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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:
2021
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

Description: Page: 1 Figure 1: Grass planting, June 2010, 7 months post seeding. Bridgeport Unit.

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P119084

Dimensions: 541 x 406

Description: Page: 2 Figure 2: Water birch plot under construction, Bridgeport Unit

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P119084

Dimensions: 651 x 441

Description: Page: 4 Figure 3: Bridgeport Unit

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P119084

Dimensions: 895 x 671

Description: Page: 1 Figure 1: Unloading equipment for grass planting, November, 2010. Bridgeport Unit.

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 541 x 405

Description: Page: 2 Figure 2a: Before and after of erosion repair - Bridgeport Unit

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 472 x 354

Description: Page: 2 Figure 2b: Before and after of erosion repair - Bridgeport Unit

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 472 x 353

Description: Page: 4 Figure 3a: Before and after of fence flag installation on the Bridgeport Unit. A simple task that even 3-year old children can help with.

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 247 x 184

Description: Page: 4 Figure 3b: Before and after of fence flag installation on the Bridgeport Unit. A simple task that even 3-year old children can help with.

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 505 x 383

Description: Page: 5 Figure 4: Sharp-tailed grouse budding in water birch trees - December 2010, Bridgeport Unit.

Project: 1994-044-00

Document: P126195

Dimensions: 800 x 596

Contract: 39390

Dimensions: 2048 x 1536

Contract: 39390

Dimensions: 2048 x 1536


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 $19,354 From: General Cloned from: Wildlife O&M 06/05/2019
FY2020 Expense $304,161 From: General FY20 SOY 06/05/2019
FY2020 Expense $32,702 From: General Wildlife Agreement Transfers 01/20/2021
FY2021 Expense $323,515 From: General FY21 SOY 06/09/2020

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 $120,304 (Draft) 25% (Draft)
2019 $120,304 28%
2018 $84,050 22%
2017 $84,050 23%
2016 $77,630 13%
2015 $117,250 30%
2014 $33,533 11%
2013 $237,732 48%
2012 $800,745 75%
2011 $15,000 5%
2010
2009 $123,112 33%
2008
2007

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-011361 Bonneville Power Administration FY96 Acquisitions Active $100,545 10/1/1995 - 9/30/1996
BPA-011362 Bonneville Power Administration FY98 Acquisitions Active $937,087 10/1/1997 - 9/30/1998
9148 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Closed $152,547 10/1/2001 - 9/30/2002
25011 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 PL SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $249,361 10/1/2005 - 9/30/2006
592 REL 22 SOW Eastern Washington University SAGEBRUSH FLAT - CULTURAL RES Closed $26,981 11/14/2005 - 9/30/2006
29531 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 PL SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $249,360 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
35070 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 PL SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $194,705 10/1/2007 - 9/30/2008
36563 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes SAGEBRUSH FLATS - BRIDGEPORT UNIT PORTION - CULT PROPTY STUDY Closed $17,190 2/1/2008 - 5/31/2008
39390 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS Closed $246,897 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
44910 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 199404400 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $249,420 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
50683 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $251,430 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
54273 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $249,784 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
60262 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $256,984 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
63238 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $255,601 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
66610 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Closed $263,055 10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015
70610 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Closed $507,822 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 Closed $269,661 9/1/2017 - 8/31/2018
74314 REL 48 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Closed $291,958 9/1/2018 - 8/31/2019
74314 REL 80 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Closed $309,032 9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020
74314 REL 113 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Issued $313,515 9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021
CR-345906 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 1994-044-00 EXP SAGEBRUSH FLAT WILDLIFE MITIGATION Pending $313,515 9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):16
Completed:10
On time:10
Status Reports
Completed:61
On time:9
Avg Days Late:24

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-011361 FY96 Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/1995 10/1995 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-011362 FY98 Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/1997 10/1997 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25011 29531, 35070, 39390, 44910, 50683, 54273, 60262, 63238, 66610, 70610, 74314 REL 11, 74314 REL 48, 74314 REL 80, 74314 REL 113 1994-044-00 PL SAGEBRUSH FLATS WILDLIFE AREA Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 10/2005 10/2005 Issued 60 195 0 0 10 205 95.12% 1
Project Totals 60 195 0 0 10 205 95.12% 1


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 Individual Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-044-00-ISRP-20201118
Project: 1994-044-00 - Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Mitigation
Review: 2017 Individual Review
Completed Date: 11/18/2020
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/28/2017
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Objectives and outcomes 

General objectives or overarching goals were presented in the Summary Report. Quantitative objectives with timelines, however, should now be developed and used to guide future work and help formulate the project’s adaptive management plan. The proponents may also wish to establish a depreciation schedule to see if the critical infrastructure needs replacement. This schedule would also allow the proponents to assess and prepare for risks, such as fires. 

The 2017 Summary lists the primary objective as “vegetation management to protect and enhance the existing shrub-steppe and riparian habitats and restore former agricultural fields and degraded areas to native habitat” and the secondary objective as “infrastructure maintenance.” These are clear statements of intention that can be justified as supporting recovery plans for imperiled focal species. However, they lack timelines and are not quantitative, and consequently, cannot be used to evaluate success or track progress. Quantitative objectives and timelines need to be developed for pygmy rabbits, vegetation, Columbia sharp-tailed grouse, greater sage grouse, including genetic diversity of grouse populations. They could be used to justify supporting recovery plans for imperiled focal species. As another example, without quantitative objectives for vegetation management (e.g. enhancement of shrub-steppe, weed control) it is difficult to determine outcomes. Acres under management, road miles treated for weed control, and measuring success of vegetation conversion could act as quantitative objectives. 

The proponents identify that shrub-steppe habitat protection and enhancement are key objectives. ISRP wonders what quantitative objectives guide this work. For instance, are there objectives for species richness, coverage, distribution, and/or species composition? 

2. Scientific principles and methods 

An extensive series of recovery plans, research reports, and published scientific papers is provided to justify habitat restoration actions in support of three imperiled focal species (pygmy rabbit, Columbia sharp tailed grouse and greater sage grouse). The research (and monitoring) is mostly convincing that appropriate scientific principles and methods are being applied. Much of the work was conducted in the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area (SWFA).

The ISRP suggests photo plots be considered as a technique for monitoring vegetation management outcomes. For this monitoring method to be useful photos should be taken from the same spots at the same time of year. 

3. Monitoring and evaluation 

Monitoring and evaluation of results is evident in the reports cited, but that work was funded by organizations other than BPA, primarily WDFW and USFWS. WDFW is also planning to implement a Citizen Science based monitoring program on the SFWA. Proponents should be aware of the difficulties of using citizen science in remote areas. 

The ISRP was pleased to see links provided for grouse translocation projects included in the Summary Report (e.g. Re-establishment of Viable Populations of Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse in Washington: 2010 Progress Report [Schroeder et al. 2010] Link). The ISRP suggests lek counts from the project areas and surrounding sites be included in future progress reports instead of just attaching the status and trends report for the entire state. 

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

The proponents reported results of the grouse translocation project (2009-2013), and the ISRP anticipates that the results will inform other projects (e.g. Swanson Lake, Scotch Creek).

Overall, the project is maintaining various improvements to habitat that benefits imperiled focal species. The Summary Report includes a useful summary of lessons learned about specific habitat restoration actions and administrative policies. The decisions or recommendations for changes are described clearly, but they are not well supported by evidence or references to analyses in other documents.  

Qualification #1 - Inclusion in Next Management Plan
The ISRP requests that in the next revision of the management plan, the proponents develop quantitative objectives, timelines, and an adaptive management approach for tracking how the project’s focal species are responding to management actions. Grouse and pygmy rabbits are being monitored, but additional monitoring should be directed toward how vegetation (shrubsteppe habitat, water birch) is responding to the project’s activities.
Documentation Links:
Review: Wildlife Category Review

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

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:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

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.

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:

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

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 (Inactive) Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Jamie Cleveland Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration