Politicians, scientists, government agencies, and the public are all engaged in recovery planning for Pacific salmon. In order for science to fulfill its potential in the arena of salmon recovery planning, several shortcomings of the science and its application to decision-making must be rectified. The definition of conservation units using genetic and phylogenetic inference needs to be sharpened. Ecological analyses must get beyond casting blame for past declines in salmon numbers and examine mixed strategies of management that consider interactions between hatcheries, harvest, hydropower, and habitat factors as well as background natural stresses and invasive species. Glib acceptance of expert opinion and extrapolated or inferred data should be tempered. To deal with uncertainty, recovery teams should engage in scenario analyses in which a wide variety of assumptions are played out. Finally, there is a pressing need for analyses aimed at determining what circumstances and communication strategies give science an effective voice in decision-making.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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