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Project Summary

Project 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
Project Number:
1998-003-00
Title:
Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
Summary:
The objective of the project is to conduct the daily operation and maintenance of wildlife lands that have been acquired through the Spokane Tribe Wildlife Mitigation Project (1991-062-00), formerly the Blue Creek Winter Range Project, which has acquired a total of 8403.57 acres. These lands are being incorporated into this O&M contract with only minimal activities such as fencing and weed control being conducted prior to the completion of the Site Specific Management Plan that will occur within 18 months of acquisition. All fencing and weed control efforts will be as identified in this SOW.

The project was approved for $419,806 in FY2010 through the project review process. Currently the project is being developed for contracting at $408,487, which was the combined amount that BPA approved for both Spokane Tribe Wildlife projects for FY2010. The Blue Creek Winter Range Project (1991-062-00) is not being renewed in FY2010 because of previous land acquisitions that look to have completed construction and inundation losses at Grand Coulee Dam for the Tribe.

The project focus is on maintenance of habitat through removal of domestic livestock and restoration efforts (cost-share) that have been conducted on wildlife lands. Weed control is a significant part of the project. Many of the activities which include road maintenance and agricultural activities are used to reduce and control the spread of noxious weeds on mitigation lands. Efforts in FY2010 will continue the focus of chemical control with the use of reduced risk herbicides. The project will also continue with . As part of the project proposal, the project will begin to incorporate agricultural plantings to improve forage, cover, and/or weed control efforts to meet objectives.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Spokane Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
1999
Ending FY:
2021
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Spokane 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

Description: Page: 3 Map 1: Project Area Map

Project: 1998-003-00

Document: P118513

Dimensions: 989 x 765


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 $439,896 From: General FY20 SOY 06/05/2019
FY2021 Expense $439,896 From: General FY21 SOY 06/09/2020
FY2021 Expense $85,000 From: General STOI Wildlife Mitigation Increase 09/23/2020

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
2016 (Draft)
2015 $6,916 2%
2014 $13,355 3%
2013 $11,000 3%
2012 $119,690 22%
2011 $47,010 10%
2010 $81,183 17%
2009 $54,897 16%
2008 $39,215 12%
2007 $17,921 6%

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, 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
493 REL 1 SOW Spokane Tribe 1998-003-00 SPOKANE TRIBE OF INDIANS WILDLIFE MITIGATION O&M Terminated $155,484 7/1/2000 - 6/30/2001
83421 SOW Spokane Tribe 1998-003-00 EXP SPOKANE WILDLIFE AREAS O&M Issued $439,896 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
86315 SOW Spokane Tribe 1998-003-00 EXP SPOKANE WILDLIFE AREAS O&M Issued $524,896 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):13
Completed:9
On time:9
Status Reports
Completed:61
On time:29
Avg Days Late:6

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
5399 25076, 29393, 35829, 40343, 44999, 49900, 59323, 62857, 66531, 70374, 73978, 77121, 80442, 83421, 86315 1998-003-00 SPOKANE WILDLIFE MITIGATION O&M Spokane Tribe 07/2001 07/2001 Issued 61 336 0 0 47 383 87.73% 15
Project Totals 61 336 0 0 47 383 87.73% 15


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 ISRP Wildlife Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-ISRP-20201110
Project: 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
Review: 2017 ISRP Wildlife Review
Completed Date: 11/10/2020
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/28/2017
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Objectives and outcomes 

The project has five overarching goals: (1) restoring and enhancing habitat using native or desirable species, (2) excluding trespass livestock, (3) maintaining, constructing, and removing fencing, (4) controlling invasive weed species, and (5) growing cover crops on abandoned agricultural land to benefit wildlife. Quantitative objectives with set timelines for accomplishing project goals are not mentioned. 

Starting in 2013, control of invasive plant species has been a major management task for the project. There is a Project Area Management Plan (2012) and a Vegetation Management plan (2014) in place to guide management activities. The vegetation plan prioritizes invasive plant species for management but does not establish annual targets for treatment and does not quantitatively describe either current or desired future conditions for distribution or abundance of invasive plant species. A number of restoration activities have been completed, so there is need for a revised description of priorities and plans for additional restoration. 

Management of the project is complicated by the fact that the project is comprised of 29 individual tracts that are scattered across the landscape. The Project Area Management Plan notes that the proponents began development of a land consolidation proposal in 2009 to combine lands within the six wildlife management areas. The outcome from this effort should be included in an annual report. 

Some habitat management outcomes are expressed in terms of quantity of acres or number of plants. Measures of plant survival rates over time and measures of success in control of invasive species are needed in order to better evaluate the impact of habitat improvement activities. 

The importance of the Project’s goals is generally described. Rehabilitation of riparian habitat is expected to improve the quality and quantity of big game forage, increase cover, and improve water quality. Additional Project actions are designed to recover habitats affected by the 2015 and 2016 fires that damaged about 25% of the project’s wildlife habitats. In general, the actions of the project adhere to the objectives of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program. 

2. Scientific principles and methods 

The guidelines specified for enhancement, operation, and maintenance of wildlife mitigation areas are accepted practices. The largest management component is the control of invasive plant species. A separate Vegetation Management Plan serves as the guide for this management. Also, the management plan provides a set of guidelines to help direct a variety of protection and management activities across the project area. These guidelines include fencing, road and access management, agricultural production, prescribed burning, forest management, and water source development. Noxious weed control has become a priority for the project. Biological control measures such as using insects, sheep, goats, and plant diseases are being implemented. The proponents are working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in their efforts to control invasive plants.

Management is also guided by tailored management plans for each of the project’s six wildlife management areas. These plans include specific management direction and could provide a strong foundation for the development of more quantitative management objectives and desired conditions for the whole project. These plans include tables addressing a variety of management topics including habitats, soils, fencing, weeds, access management, agricultural crops, and restoration enhancement. Each table includes a description of current conditions and desired conditions as well as the percentage change required to achieve the desired conditions. There was no discussion of this material in the Summary Report. 

3. Monitoring and evaluation 

The extent of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for the Project is difficult to determine from the Summary Report. There is a discussion of how important monitoring is and that monitoring activities will be conducted in eight broad habitat types. The proponents mention use of the UCUT M&E projects with the resulting data being housed in the Geospatial Enabled Data Management System (GEDMS). Ruffed grouse drum counts and elk hunter check stations indicate some monitoring related to wildlife is being conducted. 

Although the documents provided do report the number of acres treated and number of plants planted, some indication of plant survival over time is needed. Descriptions of biological and chemical methods of controlling invasive species of weeds are useful, but there is a need for monitoring and evaluation to determine if weed density is increasing, decreasing or stable to inform adaptive management. 

The Summary Report does describe actions taken to reach project goals. The effectiveness of those actions, as determined by post-action monitoring, is not clearly articulated. More reporting of monitoring results should be conveyed to help determine if progress is being made, for example, with weed control or from efforts to convert agricultural lands to native grassland habitats. 

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

Descriptions of some of the actions taken to reach project goals are presented in the project summary. Potential benefits to wildlife may result from actions such as planting of cover crops on project lands to provide food and cover. These actions may also reduce wildlife damage on nearby commercial crops. Restoration of areas burned by recent fires will provide benefits to wildlife as will efforts to exclude trespass livestock. The proponents indicate that feral horses are likely competing with big game for forage. Fences are being installed to limit cattle, bison, and horse trespass. A feral horse management plan is also under development and is expected to be issued in 2017. 

It is clear that there is a good deal of work being completed to maintain and restore wildlife habitat. Quantitative objectives that are integrated into statements of desired future conditions for each of the six wildlife management areas would provide a context to better appreciate work accomplishments as related to longer term desired outcomes. 

There does not appear to be a formal approach to adaptive management. A number of challenge areas for the program are discussed under the title of adaptive management, and some lessons learned are described. Without more consistent monitoring and evaluation a formal adaptive management plan is unlikely. An adaptive management plan would allow the project to evaluate methods designed to address ongoing problems. 

The proponents provided a candid list of problems faced by the project. The list included equipment breakdowns, feral horse impacts, destruction of habitats by the 2015 and 2016 fires, noxious weed invasions, public access issues, staff retention, and inadequate funding levels. The strategies for dealing with these issues are described. These strategies represent passive adaptive management. The development of a formal adaptive management process would be beneficial in facing such conditions.

Qualification #1 - Inclusions in Next Annual Report
The ISRP requests that the proponents provide the following information in their next scheduled annual report: 1. Quantitative objectives with set timelines for accomplishing the five overarching project goals mentioned in the Summary Report should be specified. This will facilitate comparison of accomplishments and outcomes of project work to the desired conditions identified in the management plans. It appears that tables in the current wildlife management plans, showing current and desired conditions, could provide an excellent starting point for this work. 2. A more complete description of monitoring and evaluation activities along with a brief summary of results is needed. 3. Additional effort to evaluate which restoration methods are most beneficial is recommended. 4. This ongoing project continues to struggle with the challenges of managing many separate parcels. Additional focus needs to be invested in plans for consolidating land ownership for the project.
Documentation Links:
Review: Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issues # 7, #9, #10. Sponsor to address ISRP qualifcations on comprehensive plan in next review. See ISRP recommendations.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Management Plans - Multiple uses of wildlife conservation lands
Council Condition #2 Programmatic Issue: Equipment/facilities purchase and replacement
Council Condition #3 Programmatic Issue: Regional Coordination funding

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Completed Date: 5/19/2009
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The sponsors partially responded to ISRP concerns by describing activities that would occur on the properties. The sponsors provide an outline listing the number of acres to be restored for each parcel of land with general statements concerning restoration activities. The response provides a link between work elements and subbasin objectives and a general discussion of the timeline of work.

The organization of the proposal and response made it difficult to assess the completeness of the description of activities for each unit. For example, activities associated with work elements for controlled burns and road decommissioning at McCoy Lake are not listed, except in the full Wildlife Management Plan.

The Bonneville properties are small acreages within a large management area. It is unclear from the proposal and response how the individual areas fit in the big piece. Because of the large number of small parcels, it remains difficult to integrate the disparate actions and tasks into a comprehensive program.

Biological results from previous project activities are not available to show any responses. Monitoring and evaluation by UWMEP will provide information on vegetative, small mammal, bird, and amphibian status that may be related to project activities. This focus should allow a quick response to habitat activities and changes that take place on the project lands. However, the overall scope of biological monitoring is not adequate to evaluate the success of the project or inform adaptive management. It appears that the only data to be collected in the future will be UWMEP with no collection of big game or upland game bird data planned. Also, it is not clear how the results of weed control and road decommissioning will be monitored and evaluated.

Qualification 1 – A comprehensive plan is needed in the next review process to address integration across parcels, WMAs, and the subbasin plan. A discussion of how management of these small parcels links into the larger program in a holistic manner is necessary. The Wildlife Mitigation Area Management Plan states that the sponsor will begin development of a WMA land consolidation proposal in 2009 to combine lands within the six WMAs. The ISRP agrees that creating larger contiguous WMAs will improve management efficiency, while providing greater benefits for wildlife.

Qualification 2 – The UWMEP may be sufficient for habitat response in general, but it is not obvious that it will cover the numerous parcels adequately. An examination of the extent to which the management actions on the many parcels are adequately monitored is needed. In addition, a plan is needed that identifies how focal species, including big game, will be monitored and how the monitoring results will be related to the project’s management actions.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
The explanation of how the major units contribute to enhancing wildlife species within and adjacent to Spokane Tribal lands is useful. The project history is effectively summarized.

Because of the extensive nature of responses requested it may be more efficient to revise and resubmit the project proposal to provide the requested information:
1. Give clear statements identifying the scope of restoration on each parcel are requested.
2. More clearly link the work elements to the objectives to the subbasin plans.
3. Provide Time lines for proposed work should be included in a response.
4. Please report biological results or the response of wildlife to previous project activities.
5. Describe how relevant data on big game and upland birds will be collected in the future and how data collected in the past will be used in relation to the new data anticipated.
6. Clarify how monitoring of road decommissioning success and work at McCoy Lake will be accomplished.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The explanation of the major units – Blue Creek, Cottonwood, Fox Creek, McCoy Lake Watershed Wildlife Mitigation Area, Tshinikan Creek, and Wellpinit Mountain/Peaks, and how they contribute to enhancing wildlife species within and adjacent to Spokane Tribal lands is worthwhile. Given the size of some of these units, it is hard to understand how the BPA-funded acquisitions have lead to securing the ecological function of the whole. For example, the Wellpinit Mountain WMA is 29,000 acres, and BPA supported a 1,352 acre acquisition. A response is requested to explain how the addition of 1,352 secured acres enhanced the remainder of the 29,000. The explanation of what needs to be improved on each parcel does not effectively communicate the scope of restoration required. Clear statements identifying the scope of restoration on each parcel are requested.

Technical justification for the work that is conducted on wildlife mitigation lands is lacking in the proposal. The unstated assumption is that the activities: "fencing, noxious & invasive plant control; access road management; site clean-up; water development; forest management; and some small scale agricultural activities" will enhance and maintain wildlife habitat so that wildlife species will benefit. Evidence that these activities have benefited species of wildlife and plants of interest is lacking. It is not possible to conclude that the most appropriate work elements are being prioritized and sequenced to meet the overall goals.

2. Project History and Results
The project history is effectively summarized. However, results are presented as tasks accomplished such as miles of fence built or removed, acres of weeds treated, and miles of decommissioned roads. To communicate what is needed to the BPA, the Council, and the ISRP, there should be a citation to an assessment and a quantitative description of the problem. For example, “Joe Doe (2007) identified that unauthorized cattle grazing reduced the forage for white-tail deer by 30%; consequently, 8 miles of fencing along ridge JKL is needed to exclude trespassing livestock.” The proposal does not report biological results or the response of wildlife to project activities.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
The objectives are clearly identified as objectives in subbasin plans. Work elements are clearly identified but are not linked to objectives. The unstated assumption appears to be that if the work elements are completed the wildlife will respond as desired. Some work elements will take many years to complete (e.g., 15 miles of road to decommission at 1 mile per year). Methods appear to be appropriate for the work elements. However, it is not clear how they are going to be sequenced through time to meet the objectives for any specific parcel. Timelines for proposed work should be included in a response.

4. M&E
In an earlier review the ISRP was concerned that the project may cease to collect relevant data on big game and upland birds (target species of management) leaving only point counts as data for evaluation. As a result of UWMEP activities, further details on future accomplishments of this project, in terms of benefit to wildlife, should be available and should be included in future proposals. At this time a response is requested to describe how relevant data on big game and upland birds will be collected in the future and how data collected in the past will be used in relation to the new data anticipated. A response is needed to clarify how monitoring of road decommissioning success and work at McCoy Lake will be accomplished.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
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: 1998-003-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1998-003-00 - Wildlife Mitigation/Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Spokane Tribe Land Acquisitions
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:
The response demonstrates movement toward improved reporting of results. It makes clear that relevant data are available and provides some tables of data. However, it does little to summarize, synthesize, and interpret information relative to project objectives. The response notes that M&E activities only began in 2001, that major enhancement activities have only begun in the last few years, that not enough information is available yet, and that more time may be necessary to see a quantifiable responses for some species. Nevertheless, the baseline data should be reported in a synthesized form that is relevant to project objectives, management techniques, and restoration design, describing its anticipated use and the current state of biological resources that the data describe.

The response also raised some concerns that the ISRP wants to highlight for consideration by the project proponents: Reviewers were concerned that the response suggested the project might cease to collect relevant data on big game and upland game birds, which are target species for the project. This would seem to be a poor decision, perhaps leaving point counts of birds as the only source of data for evaluation of the project.

Also, reviewers were not convinced that Varmitgetter was a good choice for reducing mortality of plantings. The video on the website that was referenced in the response suggests that the blowing up of burrows by Varmitgetter entails significant disturbance above and around the burrows of the gophers it is intended to kill. In addition, Varmitgetter is listed on the website as costing $1295. Gopher kill-traps are far cheaper, and they kill gophers without disturbing the overlying or surrounding ground (in which the plants intended to be benefited are rooted). Plus, don't other gophers continue to immigrate into planted areas and build new burrows and graze on plants, even when Varmitgetter is used?
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1998-003-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: O&M on BPA-funded wildlife mitigation site; assume requested funds consistent with terms of MOA.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1998-003-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1998-003-00
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
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Jeanne Flett (Inactive) Administrative Contact Spokane Tribe
B.J. Kieffer Supervisor Spokane Tribe
Jacob Turner Project Lead Spokane Tribe
Andre L'Heureux Technical Contact Bonneville Power Administration
Tucker Freeman Technical Contact Spokane Tribe
Corrie Veenstra Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Shawn Skinner Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration