Keith was a lead author of the adopted plan and served as a staff and board member for the Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Board from its inception in 1999 through 2014. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) planning process began with identification of priority species—spring Chinook, steelhead, and bull trout—based on ESA listings and population status (abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity). Empirical information and ecosystem modeling were used to determine current population status and threats. Limiting factors were then identified from the threats (both past and present) as well as corrective actions used to file the final plan in the federal register.
The Plan emphasizes recovery of three spring Chinook populations (Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow populations), four steelhead populations (Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan populations), and recovery of bull trout within the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow subbasins. The Plan was adopted and implemented by NOAA in 2009 and secured over 190 million dollars in initial federal funding support.