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Project Summary

Project 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
Project Number:
1994-044-00
Title:
Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
Summary:
The Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area, located in Douglas County, north central Washington (see fig 1), is comprised of eight parcels totaling 13,188 acres of shrubsteppe habitat. It was acquired and is managed to mitigate for the wildlife losses resulting from the construction of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams. The project goal is to protect and enhance the existing shrubsteppe habitat and restore former agricultural fields and degraded areas to native habitat. This work is a critical part to WDFW’s goal of recovering and maintaining populations of wildlife dependant on shrubsteppe habitat. Several federally and or state listed species occur on the project site including pygmy rabbit, sage grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, sage thrashers, sage sparrows, loggerhead shrike, Washington ground squirrels, and white-tailed jackrabbit. The project addresses declining quantity and quality of shrubsteppe habitat and subsequent negative impacts on the distribution and populations of shrubsteppe obligate/facultative species. Protection, enhancement and restoration efforts will benefit the above species by improving and expanding nesting, brood rearing, foraging, concealment and winter habitats. These efforts include, but are not limited to, restoration of former agricultural fields, planting riparian trees and shrubs and weed control. All work done on the project is by WDFW staff.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
1994
Ending FY:
2018
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Cascade Columbia Upper Middle 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

Grass planting, June 2010, 7 months post seeding. Bridgeport Unit.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P119084

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area -- 2010

Page Number: 1

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 50683

Water birch plot under construction, Bridgeport Unit

Figure Name: Figure 2

Document ID: P119084

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area -- 2010

Page Number: 2

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 50683

Bridgeport Unit

Figure Name: Figure 3

Document ID: P119084

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area -- 2010

Page Number: 4

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 50683

Unloading equipment for grass planting, November, 2010. Bridgeport Unit.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 1

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273

Before and after of erosion repair - Bridgeport Unit

Figure Name: Figure 2a

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 2

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273

Before and after of erosion repair - Bridgeport Unit

Figure Name: Figure 2b

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 2

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273

Before and after of fence flag installation on the Bridgeport Unit. A simple task that even 3-year old children can help with.

Figure Name: Figure 3a

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 4

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273

Before and after of fence flag installation on the Bridgeport Unit. A simple task that even 3-year old children can help with.

Figure Name: Figure 3b

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 4

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273

Sharp-tailed grouse budding in water birch trees - December 2010, Bridgeport Unit.

Figure Name: Figure 4

Document ID: P126195

Document: Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 5

Project: 1994-044-00

Contract: 54273


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) $275,247 $275,247 $275,247 $527,556 $328,799

General $275,247 $275,247 $527,556 $328,799
FY2018 (Current) $294,161 $294,161 $0 $0 $0

General $294,161 $0 $0 $0
FY2019 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

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

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2017 - FY2019)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2017 Expense $275,247 From: General FY17 SOY Budgets 06/02/2016
FY2018 Expense $275,247 From: General FY18 SOY Budgets 07/17/2017
FY2018 Expense $18,914 From: General July 25th 2017 Transfers 07/25/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Project Cost Share:

FY2017 0 %
FY2016 13 %
FY2015 30 %
FY2014 11 %
FY2013 48 %
FY2012 75 %
FY2011 5 %
FY2010 0 %
FY2009 33 %
FY2008 0 %
FY2007 0 %
Fiscal Year Cost Share Partner Total Proposed
Contribution
Total Confirmed
Contribution
FY2016 US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) $19,000
FY2016 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) $58,630

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
70610 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Issued $527,556 10/1/2015 - 8/31/2017
74314 REL 11 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Issued $275,247 9/1/2017 - 8/31/2018



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):13
Completed:8
On time:8
Status Reports
Completed:48
On time:7
Avg Days Late:27

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
25011 29531, 35070, 39390, 44910, 50683, 54273, 60262, 63238, 66610, 70610, 74314 REL 11 1994-044-00 PL SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 10/2005 10/2005 Issued 48 167 0 0 5 172 97.09% 1
Project Totals 48 167 0 0 5 172 97.09% 1


Review: Wildlife Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
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 sponsors have presented many useful data and analyses. Graphs and mapped data are well presented and clearly show the decline of focal species (pygmy rabbit, sage grouse, etc.) as well as efforts to restore those populations and their habitats. Land-use changes are described in detail. Work elements are linked to objectives, which are reasonable and use standard methods.

The project is on track, with a few exceptions noted below. These issues should be addressed in future annual reports and proposals.

1) The appendices include results and elements of project history.
a) It would be useful to analyze existing data so they may be used in an adaptive management strategy. For example p. 49 "Although the Sagebrush Flat Unit is monitored annually for breeding birds, the data is not yet available. Because the data has been collected over a longer time interval than the breeding bird surveys conducted as part of the shrub steppe restoration study, it should be useful for examining trends." In other instances clarification of statistical methodology would improve the proposal (e.g., p. 49 re western meadowlark "None of the data illustrated significant long-term trends, although the western meadowlark was close (slope of -0.0165, P = 0.0551)." The statement is equivocal.
b) WDFW biologists will monitor the progress of the recovery program and evaluate additional release sites including the Dormaier and Chester Butte Units (p. 11 - what methods?).
c) Generally, wildlife species were not monitored with much intensity, although radio-marked sage grouse and sharptails were released; any relocation of these individuals? If so, please summarize with survival rates for radio-marked birds and size of area used by marked birds.

2) The reduction in Conservation Reserve Program acres is of concern and the proposal would be improved by further explanation of how serious this issue is relative to overall progress of the project. Scientific guidance for restoration/enhancement and M&E comes from WDFW scientists. The sponsors should be complimented for bringing the researchers into their project as the publications resulting from the work are applicable to other WDFW Areas. However, the scientists must be stretched thinly to cover all M&E concerns at this area as well as the others in the state.

3) Could the authors present a citation for the statement in their presentation that 2 million sharp-tailed grouse were harvested in one year (1880's) in the Palouse alone and sent back East?
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
First Round ISRP Comment:
The sponsors have presented many useful data and analyses. Graphs and mapped data are well presented and clearly show the decline of focal species (pygmy rabbit, sage grouse, etc.) as well as efforts to restore those populations and their habitats. Land-use changes are described in detail. Work elements are linked to objectives, which are reasonable and use standard methods.

The project is on track, with a few exceptions noted below. These issues should be addressed in future annual reports and proposals.

1) The appendices include results and elements of project history.
a) It would be useful to analyze existing data so they may be used in an adaptive management strategy. For example p. 49 "Although the Sagebrush Flat Unit is monitored annually for breeding birds, the data is not yet available. Because the data has been collected over a longer time interval than the breeding bird surveys conducted as part of the shrub steppe restoration study, it should be useful for examining trends." In other instances clarification of statistical methodology would improve the proposal (e.g., p. 49 re western meadowlark "None of the data illustrated significant long-term trends, although the western meadowlark was close (slope of -0.0165, P = 0.0551)." The statement is equivocal.
b) WDFW biologists will monitor the progress of the recovery program and evaluate additional release sites including the Dormaier and Chester Butte Units (p. 11 - what methods?).
c) Generally, wildlife species were not monitored with much intensity, although radio-marked sage grouse and sharptails were released; any relocation of these individuals? If so, please summarize with survival rates for radio-marked birds and size of area used by marked birds.

2) The reduction in Conservation Reserve Program acres is of concern and the proposal would be improved by further explanation of how serious this issue is relative to overall progress of the project. Scientific guidance for restoration/enhancement and M&E comes from WDFW scientists. The sponsors should be complimented for bringing the researchers into their project as the publications resulting from the work are applicable to other WDFW Areas. However, the scientists must be stretched thinly to cover all M&E concerns at this area as well as the others in the state.

3) Could the authors present a citation for the statement in their presentation that 2 million sharp-tailed grouse were harvested in one year (1880's) in the Palouse alone and sent back East?
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issue #9.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Equipment/facilities purchase and replacement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1994-044-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: O&M, and some enhancement on wildlife mitigation habitat lands; assume requested funds consistent with terms of MOA/ Upon further review, BPA concerned that sponsor has been applying BPA funds in lieu of state funds; will need cost share or other resolution. Rating changed from "1" to a "3."

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1994-044-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
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:
This is continuing project is tied to protection and restoration of pygmy rabbits, sage grouse, and sharp-tailed grouse. These activities are related to a number of regional programs. However, the priority of this project does not appear urgent.

The proposal includes a good description of project history and tasks accomplished. Some small descriptions of biological benefits achieved are described, but authors should better develop this description, particularly given the amount of time and work that has transpired over the project history.

Data have been collected from all four units of the SFWA. In many instances, these dataset represent more than a decade of work. A consistent ISRP recommendation for a number of years has been the need to relate HEP survey data to actual on-the-ground wildlife responses. It is a disappointment and a serious concern that those results are not yet available for this project. They should receive much higher priority. Given the large, ongoing investment in this project, the ISRP believes it is important to know whether wildlife (particularly ESA-listed species) are responding to the habitat work. The project sponsors seem on track to providing this evaluation, and this type of reporting should be included in annual reports and subsequent proposals.

Technical and scientific background: The rationale for this project is tied to protection and restoration of pygmy rabbits, sage grouse, and sharp-tailed grouse. Similar to previous ISRP reviews of this long-standing project, the proposal provides much detail for monitoring and evaluation indicating awareness of issues missing from many proposals.

Additionally, the ISRP recommends that terrestrial sampling on Fish and Wildlife Program lands follow common sampling methods and some common data collection protocols across the four States involved to enhance monitoring and evaluation of terrestrial systems on subbasin and basin scales. Perhaps the recent PNAMP and CSMEP efforts and the National Resources Inventory sampling procedures and data collection protocols could serve the region.

The proposal included extensive description of budget items, with individual items seemingly having appropriate costs, but the overall project cost still seems high compared to other projects.

Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The proposed work fits in well with wildlife objectives of the subbasins plan, the Fish and Wildlife Program, and ESA mandated concerns on pygmy rabbits, sharp-tail and sage grouse.

Relationships to other projects are well described in the proposal.

Project history: The proposal includes a good description of project history and tasks accomplished. Some small descriptions are provide of biological benefits achieved - more emphasis needs to be placed here, particularly given the amount of time and work that has transpired over the project history.

For example, the following is from page 15 of the proposal under Monitoring: "Baseline HEP work has been conducted on all 4 units of the SFWA, including the Sagebrush Flat, Dormaier, Chester Butte, and Bridgeport units. Although the HEP results have been examined in relation to standard Habitat Suitability Indices for focal species, the habitat data has as yet not been linked directly to the results of wildlife surveys. These surveys include, but are not limited to, aerial surveys of mule deer populations, surveys of greater sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse display sites (leks), pellet surveys of deer, grouse, and jackrabbits, breeding surveys of songbirds, searches for songbird nests, winter surveys of birds, trapping surveys of small mammals, and standardized searches for reptiles and amphibians (Schroeder and Almack 2006). Some of these data sets have been collected every year since at least 1994 and some have been stratified by management history and focal habitat."
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Paul Dahmer Administrative Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Dan Peterson Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Peter Lofy Administrative Contact Bonneville Power Administration
Jennifer Snyder Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Steven Gagnon Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration