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Project Summary

Project 1996-080-00 - Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
Project Number:
1996-080-00
Title:
Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
Summary:
The Precious Lands project was initiated in 1996 to provide partial mitigation for wildlife habitat losses sustained from construction and inundation of the four lower Snake River dams. This project includes 16,286 acres of high quality fish and wildlife habitat in the Lower Grande Ronde subbasin consisting primarily of canyon grasslands with intermixed shrub fields, Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine forests, and riparian areas. Precious lands includes parts of Bear, Cottonwood, Basin, Rock, Broady, Tamarack, Joseph, Rush, and Buford Creeks which provide habitat for listed Snake River Steelhead and resident trout. It lies approximately 40 miles north of Enterprise, Oregon adjacent to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Part of the project (1,242 acres) is located in Washington state south of Anatone.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Nez Perce Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
1996
Ending FY:
2018
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Blue Mountain Grande Ronde 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Freshwater Mussels
Kokanee
Lamprey, Western Brook
OBSOLETE-Carp, Common
OBSOLETE-Catfish
OBSOLETE-Crappie, Black
OBSOLETE-Crappie, White
OBSOLETE-Perch, Yellow
OBSOLETE-Pike, Northern
OBSOLETE-Pikeminnow, Northern
OBSOLETE-Trout, Lake
Other Anadromous
Other Resident
Steelhead - Snake River DPS (threatened)
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Trout, Brook
Trout, Bull (threatened)
Trout, Interior Redband
Whitefish, Mountain
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

Cindy Sloane taking elevation readings prior to removal of an old culvert on Tamarack Creek.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P120087

Document: NE Oregon Wildlife Project – Precious Lands; February 2010 - January 2011

Page Number: 11

Project: 1996-080-00

Contract: 45893

Louie Scharnhorst uses the project tractor to remove the old culvert along Tamarack Creek.

Figure Name: Figure 2

Document ID: P120087

Document: NE Oregon Wildlife Project – Precious Lands; February 2010 - January 2011

Page Number: 12

Project: 1996-080-00

Contract: 45893

Tamarack Creek before restoration.

Figure Name: Figure 3

Document ID: P120087

Document: NE Oregon Wildlife Project – Precious Lands; February 2010 - January 2011

Page Number: 13

Project: 1996-080-00

Contract: 45893

Tamarack Creek after restoration.

Figure Name: Figure 4

Document ID: P120087

Document: NE Oregon Wildlife Project – Precious Lands; February 2010 - January 2011

Page Number: 13

Project: 1996-080-00

Contract: 45893

Project botanist Blair McClarin gives perspective to the vigor of Great Basin Wild Rye plants planted near Basin Creek.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P125263

Document: NE Oregon Wildlife Project – Precious Lands; 2/11 - 1/12

Page Number: 2

Project: 1996-080-00

Contract: 51361


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) $459,186 $459,186 $443,595 $443,595 $440,909

General $459,186 $443,595 $443,595 $440,909
FY2017 (Current) $459,186 $459,186 $459,186 $459,186 $334,817

General $459,186 $459,186 $459,186 $334,817
FY2018 (Next) $458,686 $458,686 $0 $0 $0

General $458,686 $0 $0 $0

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

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2016 - FY2018)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2016 Expense $459,186 From: General FY16 Initial Planning Budgets - Expense 05/22/2015
FY2017 Expense $459,186 From: General FY17 SOY Budgets 06/02/2016
FY2018 Expense $458,686 From: General FY18 SOY Budgets 07/17/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Project Cost Share:

FY2016 0 %
FY2015 0 %
FY2014 0 %
FY2013 1 %
FY2012 1 %
FY2011 0 %
FY2010 0 %
FY2009 5 %
FY2008 8 %
FY2007 7 %
Fiscal Year Cost Share Partner Total Proposed
Contribution
Total Confirmed
Contribution
FY2016 Oregon Department Of Fish and Wildlife $0

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
74744 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 1996-080-00 EXP NE OREGON WILDLIFE MITIGATION 2017 Issued $459,186 2/1/2017 - 1/31/2018



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):15
Completed:13
On time:12
Status Reports
Completed:51
On time:19
Avg Days Late:12

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
4024 21255, 26212, 31129, 36473, 40858, 45893, 51361, 55987, 59955, 63525, 67792, 71240, 74744 1996-80-00 NE OREGON WILDLIFE PROJECT Nez Perce Tribe 03/2001 03/2001 Issued 51 207 34 0 13 254 94.88% 7
Project Totals 51 207 34 0 13 254 94.88% 7


Review: Wildlife Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-080-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 1996-080-00 - Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
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 project is well described, well documented, and in good hands. It should proceed as planned.

The Precious Lands project provides critical habitat and corridor linkages for fish and wildlife populations in the Joseph Creek drainage. The area is steep, remote, and rugged with 18-22 inches rainfall annually. Cheatgrass is diminishing and native bunch grasses are increasing. Lack of fire has increased the shrub component. Their M&E plan, and status and trend monitoring, is guiding the sponsors through the proposed vegetation changes on the landscape. Sponsors are also monitoring cryptogrammic crust and have data. Agricultural land conversions have shown increases in cryptogrammic crust, indicative of increasing ecological integrity.

The areas’ remoteness could affect whether sponsors can accomplish many restoration tasks. Breeding bird biodiversity is very high on the property. One project task is the addition of nest boxes to provide nesting locations for cavity nesting birds due to a lack of large standing snags. Would it be possible for sponsors to girdle large Douglas fir trees to establish snags over time and diminish the use of nest boxes?

To enhance steelhead spawning and rearing habitat, particularly for juvenile steelhead, sponsors are considering the addition of large woody debris (LWD) to Joseph Creek. Joseph Creek has almost no holding pools or deeper runs due in large part to a lack of LWD. The sponsors are aware of the difficulty of seeding streams like Joseph Creek with LWD and retaining it due to flood events. However, they own 9 miles of the stream so have some capacity to absorb logs that may be moved during flood events. They have no timber cutting plans (BPA agreement). The sponsors need to work with fish managers for steelhead monitoring on their project.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
This section is reasonable and well done.

2. Project History and Results
Project history and results are well described. Actions are justified and preliminary data (including tables and figures with results) are promising on some actions. Other actions have not been as fruitful, but have lead to adaptive learning and altered future plans.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Objectives
Project objectives, work elements, and methods are detailed and appropriate to the site, and project goals. The site is remote, arid, and very difficult to work in (steep arid canyons, with difficult winter weather and significant hazards in the summer [fire, falls in rocky steep terrain]). This limits what can be done annually, particularly in the canyon and riparian section. Upland work around the old ranch site and preliminary results are very promising for increasing native vegetation and bird diversity.

4. M&E
The sponsors articulate a plan for monitoring and evaluation. It appears that quality data are being collected on the various bird and vegetation projects conducted on the Precious Lands property. Staff appears competent and well-informed.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
First Round ISRP Comment:
The project is well described, well documented, and in good hands. It should proceed as planned.

The Precious Lands project provides critical habitat and corridor linkages for fish and wildlife populations in the Joseph Creek drainage. The area is steep, remote, and rugged with 18-22 inches rainfall annually. Cheatgrass is diminishing and native bunch grasses are increasing. Lack of fire has increased the shrub component. Their M&E plan, and status and trend monitoring, is guiding the sponsors through the proposed vegetation changes on the landscape. Sponsors are also monitoring cryptogrammic crust and have data. Agricultural land conversions have shown increases in cryptogamic crust, indicative of increasing ecological integrity.

The areas’ remoteness could affect whether sponsors can accomplish many restoration tasks. Breeding bird biodiversity is very high on the property. One project task is the addition of nest boxes to provide nesting locations for cavity nesting birds due to a lack of large standing snags. Would it be possible for sponsors to girdle large Douglas Fir trees to establish snags over time and diminish the use of nest boxes?

To enhance steelhead spawning and rearing habitat, particularly for juvenile steelhead, sponsors are considering the addition of large woody debris (LWD) to Joseph Creek. Joseph Creek has almost no holding pools or deeper runs due in large part to a lack of LWD. The sponsors are aware of the difficulty of seeding streams like Joseph Creek with LWD and retaining it due to flood events. However, they own 9 miles of the stream so have some capacity to absorb logs that may be moved during flood events. They have no timber cutting plans (BPA agreement). The sponsors need to work with fish managers for steelhead monitoring on their project.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
This section is reasonable and well done.

2. Project History and Results
Project history and results are well described. Actions are justified and preliminary data (including tables and figures with results) are promising on some actions. Other actions have not been as fruitful, but have lead to adaptive learning and altered future plans.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Objectives
Project objectives, work elements, and methods are detailed and appropriate to the site, and project goals. The site is remote, arid, and very difficult to work in (steep arid canyons, with difficult winter weather and significant hazards in the summer [fire, falls in rocky steep terrain]). This limits what can be done annually, particularly in the canyon and riparian section. Upland work around the old ranch site and preliminary results are very promising for increasing native vegetation and bird diversity.

4. M&E
The sponsors articulate a plan for monitoring and evaluation. It appears that quality data are being collected on the various bird and vegetation projects conducted on the Precious Lands property. Staff appears competent and well-informed.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-080-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 1996-080-00 - Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issue #1 (pre-acquisition and instream habitat activities); #2-3, # 7, #10.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) - interaction between wildlife crediting and monitoring
Council Condition #2 Programmatic Issue: Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) participation funding
Council Condition #3 Programmatic Issue: Management Plans - Multiple uses of wildlife conservation lands
Council Condition #4 Programmatic Issue: Regional Coordination funding
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1996-080-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1996-080-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: O&M and restoration activities on BPA-funded wildlife mitigation lands; assume requested funds consistent with terms of MOA.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-080-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1996-080-00
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: 1996-080-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1996-080-00 - Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
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 proposal is for continuing management of a large tract of land acquired for wildlife mitigation and also supplies benefits to fish. The project history is adequate, but focused on mitigation, not the goals of management, though much active management is included, and monitoring efforts are not presented clearly in the proposal itself. The ISRP in the past has expressed concern that proposals to support this project did not adequately present biological goals, objectives, and M&E. It appears that progress has been made, e.g., specific channel habitat objectives, objectives for riparian conditions (including some data), bird counts underway (though no bird count data were presented), etc.

However, the proposal repeatedly references a Management Plan that is available on the web (a long document of 129 pages that is labeled as a 2002 draft plan). The proposal itself still lacks incorporation of important details that can only be found by searching the online draft Management Plan. For instance, the list of target species in the proposal appears generic, not site specific. And, what are the goals for managing this landscape as important elk winter range? Methods for work elements are not described with enough detail. For instance, the size, number, and location of permanent plots that will be used to monitor vegetation (including weed control) should be stated, as should the key measurements that will be taken (are being taken?). Future proposals should directly summarize the technical and scientific background for managing this specific landscape and should state methods to be applied in adequate detail to facilitate scientific evaluation. Additionally, future proposals for continuation of this project must present results of M&E in order to justify the value of management expenses.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-080-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1996-080-00 - Northeast Oregon Wildlife Project
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Reduced budget reflects the removal of the large woody debris placement task and reducing the budget slightly below the FY2006 budget - then flatlining the 2008 and 09. Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Angela Sondenaa Project Lead Nez Perce Tribe
Shana Kozusko (Inactive) Interested Party Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Tracy Hauser Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Katey Grange Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Paul Ashley (Inactive) Interested Party Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
John Skidmore Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration