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Project Summary

Project 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Project Number:
1996-046-01
Title:
Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Summary:
The Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement Project is a continuing effort to protect and restore riparian, floodplain, and instream habitat critical to native salmonids in the Walla Walla River Subbasin. New work planned for the 2008-09 funding cycle includes instream design on .5 miles of the south fork of the Walla Walla River, instream design on .7 miles on the mainstem Walla Walla River, and design and implementation of instream enhancement activities on approximately 300 meters of Couse Creek. The project will also collecting project effectiveness monitoring data at two sites in the basin, maintain livestock exclusion fences, and control noxious weeds within conservation areas as needed.

TBL Work Order for Wolf Fork Conservation Easement: 264157
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2004
Ending FY:
2032
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Walla Walla 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Fish
All Anadromous Salmonids
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Freshwater Mussels
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, River
Lamprey, Western Brook
Shad, American
Steelhead - Lower Columbia River DPS
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

Description: Page: 6 Figure 2: A portion of Nine Mile Dam near Reese Washington can be seen in this undated photo on the mainstem Walla Walla River. This dam was reportedly built in 1905 and eventually removed.

Project(s): 1996-046-01

Document: P121727

Dimensions: 599 x 405

Description: Page: 8 Figure 3: Map of the Walla Walla River Basin.

Project(s): 1996-046-01

Document: P121727

Dimensions: 792 x 604

Description: Page: 9 Figure 4: Long-term habitat conservation easements between the CTUIR and private landowners in the Walla Walla River Basin.

Project(s): 1996-046-01

Document: P121727

Dimensions: 1428 x 924


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  (FY2023 - FY2025)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2023 Expense $1,114,538 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022
FY2023 Expense $108,514 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 2/23/2023 02/23/2023
FY2023 Expense $27,851 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/28/2023 11/28/2023
FY2023 Expense $60,170 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 2/16/2024 02/16/2024
FY2024 Expense $1,142,401 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022
FY2024 Expense $18,856 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/28/2023 11/28/2023
FY2024 Expense $146,000 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 2/16/2024 02/16/2024
FY2024 Expense $60,170 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 2/16/2024 02/16/2024
FY2025 Expense $1,170,961 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024   DRAFT
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
2023 $650,000 35%
2022 $607,651 23%
2021 $1,369,292 45%
2020 $1,136,607 45%
2019 $612,000 33%
2018 $120,800 8%
2017 $147,000 14%
2016 $108,000 12%
2015
2014 $72,632 5%
2013 $755,191 44%
2012 $49,400 4%
2011 $343,240 20%
2010 $173,010 18%
2009 $12,066 100%
2008 $40,000 4%
2007 $426,899 56%

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
6414 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 WALLA WALA RIVER BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,118,321 10/1/2000 - 1/31/2005
22315 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 WALLA WALLA BASIN HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $266,976 2/1/2005 - 1/31/2006
26728 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $280,600 2/1/2006 - 3/31/2007
32726 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $315,149 4/1/2007 - 3/31/2008
37431 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $852,613 4/1/2008 - 1/31/2010
46692 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $795,823 2/1/2010 - 1/31/2011
BPA-005911 Bonneville Power Administration Wolf Fork Conservation Easement Active $4,585 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
53046 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,403,736 2/1/2011 - 1/31/2012
BPA-006346 Bonneville Power Administration Wolf Fork Conservation Easement FY2012 Active $17,941 10/1/2011 - 1/29/2012
56348 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,034,794 2/1/2012 - 1/31/2013
BPA-006862 Bonneville Power Administration WolfFork Conservation Easement Active $0 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
61253 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $956,846 2/1/2013 - 1/31/2014
64823 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,457,784 2/1/2014 - 1/31/2015
68523 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,548,564 2/1/2015 - 1/31/2016
71672 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $795,799 2/1/2016 - 1/31/2017
73982 REL 12 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN: ENHANCE & RESTORE FISH HABITAT Closed $927,894 2/1/2017 - 1/31/2018
73982 REL 35 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,400,051 1/1/2018 - 12/31/2018
73982 REL 61 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,268,921 1/1/2019 - 3/31/2020
73982 REL 102 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,374,201 4/1/2020 - 3/31/2021
73982 REL 134 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Closed $1,407,977 4/1/2021 - 3/31/2022
73982 REL 133 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP NURSERY BRIDGE (PHASE II-III): PASSAGE & FUNCTION Issued $238,750 4/1/2021 - 12/31/2023
73982 REL 159 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT: PROTECT & RESTORE Issued $2,035,665 4/1/2022 - 3/31/2023
73982 REL 190 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA BASIN FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Issued $1,165,904 4/1/2023 - 3/31/2024
CR-339535 SOW ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES FOR WALLA WALLA NURSERY BRIDGE RESTORATION Pending $85,000 4/1/2024 - 9/30/2029
73982 REL 218 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA FISH HABITAT PROJECTS Issued $1,282,427 4/1/2024 - 3/31/2025



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):21
Completed:13
On time:13
Status Reports
Completed:87
On time:20
Avg Days Late:21

                Count of Contract Deliverables
Earliest Contract Subsequent Contracts Title Contractor Earliest Start Latest End Latest Status Accepted Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
6414 22315, 26728, 32726, 37431, 46692, 53046, 56348, 61253, 64823, 68523, 71672, 73982 REL 12, 73982 REL 35, 73982 REL 61, 73982 REL 102, 73982 REL 134, 73982 REL 159, 73982 REL 190, 73982 REL 218 1996-046-01 EXP WALLA WALLA FISH HABITAT PROJECTS Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 10/01/2000 03/31/2025 Issued 75 255 11 0 37 303 87.79% 23
BPA-5911 Wolf Fork Conservation Easement Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2010 09/30/2011 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-6346 Wolf Fork Conservation Easement FY2012 Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2011 01/29/2012 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-6862 WolfFork Conservation Easement Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2012 09/30/2013 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
73982 REL 133 1996-046-01 EXP NURSERY BRIDGE (PHASE II-III): PASSAGE & FUNCTION Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 04/01/2021 12/31/2023 Issued 11 2 0 0 3 5 40.00% 0
Project Totals 86 257 11 0 40 308 87.01% 23


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: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-NPCC-20230310
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Approved Date: 4/15/2022
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Bonneville and Sponsor to address condition #4 (basis for how specific projects are selected) in project documentation, and to consider other conditions and address if appropriate. See Policy Issue I.a.

[Background: See https://www.nwcouncil.org/2021-2022-anadromous-habitat-and-hatchery-review/]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-ISRP-20230310
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Completed Date: 3/14/2023
Final Round ISRP Date: 2/10/2022
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

Generally, the proponents submitted a good proposal along with a strong record of accomplishments and progress toward program goals. Especially strong is the framing of the objectives and actions under the First Foods and River Vision concepts as these target habitat processes and functions. We note that this framework has broader utility for other regional watersheds in the region as well (i.e., Umatilla, Tucannon, John Day, and perhaps others). Also well-presented was the project history and accomplishments-to-date sections. Presenting these by area and by objectives permitted a clear illustration of the activities and physical improvements, such as to geomorphic processes and riparian conditions. Table 3 was a concise summary of the project’s track record for work accomplishments.

The ISRP’s recommended Conditions are listed below. The proponents need to assist with development of an M&E Matrix during the response loop (September 24 to November 22, 2021) and to provide information to address the other following Conditions in future annual reports and work plans:

  1. Priority areas. Describe the “priority areas” (locations) for each of the objectives in a table, map, or appendix to enhance specificity. It is difficult to discern which activities are being implemented at each location. 

  2. Methods. Include short descriptions of specific methods to be employed, as well as references or links to any documents containing these methods, as they likely exist elsewhere. For example, we suggest describing the methods employed for implementation objectives (specific tasks) to be executed in the project’s first proposed restoration project (restoration of RM 50.5 – 51.5) in the Walla Walla River. 

  3. M&E matrix - support. As habitat projects and monitoring projects are not presented as part of an integrated proposal or plan, the need for a crosswalk to identify the linkages between implementation and monitoring is extremely important for basins or geographic areas. The ISRP is requesting a response from the Walla Walla Sub-Basin Salmonid Monitoring and Evaluation Project (200003900) to summarize the linkages between implementation and monitoring projects in the basin. During the response loop, we ask this project to assist them in creating the summary and provide information to them about what is being monitored for this implementation project and where and when the monitoring occurs. A map or maps of locations of monitoring actions would be helpful in this regard. 

  4. Basis for how specific projects are selected. An important piece of doing restoration is ensuring that the right projects are conducted in the right locations. We appreciated the nice description of how the project selection process occurs. The ISRP asks proponents to be clearer on what projects are selected based on strategic priority (identified through the planning process) and what is done based on opportunity – e.g., where a willing landowner suddenly comes forward. 

  5. Climate change and restoration actions. The proponents provided an excellent discussion of how climate change will likely affect the Walla Walla Subbasin and to recovery of imperiled species in this system. What was not clear, however, is how their climate change analysis is used to determine specific project actions. A high priority action under present or past conditions, for instance, might be quite different from those under likely climate change scenarios. The ISRP encourages the proponents to continue to refine their projections and adjust project selection and actions accordingly.

Q1: Clearly defined objectives and outcomes

The proponents provided a thorough description of past efforts and accomplishments (outcomes) as background. The project’s progress is impressive despite some pretty significant challenges (especially water availability, obstruction to passage, and land uses within the subbasin). The basis and need for the project’s activities appear well grounded in the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan and other plans or documents, e.g., the First Foods and the River Vision documents. The proponents appear to use EDT predicted responses in productivity from habitat enhancement to guide some of their high priority actions.

The proponents describe (in Table 7) two overarching Goals and eight Quantitative Physical and Implementation Objectives, which are tied to functional “Touchstones” presented in the CTUIR River Vision Touchstones. Focusing on function is not a simple or a trivial undertaking but represents a higher level of thinking than focusing solely on composition or structure. The proposal’s objectives are essentially presented in a SMART format, generally with specific amount of work and completion date (e.g., “Restore access to 40 acres of floodplain in high priority areas by 2027”). Other Objectives include restoring ~16 miles of floodplain connectivity by 2043. Another is to correct two high priority fish passage barriers by 2027, although these are not identified. The last general objective is a commitment to participate and contribute to a series of annual coordination meetings with basin partners that focus on habitat restoration. General implementation objectives with quantitative targets and end points are also described, but details on the tasks needed to accomplish those objectives might be enhanced in future presentations (See Condition 1, above).

Q2: Methods

The methods for habitat improvement appear sound and are generally “more” of ongoing activities. The tables and figures were very concise and helpful. Descriptions were sufficient to follow what is proposed. Figure 3 provided a good idea of the 5-step Riverine Ecosystem Planning Approach (Scope, Assess, Monitor, Implement, Report) to the projects, including the logic and path for projects to go from proposal conception to implementation, monitoring, reporting and so on. Also, beneficial is the crosswalk of the Touchstones to Accords Limiting Factors and NOAA’s Ecological Concerns.

The methods appear to represent a high level of thinking; however, specific methods for each of the proposed actions is not included. What is missing, however, are general descriptions of how implementation actions are carried out. What criteria, for example are used when large woody debris is installed, or riparian plantings are to be employed, etc.? A few brief examples or standard practices (i.e., SOPs) currently in use or expected to be used would be informative. References (or links) to any documents used by the proponents to guide how specific restoration actions are expected to occur would help delineate the restoration practices being employed (see Condition 2 above).

Q3: Provisions for M&E

Proponents provide a good level of description to how work will be monitored from an implementation standpoint. In terms of effectiveness, the proponents suggest biological monitoring will be delivered through related projects in the subbasin and regionally., e.g., Project 200003900 by CTUIR (but see Recommendation 3 above). The project has a well-developed adaptive management process where information on action effectiveness is funneled back into the project. Monitoring data provided by: (a) Biomonitoring of Fish Habitat Enhancement (200901400), (b) Walla Walla Basin Monitoring and Evaluation (200003900), (c) WDFW Walla Walla River Basin Monitoring and Evaluation (200003901), and (d) Hyporheic Flow Assessment in Columbia River Tributaries (200725200), are used in this process. When judged necessary, adjustments based on lesson learned are made to further enhance the effectiveness future restoration actions.

Q4: Results – benefits to fish and wildlife

The proponents provided a crosswalk of the Functional Touchstones to Accords Limiting Factors and NOAA’s Ecological Concerns the majority of which focus on habitat loss (connectivity, condition, connectivity, hydrology, etc.). Thus, habitat improvements are expected to produce biological benefits to aquatic communities, including target fish species. These can be predicted from EDT or analogous kinds of analyses. However, the ISRP recognizes that observing incremental biological or physical responses in a project time frame can be difficult to measure until a critical mass of effects reach a tipping point. Therefore, longer time horizons are often needed to observe effects.

The proponents note that since the project’s inception substantial gains in restoring stream geomorphology (installation of instream structures, pools, and improved stream complexity), connectivity (floodplain reconnections, access to fish habitat, and removal of migration barriers) and streamside vegetation (riparian acres planted, protected, and improved) have been realized due to project efforts. Details on eight projects are included that highlight the project’s recent efforts to restore habitat functions in the subbasin. In summary the project is working successfully with partners to address some of the numerous priority habitat constraints present in the Walla Walla subbasin.

Documentation Links:
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-NPCC-20131125
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-1996-046-01
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY 2018: Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualification #2 in future reviews. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #1).
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #1—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #1).
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #2—Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualification #2 in future reviews.
Council Condition #3 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #1).

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-ISRP-20130610
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-1996-046-01
Completed Date: 6/12/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

This project will protect and restore habitat to benefit spring Chinook and ESA-listed summer steelhead, and bull trout mainly by improving connectivity and complexity in riparian habitat areas. It addresses the objectives of the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan, the Upper Walla Walla River Habitat Restoration Action Plan, the FCRPS 2008 BiOp, and the Snake River Salmon and Bull Trout Recovery Plans. The sponsors provide an adequate discussion of the primary limiting factors in the subbasin. The objectives address the limiting factors and the proposed work appears to be justified. The significance to regional programs, technical background, and objectives were for the most part adequately described.

Annual reports for the project indicate that representative portions of previously completed projects have been monitored using modified protocols from a variety of sources. Both physical and biological parameters were measured. Recently, the sponsors worked with Stillwater Sciences and built a habitat effectiveness bio-monitoring procedure. The bio-monitoring method uses both BACI and BA designs to evaluate adult and juvenile salmonid abundance. Additional details about this approach were provided during the site visit. A physical habitat assessment monitoring plan is also being produced. In this case, the sponsors are working with USGS and NOAA Fisheries personnel. Explanations on how and when these two new tools will be used to assess the effectiveness of the work being proposed are needed as the status and future plans for RM&E for the project are unclear.

The sponsors participate in a number of local working groups including the Mill Creek, Oregon Solutions, Priority Projects, and Lower Walla Walla working groups and are also active members in the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board and the Regional Technical Team. Some discussion of how local partners affect the Riverine Ecosystem Planning approach employed by the sponsors to prioritize habitat restoration areas is needed. Once projects have been identified, the River Restoration Analysis Tool (RiverRat) that was developed by the USFWS and NMFS is used to plan, design, and implement selected projects.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

An impressive number of projects have been implemented including conservation easements, land purchases, and passage improvements. Since its inception the project has completed 13 habitat restoration projects and is currently working on an additional four projects. Ten of these increased habitat complexity by replanting native vegetation, installing fencing, reconnecting the floodplain to the stream and enhancing riparian areas. An additional four projects were directed toward improving fish passage and three others were largely instituted to protect existing habitat from development. The sponsors provided short summaries of results and photo points for each ongoing project. These summaries were instructive, but more information would have been helpful. What percentage of the Walla Walla River system accessible to anadromous salmonids, for instance, has been affected by restoration projects? What is the distribution of existing and planned projects, and can they be connected to build a linked network of functioning stream and riparian environments? Additional quantitative information, especially on fish response, would have also improved the discussion.

The sponsor’s state that with additional funding provided through the Accords Agreement they were able to improve their restoration planning process. This is a positive step and is adaptive because it undoubtedly draws on past planning and implementation experience. A number of other adaptive management actions have also occurred. Originally restoration efforts were not directly linked to primary limiting factors, now they are. Additionally, tools like LiDAR, FLIR, topographic and bathymetric surveys, physical habitat surveys, riparian inventories, hyporheic assessments, and hydraulic modeling are now being used to plan and design projects. Project Administration has also changed, now before a project is started a five-step process is put in place that establishes goals, time lines, organizes planning teams, and ensures that proper permits are obtained. Finally, the knowledge gained from ongoing habitat restoration activities is being applied to new projects, not just in the Walla Walla subbasin but in the John Day, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde as well.

Evaluation of Results

For over 180 years the Walla Walla River basin has been impacted by anthropogenic impacts that have ranged from dam construction, dewatering due to irrigation, channel simplification, levee construction, logging and splash dam use, and over grazing. These impacts caused the extirpation of spring Chinook in 1925 and in the late 1990’s Walla Walla River summer steelhead and bull trout were listed as threatened by the ESA. Prior to the establishment of the 2008 Accords, the CTUIR had performed a number of localized restoration actions. After the Accords were established funds were available for larger projects. Once this occurred, lengthy assessment and design phases were started. Pre-project metrics that are being measured include: acres of riparian forest, percentage of floodplain available to the stream under various flows, percentage of streambed that can be used for spawning and rearing, and total stream length vs. valley length. After a project is completed these metrics are measured again, typically once every three to five years.

Additionally, the tribe instituted its First Foods paradigm and coupled this with its River Vision plan. This approach has been used to guide all subsequent restoration actions. In response to concerns raised by the ISRP in previous reviews, the sponsors developed a bio-monitoring and a physical habitat assessment plan. Both were recently completed, and the ISRP has reviewed the bio-monitoring plan. It is hoped that these M&E plans will be used to assess the effectiveness of the proposed projects.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

The sponsors list a number of agencies and organizations with whom they are coordinating, but they do not describe in any detail the nature of the coordination. For example, do the projects share data or participate together in planning, implementing, or monitoring projects?

Two emerging limiting factors were identified, climate change and aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Climate models predict that winter precipitation will shift from snow to rain and that will cause lower summer flows to occur. Additionally higher peak flows and warmer water temperatures are expected. The middle and lower parts of the Walla Walla River will be most impacted by these changes. Currently the hydrograph and water temperatures in these parts of the river are primarily controlled by irrigation withdrawals. Climate change will likely alter irrigation needs, and this may worsen the impacts of irrigation on flow and temperature. As water temperatures warm, invasive predaceous fish species are expected to expand into areas that presently have cools waters. Terrestrial noxious weeds may also expand.

No specific actions to deal with expanding non-native predator populations or altered water use patterns are mentioned. Instead, the approach taken to meet these emerging challenges is to expand habitat resilience by increasing natural and self-sustaining processes in floodplain and riparian habitats. The degree of resiliency each project might provide is best determined by biological and physical habitat monitoring efforts designed to measure habitat diversity, connectivity, and fish use among other attributes. Thus the implementation and consistent use of such monitoring programs should be regarded as key component for each proposed habitat restoration action.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The project has eight deliverables. Seven of them are explicit habitat restoration projects that address one or more of the project’s five objectives. For example, five of the projects, Kentch, Middle Walla Walla Fish Passage, Tumalum Levee setback, Bolan-Kelly, and South Fork Touchet River Habitat Enhancement address the objective of making the stream channel more complex. Four of the above projects are also being performed to connect streams to their floodplains and to enhance riparian zones, another project objective. Fish passage enhancement and improvement in water quality are two additional objectives that are being met by several of the proposed projects. The non-project deliverable is to contribute cost-share funds to in-basin habitat work being led by other partners. Overall, the deliverables are described only in general terms, nearly all are in the early planning stage. While many of them are relatively straightforward, it is difficult to assess their technical merit without more site-specific details. It is clear that a lot of planning will be required before most of the actions can be implemented.

The ISRP also wishes that implementation of an effectiveness monitoring program across the subbasin and its neighbors would move at a faster pace. We called for an integrated action effectiveness monitoring program at our last review and project sponsors agreed that one was needed. We continue to believe that monitoring action effectiveness remains one of the most pressing needs in both the Walla Walla and Umatilla subbasins, and we hope that one can be completed and implemented soon.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

One RM&E protocol, Umatilla Subbasin Fish Habitat Restoration Monitoring Plan, was cited. It has twenty methods some of which are fairly well developed while others are lacking explanations for how a procedure should occur. The protocol and methods cited appear to be appropriate for the types of data that will be collected.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

The issues can be dealt with in contracting and future project reviews.

 

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
Further information on how and when action effectiveness will be monitored and evaluated is needed.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2
Some additional discussion on how restoration actions are prioritized is needed. For example, how do local partners affect the Riverine Ecosystem Planning Approach used by the sponsors to identify where restoration actions should be focused? Additionally, explanations for how selected project activities fit into the larger subbasin landscape would be useful as they would help justify why the habitat restoration actions proposed were chosen.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

This project will protect and restore habitat to benefit spring Chinook and ESA-listed summer steelhead, and bull trout mainly by improving connectivity and complexity in riparian habitat areas. It addresses the objectives of the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan, the Upper Walla Walla River Habitat Restoration Action Plan, the FCRPS 2008 BiOp, and the Snake River Salmon and Bull Trout Recovery Plans. The sponsors provide an adequate discussion of the primary limiting factors in the subbasin. The objectives address the limiting factors and the proposed work appears to be justified. The significance to regional programs, technical background, and objectives were for the most part adequately described.

Annual reports for the project indicate that representative portions of previously completed projects have been monitored using modified protocols from a variety of sources. Both physical and biological parameters were measured. Recently, the sponsors worked with Stillwater Sciences and built a habitat effectiveness bio-monitoring procedure. The bio-monitoring method uses both BACI and BA designs to evaluate adult and juvenile salmonid abundance. Additional details about this approach were provided during the site visit. A physical habitat assessment monitoring plan is also being produced. In this case, the sponsors are working with USGS and NOAA Fisheries personnel. Explanations on how and when these two new tools will be used to assess the effectiveness of the work being proposed are needed as the status and future plans for RM&E for the project are unclear.

The sponsors participate in a number of local working groups including the Mill Creek, Oregon Solutions, Priority Projects, and Lower Walla Walla working groups and are also active members in the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board and the Regional Technical Team. Some discussion of how local partners affect the Riverine Ecosystem Planning approach employed by the sponsors to prioritize habitat restoration areas is needed. Once projects have been identified, the River Restoration Analysis Tool (RiverRat) that was developed by the USFWS and NMFS is used to plan, design, and implement selected projects.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

An impressive number of projects have been implemented including conservation easements, land purchases, and passage improvements. Since its inception the project has completed 13 habitat restoration projects and is currently working on an additional four projects. Ten of these increased habitat complexity by replanting native vegetation, installing fencing, reconnecting the floodplain to the stream and enhancing riparian areas. An additional four projects were directed toward improving fish passage and three others were largely instituted to protect existing habitat from development. The sponsors provided short summaries of results and photo points for each ongoing project. These summaries were instructive, but more information would have been helpful. What percentage of the Walla Walla River system accessible to anadromous salmonids, for instance, has been affected by restoration projects? What is the distribution of existing and planned projects, and can they be connected to build a linked network of functioning stream and riparian environments? Additional quantitative information, especially on fish response, would have also improved the discussion.

The sponsor’s state that with additional funding provided through the Accords Agreement they were able to improve their restoration planning process. This is a positive step and is adaptive because it undoubtedly draws on past planning and implementation experience. A number of other adaptive management actions have also occurred. Originally restoration efforts were not directly linked to primary limiting factors, now they are. Additionally, tools like LiDAR, FLIR, topographic and bathymetric surveys, physical habitat surveys, riparian inventories, hyporheic assessments, and hydraulic modeling are now being used to plan and design projects. Project Administration has also changed, now before a project is started a five-step process is put in place that establishes goals, time lines, organizes planning teams, and ensures that proper permits are obtained. Finally, the knowledge gained from ongoing habitat restoration activities is being applied to new projects, not just in the Walla Walla subbasin but in the John Day, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde as well.

Evaluation of Results

For over 180 years the Walla Walla River basin has been impacted by anthropogenic impacts that have ranged from dam construction, dewatering due to irrigation, channel simplification, levee construction, logging and splash dam use, and over grazing. These impacts caused the extirpation of spring Chinook in 1925 and in the late 1990’s Walla Walla River summer steelhead and bull trout were listed as threatened by the ESA. Prior to the establishment of the 2008 Accords, the CTUIR had performed a number of localized restoration actions. After the Accords were established funds were available for larger projects. Once this occurred, lengthy assessment and design phases were started. Pre-project metrics that are being measured include: acres of riparian forest, percentage of floodplain available to the stream under various flows, percentage of streambed that can be used for spawning and rearing, and total stream length vs. valley length. After a project is completed these metrics are measured again, typically once every three to five years.

Additionally, the tribe instituted its First Foods paradigm and coupled this with its River Vision plan. This approach has been used to guide all subsequent restoration actions. In response to concerns raised by the ISRP in previous reviews, the sponsors developed a bio-monitoring and a physical habitat assessment plan. Both were recently completed, and the ISRP has reviewed the bio-monitoring plan. It is hoped that these M&E plans will be used to assess the effectiveness of the proposed projects.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

The sponsors list a number of agencies and organizations with whom they are coordinating, but they do not describe in any detail the nature of the coordination. For example, do the projects share data or participate together in planning, implementing, or monitoring projects?

Two emerging limiting factors were identified, climate change and aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Climate models predict that winter precipitation will shift from snow to rain and that will cause lower summer flows to occur. Additionally higher peak flows and warmer water temperatures are expected. The middle and lower parts of the Walla Walla River will be most impacted by these changes. Currently the hydrograph and water temperatures in these parts of the river are primarily controlled by irrigation withdrawals. Climate change will likely alter irrigation needs, and this may worsen the impacts of irrigation on flow and temperature. As water temperatures warm, invasive predaceous fish species are expected to expand into areas that presently have cools waters. Terrestrial noxious weeds may also expand.

No specific actions to deal with expanding non-native predator populations or altered water use patterns are mentioned. Instead, the approach taken to meet these emerging challenges is to expand habitat resilience by increasing natural and self-sustaining processes in floodplain and riparian habitats. The degree of resiliency each project might provide is best determined by biological and physical habitat monitoring efforts designed to measure habitat diversity, connectivity, and fish use among other attributes. Thus the implementation and consistent use of such monitoring programs should be regarded as key component for each proposed habitat restoration action.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The project has eight deliverables. Seven of them are explicit habitat restoration projects that address one or more of the project’s five objectives. For example, five of the projects, Kentch, Middle Walla Walla Fish Passage, Tumalum Levee setback, Bolan-Kelly, and South Fork Touchet River Habitat Enhancement address the objective of making the stream channel more complex. Four of the above projects are also being performed to connect streams to their floodplains and to enhance riparian zones, another project objective. Fish passage enhancement and improvement in water quality are two additional objectives that are being met by several of the proposed projects. The non-project deliverable is to contribute cost-share funds to in-basin habitat work being led by other partners. Overall, the deliverables are described only in general terms, nearly all are in the early planning stage. While many of them are relatively straightforward, it is difficult to assess their technical merit without more site-specific details. It is clear that a lot of planning will be required before most of the actions can be implemented.

The ISRP also wishes that implementation of an effectiveness monitoring program across the subbasin and its neighbors would move at a faster pace. We called for an integrated action effectiveness monitoring program at our last review and project sponsors agreed that one was needed. We continue to believe that monitoring action effectiveness remains one of the most pressing needs in both the Walla Walla and Umatilla subbasins, and we hope that one can be completed and implemented soon.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

One RM&E protocol, Umatilla Subbasin Fish Habitat Restoration Monitoring Plan, was cited. It has twenty methods some of which are fairly well developed while others are lacking explanations for how a procedure should occur. The protocol and methods cited appear to be appropriate for the types of data that will be collected.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

The issues can be dealt with in contracting and future project reviews.

 

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/12/2013 9:19:32 AM.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: ISRP fundable qualified: programmatic habitat m&e issue, see decision memo discussion. Sponsor should address ISRP comment next time they report to Bonneville (copy to Council staff).

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1996-046-01 - Walla Walla River Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The sponsors provided a reasonable response to some of the ISRP's comments but not to others. The sponsors adequately addressed ISRP comments related to objectives, reach prioritization, landowner permission to conduct projects, and information transfer. The sponsors provided little more information on project effectiveness than they did in the original proposal, basically citing monitoring results from a single project (which was insightful and indicated progress toward success) rather than providing a comprehensive quantitative synthesis across all projects. Because of the lack of presentation of comprehensive, quantitative results it is difficult to assess the success of this project.

The ISRP remains concerned about the lack of fish monitoring. The sponsors apparently do not feel that measuring parameters related to fish production at the project level is necessary. Their rationale is that changes in salmonid abundance for an individual project could result from any number of factors not related to habitat restoration activities and argue that effectiveness is best determined at the subbasin or tributary scale. This view is somewhat perplexing because the sponsors mentioned in the section in the original proposal entitled "Parameters currently being monitored and analyzed over time" that monitoring fish populations was a standard part of their project assessments. One way of assessing impacts of extraneous factors at the site level is to employ unrestored reference reaches to serve as a comparison with restored reaches. The sponsors mentioned the use of reference reaches several times in the proposal, but they did not describe the reference reaches or even clearly indicate if they would actually make use of them.

It would be relatively simple to add some monitoring of fish response, and to take a more active part in the development of habitat effectiveness evaluation in the basin. The sponsors could develop a cost-effective program with help from a statistical team in creating a design.

Qualification: More effort should be placed on monitoring fish response to habitat changes. Monitoring all projects may not be necessary, but the sponsors do need some plan at an appropriate watershed/subbasin scale to determine the effectiveness of the projects. To assess effectiveness, the sponsors should try to identify reference reaches to compare with restored reaches.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1996-046-01
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: Multiple restoration activities and coordination activities; other entities may be authorized/required; need confirmation of screening or other criteria to ensure BPA not funding activities others are required to perform; need confirmation that cost-share is adequate.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-046-01-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1996-046-01
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
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Katey Grange Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Andre L'Heureux (Inactive) Project SME Bonneville Power Administration
Julie Burke Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Michael Lambert Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Gerald Middel Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Ethan Green Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Victoria Bohlen Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Morgan Clay Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
John Skidmore Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Daniel Gambetta Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration