Regional Habitat Indicators

Project Description

Over the past decade there has been increasing interest at the executive level in improving our collective ability to track and communicate changes in environmental conditions and salmon populations in easily understood terms. Doing so fosters accountability, encourages consensus, supports priority-setting and budgeting, and can engender support. Regional indicators are typically derived from one or more individual metrics across broad geographic scales and are intended to communicate complex information in easily understood terms for use in reports to Congress, legislatures, governors, and the public.

PNAMP has been working toward improved indicator reporting for many years. Here are just a few examples:

  • In response to a need identified at the Northwest Environmental Information Sharing executive summit in 2008, PNAMP produced a report summarizing 1) high level indicators currently in use in the PNW; 2) who is using the indicator; and to the extent possible, 3) metrics being used to support the indicator. Report link:
  • In 2009 PNAMP produced another report that built upon the earlier work, substantively advancing and providing recommendations for watershed health and salmon indicators. Report link:
  • In 2010 PNAMP began the Coordinated Assessment for Salmon and Steelhead Project to develop efficient, consistent, and transparent data-sharing among the co-managers and regulatory/funding agencies of the Columbia River Basin for anadromous fish related data. Project page link:

In 2015, after recognizing overlapping interests, PNAMP partners and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council staff decided to collaborate to identify regional habitat questions and indicators of common interest that could be informed by existing monitoring. As a pilot, we have chosen to focus on water quality and quantity indicators. The goal is to come to agreement on a small set of indicators for which data will be efficiently coordinated and communicated to allow comparisons at multiple scales across the region, while respecting the goals and unique mandates of the individual partners. Here is a link to a two-pager with details about what we hope to accomplish and how.

Project Team

Nancy Leonard (NPCC) and Amy Puls (PNAMP) are facilitating this project. We are still in the process of establishing the leadership team. Are you interested in participating? Contact Amy Puls ( to learn more about how you can engage.


Help us identify management questions of greatest common interest

September 20, 2016 - 6:28am

The Regional Habitat Indicator Project (RHIP) is interested in understanding what management questions are important to organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest in order to focus discussions about indicators, data, and data sharing.

Last month we asked you to evaluate management questions based on 5 criteria. We also solicited feedback on the wording of the questions and suggestions for additional key questions you felt were missing. You can view the results from the first round of surveys here:

We are now asking for your help in identifying the three questions of greatest common interest for each topic area (stream flow, macroinvertebrates, stream temperature, and water quality). To do this, we have again created four short surveys that mainly ask you to select your top three questions from the list of original, reworded, and newly added questions.

You are invited to take all four surveys or as many of them as you feel comfortable completing. Please complete surveys by October 4, 2016.

Flow Survey 2:
Macroinvertebrate Survey 2:
Stream Temperature Survey 2:
Water Quality Survey 2:

If you have questions about the surveys or the project in general, contact Amy Puls (

Indicator Work Groups Are Making Progress

April 26, 2016 - 8:13am

Indicator Work Groups (IWGs) are meeting monthly and are working on the first task of compiling information for management questions and indicators related to flow, macroinvertebrates, water temperature, and water quality index. Information is being compiled in a shared document; you can view progress here.

If you would like to help with this effort, please contact Amy Puls (

Developing Recommendations for Regional Indicators

February 11, 2016 - 10:37am

We need your help! PNAMP is kicking off a pilot project to develop recommendations for regional habitat indicators. The pilot will focus on management questions, indicators, and objectives for water quality index, macroinvertebrates, water temperature, and flow. Here is a link to a two-pager with details about what we hope to accomplish and how.

We are currently searching for additional work group co-leads and technical participants. We are planning our first meeting for March 16, 2016. If you would like to co-lead, participate, or just learn more about this effort, please contact Amy Puls (

We look forward to hearing from you!

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