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2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Biennial Science Review

Transmittal Letter from Dr. John Callaway to the United States Bureau of Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Re: Independent Review Panel (IRP) Report for the 2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Biennial Science Review (January 25, 2018). Read the letter here.


Independent Review Panel (IRP) Report for the 2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Biennial Science Review (January 24, 2018). Read the report here.


Meeting Notice – Dec. 4-7, 2017

Review Materials, Supplemental Documents, Background Information, and Presentations


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) use this Biennial Science Review to evaluate the prior years’ water operations and regulatory actions prescribed by their respective Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) actions, with the goal of developing lessons learned, incorporating new science, and making appropriate, scientifically justified adjustments to the implementation of the RPA actions to inform water operations in future years. The Independent Review Panel’s (IRP) findings and recommendations provide objective feedback to agency staff to inform rapid decision-making.


In April 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and NMFS agreed to temporarily modify the RPA science review frequency from annual to biennial between 2016 through 2020. The biennial review is expected to address a system-wide operational overview, resulting in comprehensive assessments that are relevant and valuable to all of the agencies involved. After this period, Reclamation and NMFS will evaluate whether to make this change permanent or consider additional changes.


The seventh LOBO science review will be held on Dec. 4-7, 2017. Day 1 of the meeting will be a field trip along the Stanislaus River for the IRP. Limited members of the public may attend.


Charge to the Independent Review Panel

The charge to the panel provides the orientation and focus, materials to be reviewed and specific questions for the panel to start the review process. It provides the direction, context and timeline for the review.

Charge to the Panel


Review Panel Members

Panel Member Bios

  • James Gore, Ph.D., University of Tampa (Panel Chair)
  • Ron Kneib, Ph.D., RTK Consulting Services and University of Georgia (Emeritus) (Lead Author)
  • Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., University of Idaho
  • Nancy Monsen, Ph.D.,  Civil/Environmental Engineering Consultant
  • Desirée Tullos, Ph.D., PE, D. WRE, Oregon State University
  • John Van Sickle, Ph.D., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (retired)


More information and previous LOBO Reviews.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)