Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 51592: 1997-011-00 EXP SHOSHONE-PAIUTE HABITAT ENHANC
Project Number:
Duck Valley Reservation Habitat Enhancement
Province Subbasin %
Middle Snake Owyhee 100.00%
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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, Bruneau River tributaries, and native fish and wildlife 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 Habitat Enhancement and Protection Program (HEPP) was developed and implemented in 1997 in response to concerns about the impacts of land use practices on fish and wildlife habitat. 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  Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration Program,  Duck Valley Fisheries Program (199501500) and the Tribal Environmental Protection Program (TEPP).  

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 springs.  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 either solar-pumped or  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 river, 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 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 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.  Two of these streams, Skull Creek and the North Fork of Skull Creek support pure populations of native redband trout. Erosion channels travel down the roads forming six to twelve-inch ruts, 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) ,an assessment of a 3.5 mile stretch of the EF Owyhee River was undertaken by Confluence Consulting, and they drafted a range of alternatives for restoration and protection activities specific to fish conservation and water quality.  

Through HEPP, our department has fostered a relationship with TEPP based on a sharing of 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 TEPP 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 assists this program by providing significant technical and bioengineering expertise and help us determine priority areas according to their water quality sampling plan.  

A supplementary goal of the program 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 by Bioanalysts, Inc.  Standards for success of this program are outlined in that document.  The M&E Plan was approved by ISRP and by BPA.  

Project Location:

The projects associated with the Duck Valley Habitat Enhancement and Protection program are implemented on tribally owned and/or managed lands. The Duck Valley Indian Reservation encompasses approximately 289,820 tribally owned acres on the Idaho/Nevada border. The Reservation is home to approximately 1,800 enrolled Tribal members.  The Reservation is located in the Middle Snake Province within the Bruneau and Owyhee subbasins and is both remote and isolated; the closest town centers are Elko, Nevada and Mountain Home, Idaho (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  River 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.

Although the Duck Valley Indian Reservation has relatively good habitat compared to adjacent lands, habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss are problematic due to grazing, irrigation, fire, 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  enhance, create, and/or restore fish and wildlife habitat and protect them from  impacts and to monitor and evaluate the effects of these projects.
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* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Jun-2021.

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Contract (IGC)
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Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Sandra Fife Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR (503) 230-3678
Buster Gibson Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Yes Contract Manager (208) 759-3246
Peter Lofy Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver (503) 230-4193
Winona Manning Shoshone-Paiute Tribes No Administrative Contact (208) 759-3100x204
Edmond Murrell Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Yes Supervisor (208) 759-3246
Alicia Paradise Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Yes Administrative Contact (208) 759-3100x201
Jenna Peterson Bonneville Power Administration Yes Env. Compliance Lead (503) 230-3018
Kristi Van Leuven Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer (503) 230-3605
Karl Vischer Bonneville Power Administration Yes Interested Party (503) 230-3445

Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Receipt of environmental compliance clearance A: 165. Produce environmental compliance documentation 06/17/2011 09/29/2011
Complete project administration B: 119. Manage and Administer Projects 10/31/2011 10/27/2011
Complete public outreach and education C: 99. Public Outreach and Education 10/31/2011 10/27/2011
Complete data analysis D: 162. Analyze/interpret data 10/31/2011
Complete data submission to StreamNet, STORET, or other appropriate regional database. E: 159. Submit data 10/31/2011
Attach Progress Report in Pisces for timeperiod of 11/1/09 to 10/31/10 F: 132. Submit Annual Report for FY10 11/1/09 to 10/31/10 10/31/2011
Complete spring protection fencing G: 40. Protect at least 4 springs on the Duck Valley Reservation in Owyhee subbasin 10/31/2011
Complete spring protection fencing H: 40. Protect at least 1 spring on the Duck Valley Reservation in Bruneau subbasin 10/31/2011
Complete trough installation I: 34. Install troughs to exclude cattle from important fish and wildlife areas 10/31/2011
Stream crossing improvements J: 38. Stream crossings will be improved to avoid sedimentation 10/31/2011
Remove exotic vegetation K: 53. Remove exotic vegetation along East Fork Owyhee River 10/31/2011
Complete maintenance of road crossings L: 186. Maintain road improvements 10/31/2011 10/27/2011
Complete maintenance of fencing and offsite water developments M: 186. Maintain fencing and offsite water developments 10/31/2011 10/27/2011
Complete status/trend monitoring N: 157. Status/trend monitoring 10/31/2011 10/27/2011
Complete effectiveness monitoring O: 157. Effectiveness monitoring 10/31/2011 09/30/2011
Potential habitat enhancement or protection sites for FY12 P: 114. Identify future habitat enhancement projects 08/31/2011 09/29/2011
Attach Progress Report in Pisces R: 132. Submit Annual Report for the period (11/1/2008) to (10/31/2009) 06/15/2011

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Trout, Interior Redband (O. mykiss gairdnerii)
  • 2 instances of WE 186 Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage/Structure
  • 1 instance of WE 34 Develop Alternative Water Source
  • 1 instance of WE 38 Improve Road for Instream Habitat Benefits
  • 2 instances of WE 40 Install Fence
  • 2 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 159 Transfer/Consolidate Regionally Standardized Data
  • 1 instance of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data
  • 1 instance of WE 53 Remove Vegetation

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 165 Produce environmental compliance documentation 11/01/2010
B 119 Manage and Administer Projects 11/01/2010
C 99 Public Outreach and Education 11/01/2010
D 162 Analyze/interpret data 11/01/2010
E 159 Submit data 11/01/2010
F 132 Submit Annual Report for FY10 11/1/09 to 10/31/10 11/01/2010
G 40 Protect at least 4 springs on the Duck Valley Reservation in Owyhee subbasin
H 40 Protect at least 1 spring on the Duck Valley Reservation in Bruneau subbasin
I 34 Install troughs to exclude cattle from important fish and wildlife areas
J 38 Stream crossings will be improved to avoid sedimentation
K 53 Remove exotic vegetation along East Fork Owyhee River 11/01/2010
L 186 Maintain road improvements 11/01/2010
M 186 Maintain fencing and offsite water developments 11/01/2010
N 157 Status/trend monitoring 11/01/2010
O 157 Effectiveness monitoring 11/01/2010
P 114 Identify future habitat enhancement projects 11/01/2010
Q 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 11/01/2010
R 132 Submit Annual Report for the period (11/1/2008) to (10/31/2009) 11/01/2010