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Project Summary

Project 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Project Number:
1990-092-00
Title:
Wanaket Wildlife Area
Summary:
The 2,817 acre Wanaket Wildlife Area was established in 1992 to mitigate for habitat losses due to construction and operation of the McNary Hydroelectric facility. The area is located in Umatilla County in northeastern Oregon and lies adjacent to the south shore of the Columbia River between River Mile 295 and 299. It is bordered by the Port of Umatilla on the west and Hat Rock State Park on the east. State Highway 730 bisects the area. The legal description includes T5N, R28E, portions of sections 12, 23, 34 and T5N, R29E, portions of sections 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21.

Wanaket is managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), through contract with BPA, to provide protection and enhancement credits for wildlife mitigation. Wanaket provides an estimated 2,334 habitat units of protection credit for 7 wildlife mitigation species. Primary habitat types include shrub-steppe/grassland (2477 acres) and riparian wetland (159 acres) and other habitat types include riparian herb, riparian shrub, riparian tree, and sand/cobble/gravel/mud. HEP species include mallard, California quail, western meadowlark, spotted sandpiper, mink, yellow warbler, and downy woodpecker.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
1990
Ending FY:
2032
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Umatilla 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

Description: Page: Cover 1: "From the air, Wanaket's wetlands shine like jewels." C. Scheeler, CTUIR Wildlife Program Manager

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 640 x 432

Description: Page: Cover 2: "From the air, Wanaket's wetlands shine like jewels." C. Scheeler, CTUIR Wildlife Program Manager

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 640 x 480

Description: Page: 3 Figure 1: Project Location, Wanaket Wildlife Area, Oregon

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 893 x 1155

Description: Page: 15 Figure 3a: Scenes from the Wanaket Weed Pull. A patch of yellow starthistle plants before the weed pull.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 488 x 366

Description: Page: 15 Figure 3b: Scenes from the Wanaket Weed Pull. Pulled yellow starthistle plants.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 525 x 394

Description: Page: 15 Figure 3c: Scenes from the Wanaket Weed Pull. Volunteers pulling weeds.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 488 x 366

Description: Page: 15 Figure 3d: Scenes from the Wanaket Weed Pull. Volunteers with starthistle plants.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 506 x 380

Description: Page: 18 Figure 5a: OWEB project site, after herbicide spray, before harrow treatment. April 2009

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 597 x 450

Description: Page: 18 Figure 5b: OWEB project site, after harrow treatment, August 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 600 x 450

Description: Page: 19 Figure 6: Spraying circles in the cheatgrass, Wanaket Wildlife Area, April 2009. Circles were 18-24 inches in diameter.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 752 x 721

Description: Page: 20 Figure 7: Grass seed being planted on OWEB project site, using a Brillion seeder, December 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 729 x 597

Description: Page: 22 Figure 8a: Planting plugs in the Interplug Project. Note the sprayed circle in the picture in the upper left - the planting spade is in the center of the circle. New cheatgrass is germinating, but there are no standing, dead plants from 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 421 x 438

Description: Page: 22 Figure 8b: Planting plugs in the Interplug Project. Note the sprayed circle in the picture in the upper left - the planting spade is in the center of the circle. New cheatgrass is germinating, but there are no standing, dead plants from 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 413 x 439

Description: Page: 22 Figure 8c: Planting plugs in the Interplug Project. Note the sprayed circle in the picture in the upper left - the planting spade is in the center of the circle. New cheatgrass is germinating, but there are no standing, dead plants from 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 419 x 449

Description: Page: 22 Figure 8d: Planting plugs in the Interplug Project. Note the sprayed circle in the picture in the upper left - the planting spade is in the center of the circle. New cheatgrass is germinating, but there are no standing, dead plants from 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 421 x 455

Description: Page: 26 Figure 9: New fence along Purdy Road to replace that burned in the Craig Road Fire.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 972 x 573

Description: Page: 31 Figure 10a: Box Canyon before removal of the shop building.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 485 x 450

Description: Page: 31 Figure 10b: Box Canyon after removal of the shop building.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 499 x 376

Description: Page: 31 Figure 11: Demolition crew waits while environmental contractor test for contaminated soil under the old shop building floor.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 638 x 478

Description: Page: 32 Figure 12a: Box Canyon Feed Bins before cleanup.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 602 x 450

Description: Page: 32 Figure 12b: Box Canyon Feed Bins after cleanup.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 602 x 450

Description: Page: 32 Figure 12c: Box Canyon Feed Bins after cleanup.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 400 x 300

Description: Page: 34 Figure 13a: Artificial burrowing owl burrows installed at Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2009. Artificial burrow, ready to install

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 640 x 427

Description: Page: 34 Figure 13b: Artificial burrowing owl burrows installed at Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2009. Installed burrow, ready for occupancy

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 485 x 365

Description: Page: 45 Figure B2: Location of transects established to track survival of grass and forb plugs planted on the Interplug Project site, Wanaket Wildlife Area, December 2009.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 980 x 750

Description: Page: 53 Figure C1a: Application maps from 3 of aerial applications of the pesticide Bti, to control larval mosquito populations on Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2009. Wanaket Application Map

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 1006 x 1294

Description: Page: 54 Figure C1b: Application maps from 3 of aerial applications of the pesticide Bti, to control larval mosquito populations on Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2009. Wanaket Application Map (7-24-09)

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 1011 x 1301

Description: Page: 55 Figure C1c: Application maps from 3 of aerial applications of the pesticide Bti, to control larval mosquito populations on Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2009. Wanaket Application Map (8-5-09)

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P115093

Dimensions: 1011 x 1301

Description: Page: 9 Map 1: Project Location, Wanaket Wildlife Area, Oregon

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1189 x 1539

Description: Page: 22 Photo 1: Spraying circles in the cheatgrass, Wanaket Wildlife Area, April 2011.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1430 x 1073

Description: Page: 24 Photo 2: Grass seed being planted in WUWU using a Truax Range drill, Wanaket Wildlife Area, 2010.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1317 x 989

Description: Page: 25 Photo 3: Planting plugs in the Interplug Project.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 639 x 479

Description: Page: 30 Photo 4: Pond 51 before mowing in 2011.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1024 x 768

Description: Page: 30 Photo 5: Pond 51 after mowing in 2011.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1024 x 768

Description: Page: 31 Photo 6: Mechanically removing Russian olives at Wanaket.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1199 x 899

Description: Page: 32 Photo 7: Burning Russian olive brush piles at Wanaket.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1199 x 899

Description: Page: 34 Photo 8: New irrigation piping installed at Wanaket in 2011.

Project: 1990-092-00

Document: P124999

Dimensions: 1199 x 899


Summary of Budgets

To view all expenditures for all fiscal years, click "Project Exp. by FY"

To see more detailed project budget information, please visit the "Project Budget" page

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2020 - FY2022)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2020 Expense $304,601 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2020 Expense $56,823 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord Budget Transfers - CTUIR 10/7/19 10/07/2019
FY2020 Expense $28,300 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfer (CTUIR) 2/7/2020 02/07/2020
FY2020 Expense $126,663 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR) 08/27/20 08/27/2020
FY2020 Expense $126,663 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR) 09/10/20 09/10/2020
FY2020 Expense $58,716 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR, Montana) 5/24/2021 05/24/2021
FY2021 Expense $308,409 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2021 Expense $126,663 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR) 09/10/20 09/10/2020
FY2021 Expense $58,716 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR, Montana) 5/24/2021 05/24/2021
FY2022 Expense $312,264 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2021
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
There are no project cost share contributions to show.
Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
2020 (Draft)
2019 $20,330 5%
2018 $500 0%
2017 $10,208 3%
2016
2015
2014
2013 $500 0%
2012
2011
2010 $6,562 3%
2009 $15,852 7%
2008
2007 $2,650 1%

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Closed, Complete, History, Issued.
* "Total Contracted Amount" column includes contracted amount from both capital and expense components of the contract.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
BPA-011118 Bonneville Power Administration FY93 Land Acquisition Active $1,129,500 10/1/1992 - 9/30/1993
4133 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 CONFORTH RANCH/WANAKET WILDLIFE MITIGATION Closed $744,070 3/23/2001 - 12/31/2004
20981 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) PI 199009200 WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA History $191,488 1/1/2005 - 12/31/2005
25762 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA History $203,940 1/1/2006 - 12/31/2006
30923 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA History $213,687 1/1/2007 - 12/31/2007
36410 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA Closed $202,692 1/1/2008 - 3/31/2009
40938 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA Closed $221,010 1/1/2009 - 12/31/2009
46006 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA Closed $242,636 1/1/2010 - 12/31/2010
50821 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA Closed $506,239 1/1/2011 - 12/31/2012
60141 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS) Closed $281,974 1/1/2013 - 12/31/2013
63865 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS) Closed $259,960 1/1/2014 - 12/31/2014
67613 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATION & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $248,233 1/1/2015 - 12/31/2015
71093 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATION & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $297,959 1/1/2016 - 12/31/2016
73982 REL 7 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $307,294 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017
73982 REL 24 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $303,977 1/1/2018 - 12/31/2018
73982 REL 55 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $384,560 1/1/2019 - 12/31/2019
73982 REL 85 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS) Closed $331,008 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020
73982 REL 113 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS Issued $493,788 1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021
CR-349081 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1990-092-00 EXP WANAKET WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENTS Pending $312,264 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):16
Completed:11
On time:10
Status Reports
Completed:65
On time:38
Avg Days Late:0

Earliest Subsequent           Accepted Count of Contract Deliverables
Contract Contract(s) Title Contractor Start End Status Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
BPA-011118 FY93 Land Acquisition Bonneville Power Administration 10/1992 10/1992 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4133 20981, 25762, 30923, 36410, 40938, 46006, 50821, 60141, 63865, 67613, 71093, 73982 REL 7, 73982 REL 24, 73982 REL 55, 73982 REL 85, 73982 REL 113 1990-092-00 CONFORTH RANCH/WANAKET WILDLIFE MITIGATION Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 03/2001 03/2001 Pending 65 189 16 0 3 208 98.56% 15
Project Totals 65 189 16 0 3 208 98.56% 15


The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: 2017 Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-NPCC-20210312
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: 2017 Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 10/13/2017
Recommendation: Implement
Comments: Recommendation: Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications 1-3 in updated management plan and 2018 annual report (per programmatic issue recommendations in this Decision Document Part 1).

[Background: See https://www.nwcouncil.org/fish-and-wildlife/project-reviews-and-recommendations/2017-wildlife-project-review]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-ISRP-20201110
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: 2017 Wildlife Category Review
Completed Date: 11/10/2020
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/28/2017
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Objectives and outcomes 

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have created or restored 2,817 acres of wetland and upland shrub-steppe habitat in the Wanaket Wildlife Area along the Columbia River. The Summary Report does not identify goals and objectives. The Management Plan for 2001-2006 listed a series of desired future conditions and a few of them had explicit timelines. Unfortunately, none of the goals and objectives provides a solid foundation for assessing outcomes of management through M/E activities. The objectives for the shrub-steppe upland habitat are general and qualitative. These contrasted with the reports of bunch grass establishment efforts where bunch grass coverage was quantified. More quantitative objectives for grass and forb composition in the uplands along with a time line for establishment are needed. The wetlands had more focused but still qualitative objectives for habitat and waterbird use. The Management Plan for 2001-2006 is out of date and needs revision. The text indicates a new Management Plan will be produced in 2017 or 2018. This revised plan should include anticipated quantitative results and benefits in terms of habitat improvement and expected wildlife response. This offers an excellent opportunity to develop a streamlined number of quantifiable objectives and explicit timelines for the expected outcomes. 

2. Scientific principles and methods 

The Summary Report provides information on management actions taken since 2001. Using tables to summarize the extent of project activities, however, would greatly improve communication of this information. Methods are summarized in general terms. It is expected that the revised management plan will provide additional details about methods. The discussion of outcomes reflects consideration of scientific principles, but these are not explicitly stated. The CTUIR has developed a vision of ecosystem services and the First Foods of the Umatilla Tribe and integrated it into the Management Plan for the Rainwater Project. The Wanaket Wildlife Area Project would be strengthened substantially by revising its management plan based on the Umatilla River Vision and related quantifiable objectives and timelines. 

The Report states that these activities are “targeted to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of project activities in moving ecosystems toward desired condition and function while enabling adaptive management based on quantitative data.” Given the lack of quantitative objectives and/or desired conditions, accomplishing this will be difficult. 

3. Monitoring and evaluation 

Although there is no format statement about management emphasis for focal species, habitat evaluation is conducted in the context of seven species associated with habitats lost as a result of the construction of the John Day and McNary dams. Monitoring activities are identified and appear to be appropriate for assessing the success of the project in meeting objectives. The project monitors seven focal wildlife species, breeding waterbirds, waterfowl, bird communities, selected plant communities, and non-native invasive plants. Use of reference systems for comparisons would help the proponents assess the effects of project actions. 

There are interesting trend data for a number of bird species (waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds and long-billed curlew) and also a good deal of site-scale monitoring for a wide variety of treatments targeting invasive weed species. There is also a Weed Management Plan which provides general priorities and treatments for management. It is noted that baseline weed surveys were conducted in 2006, but there is no mention of follow up surveys in the Summary Report. It is stated in the annual report for 2014-15 that “Invasive weed surveys were conducted several times from early spring to late fall each year. Infestations were mapped for herbicide control and future monitoring.” This is confusing and would seem to provide a basis to document trends in abundance and distribution of priority weed species. 

The CTUIR has developed a substantial M&E program. The Project has the opportunity to expand the monitoring program even further by working with local universities to encourage the use of their site by graduate students or field classes. Given the location between Washington State University, Eastern Oregon University, Whitman, Gonzaga, and University of Idaho, the project could present programs at the universities to attract useful research and monitoring projects. The proponents could partner with citizen science programs in the region, such as Ducks Unlimited or Trout Unlimited. The managers know their sites very well and can use their education and outreach efforts to create ongoing partnerships to provide critical evaluations of the status and trends of critical objectives, effectiveness of their management actions, and unforeseen challenges. 

4. Results: benefits to fish and wildlife and adaptive management 

Breeding waterbirds, waterfowl, mallard pairs, rails and wading birds, shorebirds, and longbilled curlews have all declined in the Wanaket Wildlife Area in the last 20 years despite restoration efforts and habitat creation. Mallards and geese have declined by 80%. Though nonnative forbs have decreased, non-native grasses have increased substantially, especially cheatgrass. Most herbicide attempts to control cheatgrass have not been successful. Plantings of bitterbrush exhibit 65% survival, but browsing limits growth. A fire in 2016 killed 2900 sagebrush and bitterbrush plantings. In addition, Himalayan blackberry, Russian olive, kochia, perennial pepperweed, and Russian thistle are invasive weed problems on the property. Overall, focal species at the site are declining. The proponent is trying alternative practices but the outcomes are not certain. 

Fire and persistent invasive species are challenging to address on this site. It has been affected by land use on the site and is ringed by roads, a prison, industrial use, and irrigated agriculture. Edge effects are critical in this site and affect the dynamics of fire and colonization by invasive plants. A landscape context is needed for site management. Proponents should consider conditions along property boundaries as a means to influence the occurrence of fire and invasive species. 

Given the decline in most of the focal species at the site, a thorough analysis of all available data and development of an updated Management Plan are needed. The lack of clearly stated objectives and desired conditions does not provide a context to evaluate outcomes of the project relative to those that were originally prioritized, planned, and implemented. Updating and revision of the Management Plan is a critical need. The Summary Report indicates a new Plan will be finalized in 2017 or 2018. The revised management plan should be based on the Umatilla River Vision and possess related quantifiable objectives and timelines. 

Monitoring and evaluation of the response of key wildlife species to habitat restoration should inform an adaptive management process. This is a particularly critical need for the Wanaket Wildlife Mitigation Program because most of the targeted resources are declining in spite of restoration efforts. An adaptive management plan with alternative outcomes and planned actions for each alternative are badly needed in view of the declining responses of waterfowl and plant communities. In the new Management Plan, the Project could develop explicit monitoring of the first foods or indices of the first foods and report them as outcomes and measures of both ecological and cultural success.  

 

Qualification #1 - Additional information needed in revised Management Plan
The ISRP requests that the proponents provide the following information in their next scheduled report or in their revised Management Plan which is scheduled for completion in 2017-18: 1. Clearly stated, quantifiable objectives with explicit timelines for the Project are needed. These should focus on a few major objectives that relate directly to the goal and desired outcomes of the Program. M&E actions should be identified for each objective. 2. A summary of findings for past monitoring and evaluation and lessons learned since the 2009 ISRP review. Potential causes for the decline of many focal species at the site need to be evaluated. New management actions should be based on a thorough assessment of the decline and potential causes. 3. An adaptive management plan is needed. The plan should link the quantifiable objectives and timelines to observed monitoring information. The adaptive management plan should describe alternative actions that could be taken, if needed, to better achieve goals and objectives.
Qualification #2 - Site Visit
The ISRP requests that a site visit be organized, so the ISRP can better understand constraints on site management and to explore potential causes for declines in many of the target communities and potential actions to reverse declines.
Documentation Links:
Review: Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Accord Project.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Completed Date: 5/19/2009
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The sponsor responses thoroughly addressed the concerns expressed by the ISRP. The additional information provided on the monitoring associated with this project addressed the primary issue raised in the initial project review.

The waterfowl data are very complete. The project sponsors note the decrease in the number of breeding waterfowl at Wanaket since surveys began in 1994. They suggest that this decrease may be partially explained by the decrease in waterfowl numbers throughout the Columbia Basin. The ISRP suggests that a comparison of the rate of change in waterfowl numbers at Wanaket and throughout the Columbia Basin be included in future reports on waterfowl use of the project site. This comparison will partially account for the effect of regional waterfowl population changes on the utilization observed at Wanaket and enhance the ability to identify project-level responses.

The ISRP appreciates the sponsor's positive response to the comment concerning monitoring of shrub-steppe-dependent wildlife populations by adding songbird population monitoring. The sponsors may want to consider some modifications of the shrub-steppe bird monitoring in the future to better focus this effort on the effectiveness of their upland habitat projects. Many of the species observed in the shrub steppe are incidental and not closely associated with this habitat type. The most meaningful measure of the success of the upland habitat restoration measures would be increasing numbers of associated species and nesting by these species: sage sparrows and shrikes for example. Modifying the monitoring protocols to focus on these shrub-steppe associated birds will produce more useful results.

The sponsor's plans for initial evaluation of the Interplug Project (Pilot) with a combination of belt transects to evaluate survival of plugs and transects to estimate canopy cover and frequency of herbaceous vegetation are appropriate.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
Before providing a final evaluation of the Wanaket Wildlife Area proposal, the ISRP requests that a summary of results from M&E data that have been collected be provided. In the last review cycle, reporting of results was identified as a weakness of the proposal. This deficiency remains in the current proposal. Specific questions and concerns to be addressed are included in the text below.

The project proposal is clearly written and justified. The objective of the project is to protect and increase the availability and quality of wetland and shrub-steppe habitat in the Umatilla-Willow Subbasin. Maintaining and enhancing these habitat types is consistent with the objectives of the subbasin plan. The Wanaket Wildlife Area protects about 160 acres of wetland habitat and over 2000 acres of shrub steppe habitat. As the representation of both these habitat types has declined severely from historic levels, the habitat provided by Wanaket is regionally significant. The approaches being used to restore habitat in the project area are generally, technically sound. However, some methods are experimental and should be evaluated thoroughly before widespread implementation (see comments on M&E below). A timeline for completion of habitat enhancements, where appropriate, should be included.

The project was initiated in 1993, and significant progress on habitat restoration has been accomplished. The creation of wetland habitats and removal of Russian olive have been among the more prominent activities. Project results have been reported in a series of annual reports, which are cited in the proposal. However, results in terms of biological response to habitat protection and enhancement are generally lacking. For example, there does not appear to be a report that compiles and analyzes the information being collected on water bird use of the project area. This information would be useful in illustrating the response of key wildlife populations to the project.

The objectives, work elements, and methods are appropriate for this project. The primary objectives of the project are to maintain the habitat improvements that have been made to date and to implement additional enhancements. The actions required to achieve these goals are clearly explained in the proposal, and their relation to achieving the project objectives is explained. Investigation of innovative techniques to increase efficiency of maintenance and operations of the irrigation system and to reduce dumping of debris by humans is encouraged.

Monitoring and evaluation are described, but reporting in the proposal is limited to Habitat Units and tasks completed. The water bird census work appears to be thorough and should provide a good indication of temporal changes in their populations. The proposal would have been improved with brief graphical and numerical summaries of the water bird data, such as number of breeding pairs over time, and other information on wildlife response. The sponsors should consider using the Weed Management Information System that is used elsewhere in the region rather than developing a new system.

Plant monitoring appeared to be appropriate for assessing the effectiveness of the vegetation restoration efforts being implemented at the site. However, insufficient detail was provided on the evaluation of the small, circular plant restoration plots to determine the technical merits of this approach. Are various sizes of treated areas being evaluated? Are different combinations of native plants being introduced to the treated sites? A thorough evaluation of the efficacy of this approach would require the application of a set of replicated treatments. However, it was not mentioned in the proposal whether this was the approach being used.

Assessment of population response to the restoration of the shrub-steppe habitats in the Wanaket Wildlife Area does not appear to be a component of the current M&E plan. As the restoration of this habitat type is a major management goal for the area, population monitoring of some shrub-steppe wildlife species should be included in the M&E plan.

This proposal is clearly organized and well written. With improvements in reporting of monitoring results, this would be a good example for other sponsors to follow.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1990-092-00 - Wanaket Wildlife Area
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The proposal is clearly written and complete. It describes work elements associated with continued operations and maintenance of the Wanaket Wildlife area and clearly identifies the relationship of the project to the Umatilla/Willow Subbasin plan. Primary habitat types are wetland and shrub-steppe/grassland.

The benefits to focal species are clearly identified, and justification for the methods is very good. More information, however, concerning the impact of management on non-focal species would be beneficial. The proposal includes provisions for monitoring and evaluation that apply to the multiple objectives of the project, but the project would be improved by more efforts to share lessons learned and experiences with the region, especially similar projects. This work is related to other projects, but more evidence of collaboration would have been helpful if included.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1990-092-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: O&M for wildlife mitigation lands, enhancement HU credits; assume requested funds consistent with terms of MOA.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1990-092-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1990-092-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Eric Quaempts Interested Party Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Andre L'Heureux Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Gerald Middel Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Julie Burke Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Carl Scheeler Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Scott Peckham Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Lindsay Chiono Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
RaeAnn Oatman Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Daniel Gambetta Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration