One challenge is measuring the effectiveness of proposed enhancement and mitigation, said Mely Whiting, of Trout Unlimited. “There are some minimum things that need to go into adaptive management,” she said. “Right now, there are no requirements for baseline monitoring. If you’re going to use (adaptive management) as a vehicle for mitigation, you have to have minimum elements … you need to have an enforcement mechanism that becomes part of the federal permit and you have to have public accountability. The public has to have the ability to say, “‘Hey, you’re not doing it right.’ You have to up the ante,” she said.
Trout Unlimited also says there needs to be more money in the mitigation pot to address future impacts and to ensure adequate resources for the long-term monitoring that will be needed. Read this Colorado Trout Unlimited blog post by Whiting to get a good overview of the issues from the conservation group’s perspective.