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Collaborative Management Strategy for the Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program

The collaborative management strategy is a system of governance to facilitate implementation of the 2019 Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan

The collaborative management strategy (CMS) establishes a system of governance that describes the working relationships between the two Federal agencies (USFWS and NOAA-Fisheries), Maine Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) and stakeholders. Its purpose is to facilitate the implementation of the 2019 Final Recovery Plan and establish a platform for effective communications, transparency and decision making. 

Basic Structure of the CMS

Policy Board:  Senior level management within each of the three agencies and the tribe that engage on an as needed basis (High level decision making and dispute resolution on issues that cannot be resolved at the Management Board level). 

Implementation Team (IT): The IT serves to oversee the implementation of the CMS. This includes evaluating activities necessary to implement the recovery actions in the Recovery Plan; formulating recovery priorities for Atlantic salmon; identifying and establishing the charge for standing committees and Ad Hoc committees; providing support and direction to Salmon Habitat Recovery Unit (SHRU) Teams to ensure resources are committed in a transparent and defensible manner; and ensure the effective implementation of the Collaborative Management Strategy as it is described in the CMS guidance document. The IT is composed of a 4-member management board representing the two federal agencies, MDMR and the PIN along with an additional supporting member from each agency, the SHRU Team Chairs, a science liaison and an administrative coordinator.

  • Management board: The management board is composed of mid-level managers representing the 2 federal agencies, MDMR and the PIN. The Management Board members serve as the one voice for their respective agency when agency positions need to be established. 

SHRU Teams:  SHRU Teams are responsible for the planning, coordination and tracking of recovery efforts in their SHRUs. This includes: stakeholder collaboration; project identification and prioritization; identifying key areas for conservation; coordinating project implementation; maintaining SHRU work plans; developing stocking recommendations; tracking recovery progress; and annual reporting. 

SHRU Teams are made up of agency staff and stakeholders. Within each SHRU Team is a Coordination Committee that includes up to two staff members from each of the agencies and the PIN.  

Ad hoc and standing committees:  Committees can be formed by the management board to address specific issues and provide information to the implementation team or SHRU teams to help inform planning and decision making. Ad Hoc committees are short-term assignments whereas standing committees are long-term assignments.

More details about the organizational structure of the CMS can be found in Collaborative Management Strategy guidance document.

CMS Agency and Tribal Representatives

Implementation Team (*Chair)


Julie CrockerNOAAJulie.Crocker@noaa.govManagement Board
Rick Jacobson*USFWSRick_Jacobson@fws.govManagement Board
Sean LedwinDMRSean.Ledwin@maine.govManagement Board
Dan McCawPINDan.McCaw@penobscotnation.orgManagement Board
Dan TierneyNOAADan.Tierney@noaa.govNOAA Supporting Member
Amanda CrossUSFWSAmanda_Cross@fws.govUSFWS Supporting Member
Ernie AtkinsonDMRErnie.Atkinson@maine.govDMR Supporting Member
Jan PaulPINJan.Paul@penobscotnation.orgPIN Supporting Member
Matt BuhyoffNOAAMatt.Buhyoff@noaa.govMerrymeeting Bay Chair
Cody DillinghamPINCody.Dillingham@penobscotnation.orgPenobscot Bay Chair
Scott CraigUSFWSScott_Craig@fws.govDowneast Coastal Chair
Peter LamotheUSFWSPeter_Lamothe@fws.govAdministrative Coordinator
Sean HayesNOAASean.Hayes@noaa.govScience Liaison


Penobscot Bay SHRU Coordinating Committee  (* Chair)


Meredith BartronUSFWSMeredith_Bartron@fws.gov
Oliver CoxUSFWSOliver_Cox@fws.gov
Mitch SimpsonDMRMitch.Simpson@maine.gov
Peter RuksznisDMRPeter.Ruksznis@maine.gov
Dan McCawPINDan.McCaw@penobscotnation.org
Dan KircheisNOAADan.Kircheis@noaa.gov
Cody Dillingham*PINCody.Dillingham@penobscotnation.org


Downeast Coastal SHRU Coordinating Committee (*Chair)

Ernie AtkinsonDMRernie.atkinson@maine.gov
Colby BruchsDMRColby.Bruchs@maine.gov
Nicole PauleyUSFWSNicole_Pauley@fws.gov
Scott Craig*USFWSScott_Craig@fws.gov
Rory SaundersNOAARory.Saunders@noaa.gov


Merrymeeting Bay SHRU Coordinating Committee (*Chair)

Paul ChristmanDMRPaul.Christman@maine.edu
Jennifer NollDMRjennifer.b.noll@maine.gov
Kieth McGilvrayUSFWSKieth_McGilvray@fws.gov
Chris MeaneyUSFWSChris_Meaney@fws.gov
Matt Buhyoff*NOAAMatt.Buhyoff@noaa.gov

SHRU Annual Reports

Each year the Implementation Team and SHRU Teams complete an annual report detailing progress towards implementing the Recovery Plan for the entire Gulf of Maine DPS and for each SHRU. The most recent annual report is provided below. For previous year reports back to 2020 please contact Dan Tierney, Atlantic Salmon Recovery Coordinator, (207) 866-3755 or dan.tierney@noaa.gov

SHRU Workplans (Coming Soon)

Each SHRU team is also charged with developing a 5-year workplan. We are currently preparing a summary of these documents to make available on this site. To access the full workplans please contact the respective SHRU Chairs.

  • Merrymeeting Bay SHRU
  • Downeast SHRU 
  • Penobscot SHRU

Calendar of Meetings and Events

The annual Collaborative Management Strategy meeting will be held on June 13, 2024, at the Chace Community Forum at 150 Main Street in Waterville, ME from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m ET. The public is cordially invited to attend. For more information contact Peter Lamothe (USFWS) at Peter_Lamothe@fws.gov.



Guidance Document: Collaborative Management Strategy for the Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program

This document is intended to provide direction and transparency in decision-making. The agencies and the Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) recognize…


2022 Report: Collaborative Management Strategy for the Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program

This report includes four sections. The first is a high-level summary of the status of the Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic salmon in relation to the…

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on May 28, 2024