5.1 Using the Report Card

The Report Card expresses condition scores and condition trends relative to a desired or target state. It uses a 0 (poor) to 100 (good) scale to make it easier to see the gradation in conditions possible. The scores were not put into lumped categories, such as grades, because most people are familiar with percents. A score of 50 means that conditions are approximately in the middle of the range from unacceptable/poor to desired/good. On a school report card, this would be similar to a “C” grade. Multiple metric scores were then aggregated to an indicator and multiple indicator scores aggregated to an objective score. At each step there is necessarily some loss of information, such as natural variability differences among metrics, etc. Therefore, while the most accurate assessments are at the metric or indicator scale, they are less informative about overall watershed condition, whereas the score for a combination of multiple related indicators is less accurate and has higher variability, but may tell us more about overall condition.

For the Report Card, scores were aggregated to the level of objectives, but not goals. The Report Card is designed so that a user can take scores for several associated subwatersheds and aggregate them (e.g., for the Upper Yuba River Watershed), or take scores for several associated indicators and aggregate them to a single subwatershed or larger watershed unit, such as the entire Feather River Watershed.