A group of local water suppliers and agricultural and watershed organization have established the Russian River Independent Science Review Panel, an effort to establish a sound scientific basis for future water supply and watershed management decision making in the Russian River.
The new Panel will provide objective scientific review and recommendations on watershed monitoring, water management, the agriculture frost protection programs and implementation of the lower summer minimum in-stream flows specified in the federal Russian River Biological Opinion on Salmon and Steelhead. To better understand physical and ecological processes in the basin, the Panel will collect and review existing data, identify data gaps, review water management efforts, and develop a conceptual model that systematically describes physical processes and associated ecological processes in the river system.
"To date, there has been no systematic, basin-wide assessment of the physical processes in each tributary to determine controls on surface flows and primary limiting factors for salmonid habitats" said panel chairman Dr. Matt Kondolf of the University of California at Berkeley. "Data are lacking from most of the watershed, but even the data that exist have not been systematically used to their potential."
Phase 1 of the Panel's work will focus on the Coyote Dam to Healdsburg area of the watershed and the Mark West and Green Valley Creek tributary basins. Subsequent work will be focused on other portions of the watershed.
A team of local leaders from water agencies and other stakeholder groups reviewed over 25 applications for the panel and chose the following eight members:
Dr. Matt Kondolf, Chair Fluvial geomorphologist and Professor of Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Matthew Cover Assistant Professor of Ecology at CSU, Stanislaus.
Dr. Richard Adams Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University.
Mr. Christopher Farrar Hydrogeologist, formerly with the U. S. Geologic Survey.
Dr. F. Douglas Shields, Jr. Consulting Hydraulic Engineer and retired from the National Sedimentation Laboratory.
Dr. James Constantz Research Hydrologist at the National Research Program at the U. S. Geologic Survey.
Dr. John Bredehoeft Consulting Hydrogeologist and formerly Senior Research Geologist at the U. S. Geologic Survey.
Dr. Vincent Resh Professor of Entomology at UC Berkeley. Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Delta Stewardship Council.
Dr. Michael Marchetti Professor of Ecology at St. Mary's College of California.
The eight-member panel will be assisted by a graduate student team from UC Berkeley and the staff of the California Land Stewardship Institute.