Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Project Number:
Duck Valley Reservation Habitat Enhancement
Province Subbasin %
Middle Snake Owyhee 100.00%
Contract Number:
Contract Title:
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
Contract Status:
Contract Description:
Project Goal:

The Duck Valley Indian Reservation's Habitat Enhancement program is an ongoing project designed to enhance and protect critical riparian areas, natural springs, the Owyhee River and its tributaries, and native fish habitat on the Reservation.  The project commenced in 1997 and addresses the Northwest Power Planning Council's measures 10.8C.2, 10.8C.3, and 10.8C.5 of the 1994 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.  The performance period will cover dates from October 1st, 2004 through September 30th, 2005.


The Habitat Enhancement and Protection Program (HEPP) was developed and implemented in 1997 in response to concerns about the impacts of land use practices and policies on fish and wildlife habitat, and the project is designed to mitigate these impacts by enhancing and protecting critical riparian areas.  These areas are enhanced by improving adjacent backcountry roads to reduce non-point source pollution, fencing and trough placement at natural springs and headwaters areas, restoring and protecting the Owyhee River, its tributaries, and wetland areas, and overall protection of native fish and wildlife habitat on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation (DVIR).  Critical protection areas are determined in coordination with the Tribes' Assess Resident Fish project (BPA project number 2000-079-00) where streams were sampled for populations of native redband trout. This information facilitates the determination of management objectives for the Owyhee River and its tributaries.  

The majority of springs on the DVIR are located on grazing lands.  Consequently, livestock searching for water tend to find the springs and trample the sensitive riparian areas around the spring.  This trampling can cause a shift in ground topography or composition and alter the spring flow, water quality, and water temperatures.  The cold, clean water from these springs entering creeks provides a refuge for cold-water fish species, such as native redband trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss gairdneri), especially in the late summer months.  The goals of protecting the springs are enhancing productivity and water quality of springs that flow into native fish habitat, preventing damage, and allowing damaged springs to recover.  These goals are met by using exclosure fencing and off-site stock watering through the use of gravity-fed water troughs, installing culverts in roads where spring water pools or runs, and planting native vegetation where necessary.

Another portion of the project involves protecting streams and the East Fork of the Owyhee River, prioritizing the protection of native fish populations.  This is accomplished with exclosure fencing, off-site livestock watering, protection of springs that flow into the creeks, and native vegetation planting to reduce erosion, to provide shade and cooler water temperatures, and to provide habitat, cover, and forage.  Suspended solids and fine particles can be abrasive to fish gills, and fines can also interrupt spawning habitat by entombing fertilized eggs or by blocking off oxygenated water, which results in high mortality rates for eggs and sac-fry.  Reduction in these fines will increase fish survival rates within these waters.

The Tribes also actively engage in enhancing unimproved backcountry roads, as these roads and associated vehicles can contribute significant amounts of sediments and hydrocarbon pollution to the streams and spring water.  Unimproved backcountry dirt roads on the DVIR provide access to more than 2/3 of the Reservation's acreage.  The eastern third of the Reservation rises to a high plateau 3,000 feet above the valley floor, and several of the roads, like the Skull Creek and North Fork of Skull Creek roads, follow creeks as they rise to the plateau, resulting in undeveloped stream crossings, and roads constructed in or adjacent to the stream's floodplain, causing erosion, high sediment loads, and hydrocarbon pollution in the streams.  These two streams, Skull Creek and the North Fork of Skull Creek, both support pure populations of native redband trout.  Common erosion channels travel down the roads forming six to twelve-inch ruts, and leave the roads forming small gullies, contributing an unnatural sediment load in the creeks.  The creeks undercut the roads in other places, also causing unnatural sediment loads.  The Tribes utilize engineering and bioengineering techniques to mitigate these problems, including installation of culverts, native vegetation, geoweb, geo-jute, drainage dips, and bankfull dams as well as redirecting stream flows or relocating road crossings.

The Tribes are actively working to protect the East Fork of the Owyhee River with protection of springs that flow into the river, developing springs near the river (but without flows into the river) using troughs to attract livestock away from EF Owyhee River, and with bank stabilization techniques to increase riparian vegetation, lower water temperatures, and improve fish habitat, and to reduce sediment contributions caused by unstable geomorphic conditions.  In cooperation with the Tribal Environmental Protection Program (TEPP) in June, 2003, we conducted an assessment of a 3.5 mile stretch of the EF Owyhee River with the assistance of Confluence Consulting, and they have drafted a range of alternatives for restoration and protection activities specific to fish conservation and water quality.  

Also in coordination with TEPP, the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department completed a reconnaissance-level assessment of wetlands in the Blue Creek area (summer, 2003); the Blue Creek Wetlands are a Priority Conservation Site designated by The Nature Conservancy, and the NWPCC Owyhee Subbasin Assessment noted a need to survey and assess the condition of redband populations and habitat on the DVIR, highlighting the Lower Blue Creek area, in order to develop data sets and assessment resources on par with information in other portions of the subbasin.  The preliminary wetland assessment located and mapped wetlands boundaries, determined major wetland community types, gathered data on wetland characteristics (i.e. vegetation, hydrology, and soils) for each community, assessed wetland functions and values, and identified unique qualities. Reconnaissance-level assessments were also made for representative wetlands on the DVIR, including the riparian areas adjacent to the East Fork of the Owyhee River, a large playa, and ponding areas.  A 4th Field HUC map of wetlands on the DVIR was completed using delineation of the Blue Creek wetland complex (over 12,500 acres), digitization, and GIS integration of National Wetlands Inventory maps for other areas outside of the Blue Creek complex.  Management plan recommendations for wetlands are forthcoming from TEPP subcontractors.

Through HEPP, our department has fostered a nascent relationship with TEPP because of our common goals.  Programmatic liaisons like these garner more support for project goals from the surrounding ranching community, and the collaborative efforts ensure a considerable cost savings while delivering a much larger impact with more data and more technical expertise.  Our projects uncover information useful for the TEPP department in prioritization of the TEPP non-point source water pollution project locations, such as determination of priority stream crossings and priority sites for water contamination/ quality testing; TEPP, on the other hand, provides significant technical and bioengineering expertise and help us determine priority areas according to their water quality sampling plan.  As the DVIR is directly downriver of a stream (a tributary to the East Fork of the Owyhee River) that runs through a copper mine tailings pile, inorganic contamination is a serious concern.  TEPP and the Habitat, Parks, Fish and Game Department are also working together as a part of the Rio Tinto Mine Working Group attempting to mitigate this pollution, as the contamination is not only a human health concern, but is also a concern for fish and wildlife populations; several fish kills have been documented as a result of this pollution.  

A supplementary goal of HEPP was the development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy for enhancement projects, including terrestrial and aquatic data.  This Monitoring and Evaluation Plan was developed in the Fiscal Year 2004 Performance Period by Bioanalysts, Inc., and is included in the FY04 Annual Report.  Standards for success of this program are outlined in that document.  The M&E Plan was approved by ISRP and by BPA; this contract amendment reflects the implementation of the M&E plan utilizing the full recommended award, and implementing a full scope of work.  

Project Location:

The projects associated with the Duck Valley Habitat Enhancement and Protection program fall within the Reservation boundaries.  The Duck Valley Indian Reservation encompasses approximately 289,820 tribally owned acres equally straddling the Idaho and Nevada border, and there are approximately 1,800 enrolled Tribal members.  The Reservation is in the Middle Snake Province and both the Bruneau and Owyhee subbasins.  The Reservation is both remote and isolated; the closest town centers are Elko, Nevada and Mountain Home, Idaho, both approximately 100 miles from the Reservation's small town of Owyhee.  These are also the closest areas to buy supplies for projects.

The predominant habitat types on the Reservation are sagebrush steppe, riparian, and wetland (emergent marsh).  Current uses of these habitats are ranching, flood-irrigated agriculture (major crop is hay), and recreation.  Water resources on the Reservation include three reservoirs stocked with rainbow trout, approximately 5,440 acres of wetlands in the central valley, over 640 acres of wetlands in the eastern highlands, over 200 natural springs, and numerous small reservoirs/stock ponds of 5 to 20 acres each.  The Blue Creek wetlands are part of an important wetland complex designated as a" Priority Conservation Site" by The Nature Conservancy. Over 350 miles of waterways exist on the Reservation; these waterways are major tributaries to the Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers and the South and East Forks of the Owyhee River.  The East Fork of the Owyhee River is the major drainage of the Reservation; this river is also the major source of water for ranching and recharge of the wetlands and aquifer.

Though the Duck Valley Indian Reservation is a relatively healthy environment, habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss are problematic due to grazing, irrigation, loss of herbaceous understory in sagebrush steppe habitat and encroaching exotics, destruction of biological crusts, and historic mining.  The goal of this project is to therefore enhance, create, and/or restore critical habitats and protect them from grazing impacts and to monitor and evaluate the effects of these projects.
Account Type(s):
Contract Start Date:
Contract End Date:
Current Contract Value:

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Apr-2022.

Env. Compliance Lead:
Contract Contractor:
Contract Type:
Contract (IGC)
Pricing Method:
Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
Click the map to see this Contract’s location details.

No photos have been uploaded yet for this Contract.

Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Mattie Allen Shoshone-Paiute Tribes No (208) 759-3246
Tim Dykstra Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Yes Supervisor (208) 759-3246
Lisa Gang Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer (503) 230-3893
Paul Krueger Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver (503) 230-5723
Winona Manning Shoshone-Paiute Tribes No Administrative Contact (208) 759-3100x204
Alicia Paradise Shoshone-Paiute Tribes No Administrative Contact (208) 759-3100x201
Vincent Pero Shoshone-Paiute Tribes No Interested Party
Dorothy Welch Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR (503) 230-5479

Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Deliverable complete A: 119. Manage and Administer Projects 10/31/2005 12/02/2005
Deliverable complete B: 165. Produce environmental compliance documentation 03/31/2005 10/18/2005
Deliverable complete C: 18. EXPIRED: Maintain fencing and offsite water developments 10/31/2005 11/06/2005
Deliverable complete D: 38. Maintain road improvements 09/30/2005 10/19/2005
Deliverable complete E: 156. Develop RM&E plan as requested by the Council 05/31/2005 10/19/2005
Deliverable complete F: 157. Status/trend monitoring 10/27/2005 11/06/2005
Deliverable complete G: 157. Effectiveness monitoring 10/31/2005 12/02/2005
Deliverable complete H: 162. Analyze/interpret data 10/31/2005 12/02/2005
Deliverable complete I: 159. Submit data 10/31/2005 12/02/2005
Deliverable complete J: 132. Submit annual report 10/31/2005 12/02/2005

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 119 Manage and Administer Projects
B 165 Produce environmental compliance documentation
C 18 EXPIRED: Maintain fencing and offsite water developments
D 38 Maintain road improvements
E 156 Develop RM&E plan as requested by the Council
F 157 Status/trend monitoring
G 157 Effectiveness monitoring
H 162 Analyze/interpret data
I 159 Submit data
J 132 Submit annual report
K 185 Submit status reports