.R. Sedell, J. Steele, A. Towne, J.G. Webster, and I. Wilson. 2021. Progress towards a comprehensive approach for habitat restoration in the Columbia Basin: case study in the Grande Ronde River. Fisheries 46(5):229-243. Online at



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Journal Article