High Level Indicators

Background

High-level indicators (HLIs) are a way to communicate complex information in easily understood terms for use in reports to Congress, legislatures, governors, and the public. HLIs are constructed to convey summarized information at broad scales, to address the following kinds of questions posed by decision-makers:

  • What is the status of biological (salmon) and physical (habitat) conditions at identified scales (e.g., region-wide, statewide)?
  • How are those conditions changing over time?
  • Are freshwater and estuarine habitats healthy and productive?

Improving our collective ability to track and communicate changes in environmental conditions and salmon in easily understood terms is necessary to foster accountability, encourage consensus, support priority-setting and budgeting, and engender support.

What We Do

PNAMP supports tasks related to identifying high-level indicators (HLI) currently in use across the Pacific Northwest (PNW), with the understanding that this information will help inform the long term goal of achieving a core set of indicators that could be used to communicate salmon status and ecosystem health to Congress, legislatures, governors, and the public. PNAMP has provided substantial information and recommendations to regional executives about high level indicators, including:

  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.

In addition, PNAMP has coordinated with a number of ongoing high level indicator reporting efforts to support tasks that substantively advanced and provided recommendations for watershed health and salmon indicators.

Craig Haskell | U.S. Geological Survey