The Middle Rio Grande (MRG) area contains nesting habitat for the Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) and the only remaining naturally-occurring population of the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus), both listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species act (ESA). A MRG Endangered Species Collaborative Program was created to help ensure ESA compliance for federal and non-federal water and river maintenance operations affecting the silvery minnow and flycatcher. It is comprised of 16 signatories with a range of interests and authorities. The Program intends to use AM to contribute to the recovery of these two species in a system that includes numerous dams and diversions for important regional water uses such as irrigation, water supply for villages, towns and cities, and flood control. ESSA, in association with Headwaters Corporation, has been contracted to draft an AM Plan for the Program.

On January 12th, 2011 the Vancouver Chapter of the International Association for Impact Assessment’s Western and Northern Canada Affiliate (IAIA WNC) hosted a one-day workshop on adaptive management and impact assessment. During the morning session Carol Murray of ESSA delivered training on the basics of adaptive management, including:

· What adaptive management is, and how it differs from other similar approaches,
· How to do adaptive management – key steps and elements, and
· When adaptive management is most useful, and when it may not be necessary or appropriate.

Response to the session was extremely positive and participants gained valuable insights into what adaptive management really is. This sparked some lively discussion in the afternoon session as participants considered how best to apply adaptive management in environmental assessment. The workshop highlighted the need for further discussions on this topic.