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PIBO-EM Data (Internal site - Contact PIBO for assistance)


1.17 MB PDF

Fish & Aquatic Ecology Unit

PACFISH/INFISH Biological Opinion (PIBO)

Effectiveness Monitoring Program


The goal of the PACFISH/INFISH Biological Opinion Effectiveness Monitoring Program (PIBO) is to implement a monitoring program, within the PIBO study area (described below), with the capability of determining whether the aquatic conservation strategies within PACFISH and INFISH, or revised land management plans, are effective in maintaining or restoring the structure and function of riparian and aquatic systems.


1. Determine whether a suite of biological and physical attributes, processes, and functions of upland, riparian, and aquatic systems are being degraded, maintained, or restored across the PIBO landscape.

2. Determine the direction and rate of change in riparian and aquatic habitats over time as a function of management practices.

3. Determine if specific Designated Management Area practices related to livestock grazing are maintaining or restoring riparian vegetation structure and function.


1.17 MB PDF



Annual Summary Reports

PIBO Publication Summary (doc) (pdf) 60 MB


PIBO data can be downloaded by going to the internal Forest Service - Intermountain Region home page and selecting the 'PACFISH/INFISH Biological Opinion' link in the 'R4 Hotbox' on the right side of the page.


An interagency team of resource specialists was convened in 1998 to develop a plan that would monitor the effects of land use activities on aquatic and riparian resources. There were three components of the plan: implementation monitoring, effectiveness monitoring, and validation monitoring. Our group is responsible for managing the "effectiveness" monitoring component of the PACFISH/INFISH/Bull trout/steelhead monitoring plan. Our published monitoring plan gives a complete discussion of the program development and study plan (link to plan here). The “implementation” monitoring component has also been developed and can be viewed at USFS/RMRS Boise Science Lab.

The original PIBO study area is within the upper Columbia River basin and includes Forest Service lands within INFISH and PACFISH, and BLM lands within PACFISH or containing bull trout. We began with a pilot study from 1998 to 2000 which concluded that the approach was logistically feasible, successfully measured site conditions, and provided an effective foundation to guide future sampling efforts. In 2001, we began the first 5-year sampling cycle. Approximately 125 sub-watersheds were sampled in 2001 and in 2002 at half implementation. Full implementation began in 2003, which includes sampling 250 sub-watersheds per year. An additional 50 sub-watersheds (sentinel sites) are sampled annually to identify the effects of climate variability. In 2006 we began sampling reaches that were originally sampled in 2001. Since then we have completed a number of analyses to address our objective of assessing change in resource conditions given current land management practices. Preliminary data analyses are available in annual reports.

In 2006, the PIBO EM study design was applied to National Forests within the Upper Missouri River basin in Montana. This includes the Lewis and Clark, Gallatin, and Custer along with eastern portions of the Helena and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests.

Who is the PIBO Effectiveness Monitoring Program?

The PIBO effectiveness monitoring program consists of an interdisciplinary team of aquatic ecologists, botanists, and a database specialist. We are Region 1 & 4 Forest Service employees based out of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Logan, Utah. We have full time staff members and over 40 seasonal technicians. You can contact us at:

USDA Forest Service
Forestry Sciences Lab
860 North 1200 East
Logan, UT 84321
435-755-3565 (Phone)
435-755-3563 (FAX)

Data Access

Federal employees with access to the FS intranet can find our data directly. From the R-4 homepage select the ‘PACFISH/INFISH Biological Opinion’ link in the R4 Hotbox at the right of the page. Data tables are typically posted every winter (~February) with data collected 2001 through the previous field season.

Non-Federal individuals requesting PACFISH/INFISH Biological Opinion Data should contact:

Eric K. Archer: PIBO-EM Program Leader (earcher[at]
Jeff Ojala: PIBO Monitoring Database Analyst (jvojala[at]

On the internal FS site you will find:

  • PIBO-EM Annual Report Files, including Summarized Data tables with Meta Data
  • Sampling Protocols
  • Implementation Monitoring (IM) Info

Before contacting PIBO-EM staff with data questions, please carefully read meta data, 'read me' files, and sampling protocols.

Standardizing Sampling Methods

In 2004, we worked with the Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AREMP) and the Forest Service Aquatic Ecological Unit Inventory Team to develop unified sampling methods for a core set of physical stream habitat attributes. These methods were used during the 2004 field season and results from quality assurance tests are currently being analyzed. For more information on the AREMP program go to:


Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice

Title: PIBO-EM
Author: Jeff Ojala

Email: jvojala"at"
Phone: 435-755-3578

860 North 1200 East Logan UT 84321
Expires: none