Kootenai River Floodplain Ecosystem Operational Loss Assessment, Protection, Mitigation, and Rehabilitation Project
This project provides a framework that is being used in the Kootenai River subbasin and can be implemented in other basins throughout the Columbia River Basin to assess and monitor, in a consistent and reproducible manner, these kinds of changes in the ecosystem. This framework (i.e., set of tools) provides a methodology to assess the overall condition of the floodplain and help prioritize, target, and manage conservation and mitigation actions. The tools developed are designed to (1) addresses the magnitude of changes at the abiotic and biotic levels of the ecosystem and (2) provide a standardize, repeatable methodology to prioritize, measure, monitor, and cumulatively assess mitigation actions to understand their contribution to the restoration of the ecosystem.
Currently, the project has finished an Operational Loss Assessment and is working with regional managers (i.e., CSKT, MFWP, IDFG) in the development of a mitigation and management plan to guide the Kootenai River subbasin into the future. Additionally, the mitigation and management plan and assessment tools developed under this project will provide a mechanism to prioritize and plan cost effective mitigation and restoration actions and support a targeted/streamlined monitoring plan.