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Project Summary

Project 1992-068-00 - Willamette Basin Mitigation
Project Number:
1992-068-00
Title:
Willamette Basin Mitigation
Summary:
A multi-year planning effort by ODFW and others has resulted in the publication of recommendations for habitat protection and habitat enhancement projects using a variety of techniques throughout the Willamette River Basin (found in the Loss Assessments, Oregon Trust Agreement, Gap Analysis, and Alternatives Team Recommendation documents). These projects and others will assist BPA in carrying out its mitigation obligations for the construction and operation of the Willamette Valley Federal Hydro Projects. Coordination and project development will continue to occur with major players in the Northwest Power Planning Council (NWPPC) Fish and Wildlife Program (FWP) Subbasin Planning efforts.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
1993
Ending FY:
2014
BPA PM:
Stage:
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Lower Columbia Willamette 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Fish
All Anadromous Salmonids
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Chinook - Upper Willamette River ESU (threatened)
Chub, Oregon (endangered)
Cutthroat Trout, Coastal - Resident Populations
Freshwater Mussels
Kokanee
Lamprey, Pacific
OBSOLETE-Carp, Common
OBSOLETE-Catfish
OBSOLETE-Crappie, Black
OBSOLETE-Crappie, White
OBSOLETE-Perch, Yellow
OBSOLETE-Pikeminnow, Northern
OBSOLETE-Trout, Brown
OBSOLETE-Trout, Lake
OBSOLETE-Walleye
Other Anadromous
Steelhead - Upper Willamette River DPS (threatened)
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Trout, Brook
Trout, Bull (threatened)
Trout, Rainbow
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 25.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 75.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

Cover photo

Figure Name: Cover

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 1

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Bottomland hardwood forest planted and currently maintained on Sorenson Pasture.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 7

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Back channel reconnection excavation work at South Meadow.

Figure Name: Figure 2

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 9

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Implementing a prescribed fire to remove invasive plants and restore upland prairie on Mt Pisgah/Buford Park.

Figure Name: Figure 3

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 11

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Planting native trees and shrubs on Green Island to create bottomland hardwood forest.

Figure Name: Figure 4

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 14

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Native tree plantings on Big Island to increase the extent of bottomland hardwood forest near McKenzie River back channel.

Figure Name: Figure 5

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 20

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Results of understory mowing to maintain open oak forest adjacent to Muddy Creek on Herbert Farms.

Figure Name: Figure 6

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 24

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Oak savanna habitat on Lone Star slated for re-introduction of Kincaid lupine.

Figure Name: Figure 7

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 27

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Using prescribed fire on upland prairie restoration site on EE Wilson.

Figure Name: Figure 8

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 29

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Upland meadow/oak savanna on Zena property in Eola Hills.

Figure Name: Figure 9

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 33

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Riparian tree plantings on Eligah Bristow State Park on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.

Figure Name: Figure 10

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 36

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Bottomland hardwood forest restoration work on Eligah Bristow State Park on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.

Figure Name: Figure 11

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 36

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

(Sample Map) One USGS Quad Stratified by Vegetation Class

Figure Name: Figure 12

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 45

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Ed Rust Albany (Bower’s Rock) property with BPA conservation easement.

Figure Name: Figure 13

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 50

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194

Wetland feature on Ed Rust Buena Vista property at the confluence of the Luckiamute/Santiam/Willamette Rivers

Figure Name: Figure 14

Document ID: P114473

Document: Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Annual Report 2007-8

Page Number: 50

Project: 1992-068-00

Contract: 43194


Summary of Budgets

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

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2017 (Previous) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2018 (Current) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2019 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

Capital SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2017 (Previous) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2018 (Current) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2019 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Nov-2017

No Decided Budget Transfers

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2011 0 %
FY2010 0 %
FY2009 9 %
FY2008 10 %
FY2007 11 %
Fiscal Year Cost Share Partner Total Proposed
Contribution
Total Confirmed
Contribution

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Capital Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
BPA-003369 Bonneville Power Administration Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Active $5,000,000 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
BPA-003839 Bonneville Power Administration Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Active $3,903,503 10/1/2007 - 9/30/2008
BPA-004699 Bonneville Power Administration Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Active $1,074,858 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
BPA-005628 Bonneville Power Administration Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Active $1,330,361 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
BPA-005629 Bonneville Power Administration Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Active $9,716,071 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
BPA-007288 Bonneville Power Administration Willamette Basin Land Acquisition Active $0 10/1/2001 - 9/30/2002
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
5885 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1992-068-00 WILLAMETTE BASIN MITIGATION PROGRAM History $729,656 7/1/1992 - 7/31/2003
597 REL 2 SOW Heritage Research Associates, Inc. CROCKER PROPERTY HABITAT PROTECTION ACQUISITION 199206800 History $6,900 5/20/2002 - 10/30/2002
14862 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1992-068-00 WILLAMETTE BASIN MITIGATION PROGRAM History $900,236 7/14/2003 - 9/30/2005
25005 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1992-068-00 WILLAMETTE BASIN WILDLIFE MITIGATION History $684,454 10/25/2005 - 11/30/2006
32353 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1992-068-00 EXP WILLAMETTE BASIN WILDLIFE MITIGATION History $610,920 12/1/2006 - 11/30/2007
BPA-003370 Bonneville Power Administration Willlamette Wildlife (TBL) Active $13,134 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
36902 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1992-068-00 EXP WILLAMETTE BASIN MITIGATION History $486,113 12/1/2007 - 4/30/2009
43194 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 199206800 EXP WILLAMETTE BASIN WILDLIFE MITIGATION History $1,318,148 5/1/2009 - 12/31/2010
BPA-005027 Bonneville Power Administration FY10 Willamette Basin Mitigation Active $64,546 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
BPA-005450 Bonneville Power Administration FY11 BPA Internal Work for Willamette Wildlife Acquisitions (TBL) Active $261,926 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
BPA-005490 Bonneville Power Administration Internal Work for land acquisition Active $13,015 10/1/2007 - 9/30/2008
BPA-005542 Bonneville Power Administration TBL Task Order Active $15,330 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):7
Completed:1
On time:1
Status Reports
Completed:19
On time:0
Avg Days Late:138

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
5885 14862, 25005, 32353, 36902, 43194, 52715, 56484, 56485, 60447, 60432, 62538, 66428, 69699, 73170, 74313 REL 2 1992-068-00 WILLAMETTE BASIN MITIGATION PROGRAM Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 07/1992 07/1992 Pending 52 515 125 0 64 704 90.91% 2
BPA-007288 Willamette Basin Land Acquisition Bonneville Power Administration 10/2001 10/2001 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-003369 Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2006 10/2006 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-003370 Willlamette Wildlife (TBL) Bonneville Power Administration 10/2006 10/2006 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005490 Internal Work for land acquisition Bonneville Power Administration 10/2007 10/2007 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-003839 Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2007 10/2007 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005542 TBL Task Order Bonneville Power Administration 10/2008 10/2008 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004699 Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2008 10/2008 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005027 FY10 Willamette Basin Mitigation Bonneville Power Administration 10/2009 10/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005628 Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2009 10/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005629 Willamettte Wildlife Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2010 10/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005450 FY11 BPA Internal Work for Willamette Wildlife Acquisitions (TBL) Bonneville Power Administration 10/2010 10/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 52 515 125 0 64 704 90.91% 2


Review: Wildlife Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 1992-068-00 - Willamette Basin Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Completed Date: 5/19/2009
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This is a large, exciting, and important project in the Willamette Valley that has focused primarily on land acquisition and project initiation, possibly to the detriment of higher level (subbasin) planning and the establishment of a coordinated monitoring and evaluation plan for the subbasin.

Qualifications:
1. Sponsors should follow The Nature Conservancy (TNC) lead on organizing and documenting partnerships, progress, and development of a coordinated monitoring and evaluation approach. This can be done in-house with ODFW or by contracting to qualified partners.

2. Sponsors should plan to provide the ISRP with additional information on the progress of the Willamette Subbasin projects over the next several (3-5) years. This report should come in two forms:
a. Provide the ISRP with an Annual Summary Report. This should include a short summary section for the entire Willamette Basin project that succinctly captures work accomplished for the year and describes significant milestone events, or progress toward milestone events. In addition to the brief Summary section, the Annual Report should include 3-5 page reports for each property/project that summarize accomplishments for the year in both narrative and summary tables for that specific project. Summary results can be presented in tables and graphs, but should not include large tables of raw data. The ISRP is primarily interested in biological results and a synthesis of the M&E results for each property/project.

b. Sponsors should plan to present a day-long update to the ISRP on the Willamette Basin projects after two more field seasons of progress (perhaps scheduled for the fall of 2010 or winter of 2011). The presentation should summarize accomplishments and lessons learned to date and what has been learned by the development and implementation of the coordinated monitoring and evaluation system described in Qualification #1.

These steps will help document the success or failures of this important process and project (or more appropriately, set of projects). The Willamette basin project is an important pilot of landscape scale restoration and could serve as an example for others, if documented appropriately and reviewed at regular intervals.

Summary
In their response, the sponsors provided detailed information about each project that provided a more comprehensive view of its accomplishments. There is no doubt that the collaborations they have developed are key to what they have been able to accomplish. With respect to monitoring, there is a basic level of accountability wherever NPCC invests O&M funds; however, that need not require comprehensive effectiveness monitoring on every parcel. At this point, it appears that management of many parcels is not in the hands of the sponsors, which makes monitoring issues appear secondary to the urgency of securing expensive properties in the face of rapid urbanization. In this circumstance, contracting monitoring might be a useful approach. Following The Nature Conservancy approach may adequately resolve this issue. Ongoing work and partnerships with the NHI (Northwest Habitat Institute) may also prove fruitful.

Reviewers acknowledge that the project, in spite of a start date 15 years ago, has in fact only been operating with appropriate funds for the last five years or so. Efforts during that time have focused on acquisitions; consequently, the time is now ripe for development of a coordinated monitoring and evaluation plan for the various components in this Willamette basin landscape restoration project.

Management planning usually includes specifying a desired future condition, which becomes the basis for monitoring comparisons. Monitoring needs will vary depending on the condition of the site at the time of acquisition, and it is key to have an assessment of conditions at acquisition; not, as many suggest as a baseline, but as a point in time from which to plan and evaluate future management. The actual assessment and monitoring need not be by the sponsor as long as the sponsor is involved in the decision process and accepts accountability. The current suggestion to delay monitoring works against the desperately needed accumulation of knowledge of the functions of these ecosystems and means to sustain or restore them.

These considerations suggest separating acquisition from O&M and from M&E as three separate projects. Other sponsors have done this successfully with multiple partners and properties and working under similar development pressure. The acquisition component is scientifically sound, but the O&M requests, in light of the monitoring record, need further work.

Similarly, sponsors should look to the Oregon Conservation Plan for examples of meaningful monitoring and for a model of an adaptive management approach. A regional approach for monitoring and evaluation of habitat (and wildlife responses), such as work presently being conducted by the Upper Columbia United Tribes (project #200800700), is being developed A comparable program seems warranted for the Willamette.

Finally, the ISRP appreciated the Project’s "on the ground' summaries (p.6 - 44) and the project histories RM&E (p. 44 - 53) and the list of the proposed new projects (starting on page 53). The ISRP was not clear on why Camp Adair is a target as a new project; the argument that Camp Adair provides potentially critical linkage appears weak ecologically unless Camp Adair is a center of biological diversity, which was not indicated.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
The project needs to have a more detailed M&E plan and summary of M&E results and adaptive management to date. The project is 15+ years old and does not have a well-documented set of results that reflect systematic accomplishments. This is a critical deficiency. The lack of monitoring, (or monitoring results) precludes our ability to determine if management is scientifically sound. This is a stark contrast to the obvious scientific rigor applied to developing the acquisition strategy and criteria. It does not appear that there are plans to remedy the situation, leaving the ISRP in the same situation as 2007, supporting the acquisition component of the project, but not the O&M, until a credible monitoring report and future monitoring strategy and plan are submitted.

In its last review the Council reiterated this concern in their funding decision: "At the same time, the recommended expense funding for operation and maintenance should be considered interim, with a final recommendation pending the outcome of the wildlife land operation and maintenance review. In addition, the project sponsor should make special efforts in its annual reports and in the next project review cycle to report anything that it possibly can as to the benefits to fish and wildlife actually realized by the project that can be gleaned from the ongoing monitoring and evaluation efforts in the Willamette basin, as well as some assessments of what it would take to know more about the benefits to fish, assuming it is even possible." No monitoring results are reported in this proposal, even for the earliest acquisitions, although monitoring is listed as an activity in several project histories and management plans. For example, the South Pasture Plan was created in 2001 and included 5 years of monitoring by the subcontractors. Was this done? Could it be reported here?

While the project is complimented for its many effective collaborations, this may also complicate accountability, perhaps being part of the monitoring issue. The sponsors are encouraged to consider how their collaborations might be an asset in the task of summarizing biological effectiveness to date, and ensuring adequate monitoring of biological results of Program investments going forward.

This is a large, complex project, growing larger and more complex over time. Given the continuing differences in scientific merit between the acquisition and O&M components, it might be useful to split this into two separate projects that could be funded separately. The monitoring issue might then be more easily addressed. The sponsors might consider contracting out the monitoring, or adding a monitoring specialist to their team. This project is a priceless opportunity to apply adaptive management to unique and rare landscapes, the results of which will greatly leverage the investment in acquiring and managing these lands for the benefit of fish and wildlife. The Willamette subbasin is 94% privately owned (surface area), housing a majority of Oregon’s human population. This project may be a model for addressing fish and wildlife goals associated with a large river in a human dominated landscape, offering important lessons for the future of the entire region.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The Willamette Wildlife Project is a network of over a dozen terrestrial habitat projects in the subbasin. The subbasin is 94% privately owned (by surface area coverage) and harbors a majority of the Oregon human population. The primary goal and outcome will be to secure, conserve, and restore habitats within the subbasin. The project provides excellent background with lots of justification with references for need of habitat restoration in the Willamette Valley Subbasin and addresses goals in the Willamette Subbasin Plan and the Oregon Conservation Strategy. Relationships and linkage to regional programs and plans are also described in good detail including the 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program, the 2004 Willamette Valley Subbasin Plan, the Oregon Conservation Strategy, the BiOp, and others.

The sponsors list what appear to be all vertebrate communities in the subbasin as "primary" or "other" species (i.e., all salmon, steelhead, lamprey, resident chub, and all wildlife). This is probably true at some level if the ecosystem functions as it should. Consequently, there is a lengthy list of "objectives" and work elements outlined in the project. Most are broadly stated goals (e.g., "Connect Diverse Habitats", "Increase Interaction between Rivers and Floodplain) rather than measurable objectives and include work elements with coarse-filter activity targets (such as acres or stream miles treated).

The Willamette Wildlife Project is a network of terrestrial habitat projects in the Willamette subbasin. The projects are loosely related and function more as a “program” than a project making it difficult for the ISRP to review it effectively. The project is large and diffuse. Reviewers were left to wonder how the larger project all fit together. The Willamette Subbasin Plan was notable for its extensive analyses of floodplain habitats (historic and present) and for its attempt to prioritize actions and opportunities. That approach is evident in the Willamette Wildlife Project; however, the reviewers had a hard time understanding the scope and details. Questions included: What is the strategic planning needed for? How does the project fit together?

A great strength of this project is the numerous collaborations that sponsors have developed. The cost sharing is one significant result, as are the number of management activities contracted out. Integration of this program with the Oregon Conservation Strategy is another synergy. The flip side of this, however, is sorting out which activities serve which objectives, when the objectives of programs are not completely overlapping. This complicates accountability, which may be part of the monitoring issue. The sponsors are encouraged to consider how their collaborations might be an asset in the task of summarizing biological effectiveness to data, and ensuring adequate monitoring of biological results of Program investments going forward.

2. Project History and Results
This section is incomplete – plans, ongoing accomplishments (mostly from various Subcontractor's status, accomplishments, and planning reports) are described in some detail, but documentation/reporting of results very weak. Detailed project histories and "results" are presented as actions, rather than outcomes of actions. This is suitable to finite tasks such as acquisitions, but problematic for management activities. See M&E below.

The project has been ongoing since 1992. Monitoring and results reporting is a critical element for a project of this duration. After more than 10 years, there should be a substantial reporting of results to date. These should include both coarse-filter changes to the habitats (acres treated), as well as a fine-filter accounting of focal wildlife species responses.

We searched Bonneville’s annual reports on the web and found only four Willamette reports done since initiation of the project in 1992, including a very detailed monograph on western painted turtle status (good to see but hardly covering all of the other habitat restoration activities). The 2005-06 progress report to BPA was the only one that included useful information on recent results of habitat restoration work and recent acquisitions. Why wasn't this report cited or used in the proposal?

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
Objectives are only stated as broad goals (Willamette Subbasin Plan Goals?). Revising work elements into a series of objectives would make more sense. Methods and metrics were almost non-existent for Objectives 1 and 2, and Objective 3 mostly describes the revised HEP related plans and development activities. Objectives and work elements are lengthy and diverse, which reflect the patchwork of habitats included in the project.

Objectives are broad and general, for example "pursue acquisitions," rather than something like "secure acquisitions sufficient to add X HU/year to program." There is a broad, un-measurable monitoring objective and a work element for a database, but no work elements to collect, analyze or evaluate monitoring data. For sites with management plans, the plans include monitoring. No work elements are in sufficient detail to offer methods where the scientific basis might be evaluated.

There is a $30,000 work element for acquisitions, but this does not appear in the actual budget. Later a note states: "Approximately $800,000 for both FY2010 and FY2011 for the expense side of the budget (Personal Services, Supplies, and restoration subcontracts. Approximately $3,000,000/yr for easements and acquisitions.)" Are no acquisitions planned until the out years?


4. M&E
Monitoring and results reporting is a critical element for a project of this duration. After more than 10 years, there should be a substantial reporting of results to date. These should include both coarse-filter changes to the habitats (acres treated) as well as a fine-filter accounting of focal wildlife species responses.

Broad general plans for future monitoring are presented but not linked to any particular projects or practices. Compared to the level of detail presented in most sections, these plans are not credible. Meanwhile, restoration techniques appear to be being replicated from site-to-site, with no validation as to their success in restoring habitat to benefit fish and wildlife. Further, no scientific justification for selection or use of any restoration strategy is offered. This region is under-mitigated, and this project is an ambitious effort to remedy that situation. Not monitoring the results of management practices in these unique habitats means there is limited opportunity to validate and improve restoration practices as the project continues. Mistakes will likely be repeated, and opportunities will be missed. This is an economic as well as scientific weakness.

It appears that M&E is to be planned, developed, and coordinated in upcoming workshops. The outline for this looks good and hopefully will get done. Until then, this is a failing point of this project. Consequently, the ISRP requests a more complete description of how progress will be monitored. Measurable objectives are not always listed and hinder future monitoring. For instance, the objective “remove exotic vegetation,” where, when and how, what species? Work elements are often stated in terms of amount of habitat obtained or restored rather than in terms of fish and wildlife outcomes. They need a region-wide reporting program. Defenders of Wildlife have an on-line program that they are encouraging reporting to, but no project results were found when it was searched.

There are frequent references to HEP and two work elements related to "improving" HEP. While not presented as monitoring, there seems to be more commitment to HEP than to effectiveness monitoring. Sponsors really do need both, one for accounting and the other for scientific validity. Appendix #6 discusses the HEP issue in the Willamette Valley, primarily its history, calculation and problems. It is not really clear why this is included, except perhaps in support of Appendix 7: Wildlife Monitoring and Evaluation (Wildlife Advisory Committee-CBFWA) 2008, which appears to be a recommendation for the Program Amendment. None of this is relevant to the problem of effectiveness monitoring. The ISRP requests that the authors address fish and wildlife responses. Appendices include #5 which is a discussion of monitoring associated with the Oregon Conservation Strategy (OCS). While there is logical overlap and apparent efficiency in combining these efforts, it appears that the OCS team is years away from actually being able to monitor on the ground at the resolution currently needed for this project. This need not constrain current monitoring expected by the Fish and Wildlife Program. What the Program needs is considerably more explicit and site specific than what may be needed by the OCS.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 1992-068-00 - Willamette Basin Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Willamette BiOp Project. Programmatic issue # 10. Annual summary report for ISRP review, and presentation to ISRP by 2012. See ISRP recommendations.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Regional Coordination funding
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1992-068-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 2 - May be reasonable
Comment: Land acquisition, O&M, enhancement & RM&E regarding wildlife habitat mitigation for FCRPS; some aspects of RM&E may be authorized/required by others (eg Willamette Floodplain study); recommend confirmation that cost share sufficient.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1992-068-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 9/14/2007
Capital Rating: Qualifies for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: Land
Comment: Capital funding approval submitted by BPA COTR. The COTR, COTR's Manager and BPA Accountant certified that the request meets the BPA F&W capital policy and is approved for capital funding (if capital funds are available).

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1992-068-00 - Willamette Basin Mitigation
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria - In Part (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The proposal is for a large-scale effort in habitat acquisition, enhancement, restoration and management. Consistent with the Subbasin Plan, State plans, and conservation NGO strategies, this proposal appears to be part of a well-coordinated, regional effort. This project (really a program of many interrelated projects) has been going on for 13 years. There are 13-14 ongoing projects that include routine restoration or maintenance activities, but rarely monitoring. New projects expand the scope of the program along the same trajectory.

The land acquisition portion of this proposal is fundable. It defines the problem of land acquisition where only small parcels are available and the methods for prioritizing, selecting, and acquiring properties are sound.

Beyond the pending acquisitions, the remainder of the proposal is fundable in part. The ISRP recommends funding for FY07 only to allow an assessment of past work. Future funding of the active management component of the budget should be contingent upon a meaningful quantitative and qualitative analysis of project accomplishments to date, in terms of benefits to fish and wildlife. Formal monitoring and informal observational results should be synthesized and analyzed in terms of lessons learned and future modifications needed in management and /or monitoring procedures.

The preliminary review requested a response to concerns about monitoring and evaluation: "The project history provides some, but not sufficient, assessment of progress that the ISRP requested last year [referring to the ISRP's review of this project in the Provincial and FY00 reviews]. The numerous objectives in the proposal will require significant administration to track progress of overall project. Timelines are not clear, nor are metrics for future assessment of accomplishments. The ISRP requests a more complete description of how progress will be monitored. Measurable objectives are not always listed. For instance, the objective ‘remove exotic vegetation' may not be achievable by any currently known means. Work elements are often stated in terms of amount of habitat obtained or restored rather than in terms of fish and wildlife outcomes. The ISRP requests that authors address fish and wildlife responses. The ISRP believes that management plans have been completed for some sites and would like to see a description of monitoring methods. Procedures have been available during this project that should now be driving a feedback loop that is not apparent. The ISRP requests a description of how this loop functions.

The proposal identifies some M&E efforts as part of work elements, but does not provide enough details to evaluate. Even implementation monitoring would be difficult given the information provided. Many proposals do not include metrics, and it appears monitoring is just now being addressed with initial development of reference sites and procedures. Objectives of the analysis, the sample design, and data to be collected should be clearly described in advance of projects. In addition to quarterly reports, strategies for sharing successes and lessons learned with others involved in similar mitigation activities is recommended. The response should describe the data to be generated, stored, or analyzed."

Monitoring is a critical element for a project of this duration. The response provided indications that the sponsors are aware of the need for effective monitoring and evaluation in terms of benefits to fish and wildlife but that they feel constrained by logistics, other reporting requirements, and by the difficulty of detecting changes to fish and wildlife during the early stages of projects and/or on small scattered parcels. The ISRP is not convinced by their argument as many other wildlife projects have set up monitoring that is consistent with what is requested by the ISRP. The Albeni Falls Monitoring Plan is one that has been reviewed by the ISRP and found exemplary.

Sponsors are currently involved in development of "a revised HEP/Habitat value method that is based on structural and compositional values (ecological components) of mitigation sites and an evaluation of risk factors (such as presence and abundance of exotic invasives) to those sites." The use of HEP (revised or not) may be required for accounting purposes, but it is not seen by the ISRP as an effective monitoring tool

The monitoring plans included in the response are monitoring objectives in general terms: "species population surveys or estimates will be completed each year for ...(species)." No methods or goals for a population are included or even if particular life stages or seasons are targeted for monitoring. In the case of South Meadow, monitoring includes elements such as acres treated, relative cover of weed species, but not who will do this when, where the data will go, when it will be evaluated, by whom or what will trip an adaptive management response. In the future, it may be difficult to use these data to improve restoration approaches.

The sponsors are no doubt doing a difficult job with many uncertainties. The ISRP encourages the sponsors to view monitoring as a means of documenting project success and learning from projects in order to improve the success of future efforts. Reference is made to informal information sharing among project participants as an informal feedback loop. While useful, this does little to institutionalize or document lessons learned in an environment where the authors note that little validated restoration technology exists. Synthesis and publication of monitoring and evaluation data will maximize the value of project investments in terms of future benefits to fish and wildlife.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1992-068-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1992-068-00 - Willamette Basin Mitigation
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Capital component, land acquisition. Fund in part: wildlife M&E programmatic issue. Expense portion: Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Dorothy Welch Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Dawn Boorse Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Eric Rickerson (Inactive) Supervisor Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Israel Duran Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Paul Krueger (Inactive) Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Laura Tesler Project Lead Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife