Technical Advisory Group

Technical Advisory Group on a site visit
Photo Credit: D. Batura.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is a group of local biologists, scientists, and natural resource professionals who represent a variety of agencies and expertise in the basin. These local technical experts are knowledgeable about the local watershed, habitat and fish conditions. Their expertise is invaluable to ensure projects are based on priorities for fish recovery and effectively address adverse ecological conditions and processes. The TAG is convened by the Board staff and members to evaluate the technical soundness and biological priority of SRFB project proposals.

This committee rates the proposals submitted by project sponsors using two evaluation tools, the 
Lead Entity Salmon Recovery Model (SARM), and the TAG Evaluation Form. The SARM evaluates proposed projects in the Yakima basin to determine how effectively projects address factors limiting habitat function, and the anticipated fish population responses after implementation. The scoring matrix evaluates and scores projects based on benefits to species and key habitat factors, quantity and quality of habitat benefit, and certainty of project success in meeting its stated habitat and/or biological goals. Additional consideration is given to landowner commitment, project sequencing, future stewardship, reasonable budget and other factors that inform the TAG project evaluation.

Once the TAG completes the project review, their comments are forwarded to the Citizen’s Committee (CC). The CC uses the TAG project evaluation as a reference when they are ranking projects for the final funding recommendation. TAG members are as follows; membership may change from year to year. 

 Name   Agency
 Dale Bambrick  NOAA Fisheries
 David Child  Yakima Basin Joint Board
 John Easterbrooks      Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 
 Joel Freudenthal  Yakima County Public Services
 Sean Gross  NOAA Fisheries
 Anna Lael  Kittitas County Conservation District
 John Marvin  Yakama Nation, Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project
 Jennifer Nelson  WA Department of Fish & Wildlife
 Scott Nicolai  Yakama Nation, Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project
 Tom Ring  Yakama Nation
 Arden Thomas  Washington Water Trust
 Jeff Thomas  US Fish and Wildlife Service
 Richard Visser  US Fish and Wildlife Service
 Becca Wassell  Mid-Columbia Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group

The TAG operates under the following rules, as defined by the YBFWRB bylaws:

There shall be a Technical Advisory Group (“TAG”) to evaluate and grade salmon recovery and other fish and wildlife projects based primarily on technical merit. The TAG will also review updated plans, including prioritizing areas of interest and need; and, take such other actions as may be directed by the Board of Directors. Composition and operating procedures for the TAG will include:

9.3.1 12- to 15-person membership that is broadly representative of technical experts that are highly knowledgeable of fish and wildlife needs in the Yakima Basin.

9.3.2 Adherence to standards set in chapter 77.85 RCW when reviewing salmon recovery projects that may be submitted to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

9.3.3 All projects evaluated for funding under RCW 77.85.050 will be submitted to the Citizen Committee for review and ranking. All other recommendations will be made directly to the Board of Directors.

9.3.4 The TAG may choose to elect a chair and a vice-chair.

9.3.5 The TAG may choose, with Board of Directors approval, to create subcommittees, advisory groups or ad-hoc groups to meet specific needs and tasks.

9.3.6 The TAG shall use a consensus based decision making process.

9.3.7 Individual members may provide minority perspectives and guidance to the Board of Directors or, in the case of lead entity projects, the Citizen Committee.

9.3.8 TAG members may present information but shall remove themselves from participating in decisions and deliberations on projects where they have a direct interest in requested funding.