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Project Summary

Project 1996-077-05 - Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
Project Number:
1996-077-05
Title:
Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
Summary:
The Restore McComas Meadows/Meadow Creek Watershed project (1996-077-05) has been an on-going project of the Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries Watershed Program since 1996. This project is being completed in cooperation with the Nez Perce National Forest (NPNF). The ultimate goal of the project is to restore the physical and biological characteristics of the watershed to provide quality habitat for anadromous and resident fish species that support the historical, cultural and economic practices of the Nez Perce Tribe. The Meadow Creek watershed contains proposed critical habitat for listed species steelhead trout and potential critical habitat for bull trout; it has moderate habitat potential for spring Chinook salmon. Restoration in this watershed focuses on restoring riparian processes by addressing increased water temperatures, increased sedimentation, cattle grazing affects, fish passage issues, and noxious weed infestations. Previously completed contract work includes 3 culvert replacements, 20 miles of road decommissioning, installation of riparian vegetation cages, annual riparian vegetation planting, installation and maintenance of 5 miles of fence, re-contouring of the McComas Meadow ditch, and continued monitoring and evaluation and revegetation surveys.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Nez Perce Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
1996
Ending FY:
2011
BPA PM:
Stage:
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Snake Clearwater 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU (threatened)
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU (threatened)
Coho - Unspecified Population
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Lamprey, Pacific
Steelhead - Snake River DPS (threatened)
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Tags:
None
Special:
None

McComas Meadows - Ox-eye daisy following treatment, summer 2010.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P120236

Document: Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration

Page Number: 9

Project: 1996-077-05

Contract: 46104

False Creek Phase II and Whitman Creek in progress photos.

Figure Name: Figure 2a

Document ID: P120236

Document: Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration

Page Number: 10

Project: 1996-077-05

Contract: 46104

False Creek Phase II and Whitman Creek in progress photos.

Figure Name: Figure 2b

Document ID: P120236

Document: Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration

Page Number: 10

Project: 1996-077-05

Contract: 46104

Upstream view of the new Farris Creek culvert replacement.

Figure Name: Figure 3

Document ID: P120236

Document: Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration

Page Number: 11

Project: 1996-077-05

Contract: 46104


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 *
FY2016 (Previous) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2017 (Current) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2018 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

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

No Decided Budget Transfers

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2011 0 %
FY2010 16 %
FY2009 19 %
FY2008 12 %
FY2007 40 %
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.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
4936 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996-77-5 RESTORE MCCOMAS MEADOWS History $832,904 3/1/2001 - 2/28/2005
21728 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996 077 05 RESTORE MCCOMAS MEADOWS/MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED History $314,572 3/1/2005 - 9/30/2006
26504 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996 077 05 MCCOMAS MEADOWS WATERSHED RESTORATION History $313,518 3/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
31887 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996 077 05 MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION History $228,566 3/1/2007 - 2/29/2008
36698 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996-077-05 EXP NPT MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION History $552,441 3/1/2008 - 10/31/2010
46104 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 199607705 EXP NPT MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION History $446,982 3/1/2010 - 2/28/2011



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):7
Completed:6
On time:6
Status Reports
Completed:46
On time:31
Avg Days Early:3

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
4936 21728, 26504, 31887, 36698, 46104 1996-77-5 RESTORE MCCOMAS MEADOWS Nez Perce Tribe 03/2001 03/2001 History 31 80 0 0 0 80 100.00% 0
32691 36916 1996 077 05 EXP USFS MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION US Forest Service (USFS) 03/2007 03/2007 Closed 15 10 0 0 0 10 100.00% 0
Project Totals 46 90 0 0 0 90 100.00% 0


Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1996-077-05
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Road decommissioning and culvert removal; assume it occurs on National Forest lands and is covered by BPA-FS MOU.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1996-077-05
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: 1996-077-05-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1996-077-05 - Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
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
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This is a 10-year-old project to restore the watershed's physical and biological characteristics. The focal species is steelhead. The secondary species are spring/summer Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and rainbow and cutthroat trout. The project involves planting riparian vegetation, replacing passage-blocking culverts, decommissioning roads, controlling weeds, maintaining previously built livestock fencing, and installing salmonid habitat features in streams. All of these can be scientifically justified except the latter item, which is inadequately covered under Biological Objective 5 "Improve aquatic habitat diversity and complexity." The proposed actions under that objective included installation of rock structures and wood material, such as tree stumps. Some of these, particularly the wood material, may be beneficial, but the sponsors have not justified it. The project's hard-engineered structures bring the value of the entire plan for in-channel work into doubt (more on this below). The ISRP is also concerned that too much reliance is placed on the hydrodynamic modeling that was stated in the response. It might be useful for some objectives but not for assessing fish habitat and for the probably ill-advised ideas for hard-engineered structures.

The section on technical and scientific background adequately describes problems that need to be addressed. One particularly strong aspect is the recognition of anthropogenic causes of harm to the watershed and streams -- not just the instream symptoms. The ISRP suggested some reorganization of proposal material, which the sponsors did in response.

The significance to regional programs is adequately shown, as are relationships to other projects. The project history contained descriptions of past activities performed but lacked data on physical and biological results that would indicate what the 10 years of activities have accomplished in terms of improved habitat characteristics and fish populations. Also, it was not clear what assessment may have been made of the dynamic aspects of the fluvial geomorphic process. The ISRP asked for a response on these issues, and the sponsors responded with adequate discussion of physical matters. However, on the subject of the project's biological effects, the response was as follows: "This project has never been under contract with BPA to determine the response of focal species. It is a project focused on implementing on-the-ground watershed restoration projects."

Clearly, the project's overarching goal is to restore habitat for salmonid fishes. This cannot be claimed to have been achieved unless the results compose the suite of conditions that fish actually use and thrive in. It could be argued that monitoring fish abundance is not needed where it is reasonably certain that the work will result in an environment meeting that suite of conditions for the focal species. The proposal does not show that the project will meet that test. The proof of fish habitat restoration is fish.

The proposal's objectives and methods were generally adequate with respect to planned actions but not with respect to in-channel work. The reviewers asked that the methods for increasing "instream habitat complexity" be described in more detail and justified in the response. They asked specifically that the response include description of the kinds of "grade control structures" to be built, and what is supposed to be their function in terms of fish habitat. They asked for discussion of how focal species would use the grade control structures, and what evidence exists that these devices would benefit the focal species and be cost-effective. They also asked what form the "wood material" structures would take, and requested description and literature-based evidence (or statistics from the project's past work) that the planned methods are beneficial.

The response on drop structures and other in-channel work raised ISRP concern that the plan emphasizes hard-engineered methods (e.g., cross-vanes, w-weirs and J-hook vanes), which are of uncertain benefit to fish, and which may harm habitat. The proposal did not deal adequately with the fish habitat aspects of stream processes. From a non-biological literature source, the response lists 12 objectives for "properly designed" stream structures. One is "improve fish habitat," but others would often conflict with it. An example is the objective, "decrease near-bank velocity, shear stress or stream power." There was no consideration that some of the project's focal and secondary species benefit from strong near-bank velocities that bring the most food per unit time past their preferred hiding places under stream banks or in wood lodged against banks—and that strong current against banks is needed to form and maintain hiding cover.

The response is too vague about "habitat diversity and complexity." To say instream structures will be designed to "accommodate" fish habitat by creating pools where they naturally would form is important in a general sense, but it should also be considered that creating proper stream conformation for fish involves far more than that. It also says structures will "protect the stream bank from eroding into the channel; therefore, decreasing excessive sediment into the stream . . ." This intent seems laudable, but over-stabilization with "hard structures" can be harmful, and the response indicates hard engineering. Restoring riparian vegetation (perhaps also adding large woody debris along banks) would often reduce streambank erosion, while still allowing the moderate channel migration that is essential to form and reform natural stream features that compose fish habitat. Channel migration (which involves bank erosion) not only creates undercut banks that shelter fish, but can also recruit gravel from stream banks to replenish the streambed gravel beds that salmonids need for reproduction. The proposal does not consider the benefits of natural rates of channel migration.

In the previous funding cycle, the ISRP review of this project expressed reservation about funding because a complete and detailed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan was not provided. Consequently, a detailed M&E plan was expected in this proposal. This proposal contained good general description of an M&E plan but remained deficient with respect to statistical design and methodological details. The ISRP asked for a response to include details of the plan and methods. The sponsors responded by attaching a monitoring report for 2005, that includes methods, but they did not summarize the methods because it "would be rather lengthy," and instead said ISRP "input would be appreciated," thus implying the ISRP should undertake the lengthy task.

As the project has not been funded for biological M&E, the sponsors should obtain biological M&E in the future via another project which is monitoring their stream and incorporate the results in their proposals.

Finally, in the response loop, the ISRP recommended that the Nez Perce Tribe suggest a priority and rank of the numerous proposals submitted under the titles "protect" and "restore," indicating where habitat actions and protection in the Clearwater offer the most potential benefit. In response, a table showing priorities of projects was attached for this and other projects.

For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading "General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds" at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.
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Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1996-077-05 - Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: 2007 Revised Budget: 1) Reduced budget associated with riparian revegetation, road decommissioning (and find other cost share funds to complete project) and noxious weed treatment; and 2) eliminate budgets associated with culvert designs (work element 3a and e), two culvert replacements, and education component (work element 2c). Address ISRP concerns during contracting.

Project Relationships: This project Merged To 2010-003-00 effective on 11/5/2009
Relationship Description: Starting in FY11, projects 1996-077-05 and 2000-036-00 are merged to form new project 2010-003-00. This request was made through the BOG process (Sept 30, 2009). The 2 projects have mis-lined contract end dates. Thus NPT/BPA decided to start this new project in FY11.


Name Role Organization
Heidi McRoberts Project Lead Nez Perce Tribe
David Kaplowe Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Mark Johnson Project Lead Nez Perce Tribe
Paul Krueger (Inactive) Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Brenda Aguirre Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Emmit Taylor, Jr. Supervisor Nez Perce Tribe