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Project Summary

Project 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
Project Number:
2000-026-00
Title:
Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
Summary:
The 11,000 acre Rainwater Wildlife Area was established in September 1998 by the CTUIR under the NPPC Fish and Wildlife Program and Washington Interim Wildlife Mitigation Agreement (BPA et al., 1993) to protect, enhance, and mitigate wildlife impacted by development of the John Day and McNary hydroelectric dams. The project is located in the upper South Fork Touchet River drainage in the Walla Walla River Subbasin approximately 8 miles south of Dayton, Washington adjacent to the Umatilla National Forest. The area was selected by the CTUIR and BPA as a regional mitigation project because of its large size, location in the upper headwaters of the Touchet River watershed, and ability of the area to provide anadromous fish, resident fish, and wildlife benefits in a watershed context.

The Wildlife Area is located in southeastern Washington in Township 7 North, Range 39 East, all or portions of Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; and Township 8 North, Range 39 East, all or portions of Sections 5, 8, 9, 17, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, and 34, Willamette Meridian, Latitude 46.12.30, Longitude 117.57.30.

The goal of this contract is to help Bonneville Power Administration meet its' Columbia River Basin mitigation obligation within the Ceded Lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). The contract will provide funding to the CTUIR to administer the Rainwater Wildlife Area, and maintain, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Targeted habitat types include riparian, native grasslands, and upland forest.

The project area includes approximately 7,000 acres of upland and riparian coniferous forest, 1,500 acres of native and native-like grasslands, and 180 acres of deciduous riparian habitat. The Wildlife Area also provides 10 miles of headwater spawning and rearing habitat for Threatened summer steelhead and bull trout, and resident trout. The project provides 5,161 baseline Habitat Units (HU's) and an estimated 1,500 enhancement HU's for seven target mitigation species.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2000
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
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Carp, Common
Catfish
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Crappie, Black
Crappie, White
Freshwater Mussels
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, Western Brook
Perch, Yellow
Pikeminnow, Northern
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Brown
Trout, Bull
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:

Description: Page: Cover: Cover photo

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P121333

Dimensions: 1352 x 1014

Description: Page: 15 Figure 1: Transect D before grazing. Yellow starthistle is visible as the yellow flower in the photograph.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P121333

Dimensions: 1087 x 817

Description: Page: 15 Figure 2: Transect D after grazing. The goats appeared to have eaten all of the yellow starthistle, but left the grasses.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P121333

Dimensions: 1093 x 821

Description: Page: 10 Map 1: Rainwater Location within CTUIR Ceded Territory

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 1227 x 960

Description: Page: 11 Map 2: Rainwater Wildlife Area Vicinity

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 932 x 1188

Description: Page: 19 Map 3: Map of the new addition (Gallatin Tract) to Rainwater Wildlife Area in 2009.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 954 x 1097

Description: Page: 21 Photo 1: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 706 x 529

Description: Page: 21 Photo 2: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 667 x 592

Description: Page: 21 Photo 3: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 706 x 541

Description: Page: 22 Map 4: South Fork Touchet River Road Relocation and Obliteration

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 580 x 898

Description: Page: 22 Photo 4: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 500 x 383

Description: Page: 22 Photo 5: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 403 x 309

Description: Page: 23 Map 5: 2009 Planting Units

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 580 x 900

Description: Page: 38 Photo 6: No caption provided.

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 623 x 466

Description: Page: 41 Map 9: Juvenile Fish Index Sampling Sites

Project: 2000-026-00

Document: P118096

Dimensions: 1078 x 1437


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 $365,521 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2021 Expense $370,090 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2022 Expense $374,716 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2021   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
2020 $98,114 21%
2019
2018
2017 $95,000 22%
2016
2015 $12,000 3%
2014 $247,000 30%
2013 $185,000 31%
2012 $1,120 0%
2011 $6,000 1%
2010
2009
2008
2007 $5,000 2%

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Closed, Complete, History, Issued.
* "Total Contracted Amount" column includes contracted amount from both capital and expense components of the contract.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
BPA-011138 Bonneville Power Administration FY98 Land Acquisitions Active $0 10/1/1997 - 9/30/1998
BPA-011139 Bonneville Power Administration FY99 Land Acquisition Active $0 10/1/1998 - 9/30/1999
4618 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA Terminated $335,732 4/25/2001 - 12/31/2002
25792 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 PL RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA History $504,926 1/1/2006 - 6/30/2007
30883 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 PL RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERATIONS History $300,000 1/1/2007 - 12/31/2007
36442 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERAT Closed $294,735 1/1/2008 - 2/28/2009
BPA-004794 Bonneville Power Administration Gallatin/Colter Ridge Properties-Appraisal 2009 Active $122 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
41589 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERATIONS Closed $276,484 1/1/2009 - 12/31/2009
BPA-005058 Bonneville Power Administration FY10 Rainwater Wildlife Active $2,126,496 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
45793 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERATIONS Closed $206,641 1/1/2010 - 12/31/2010
BPA-005507 Bonneville Power Administration Rainwater Wildlife Active $12,254 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
42561 REL 4 SOW Parametrix Inc. RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPS Closed $36,633 10/18/2010 - 9/1/2011
51890 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERATIONS Closed $590,674 1/1/2011 - 6/30/2012
BPA-006200 Bonneville Power Administration Rainwater Wildlife Active $0 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
58367 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA OPERATIONS Closed $323,805 7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013
61680 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATION & ENHANCEMENT) Closed $406,512 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014
65632 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA (OPERATION & ENHANCEMENT) Closed $567,267 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015
69400 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENT Closed $448,104 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2016
72948 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENT Closed $384,476 7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017
73982 REL 20 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENT Closed $338,799 7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018
73982 REL 50 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS & ENHANCEMENT Closed $359,450 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019
73982 REL 77 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA O&M: PROTECT AND RESTORE Closed $368,509 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2020
BPA-010827 Bonneville Power Administration FY19 Land/other Active $0 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
73982 REL 105 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA O&M: PROTECT AND RESTORE Issued $365,521 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2021
CR-344530 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-026-00 EXP RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA O&M: PROTECT AND RESTORE Pending $428,825 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):15
Completed:14
On time:14
Status Reports
Completed:64
On time:27
Avg Days Late: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
BPA-011138 FY98 Land Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/1997 10/1997 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-011139 FY99 Land Acquisition Bonneville Power Administration 10/1998 10/1998 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25792 30883, 36442, 41589, 45793, 51890, 58367, 61680, 65632, 69400, 72948, 73982 REL 20, 73982 REL 50, 73982 REL 77, 73982 REL 105 2000-026-00 PL RAINWATER WILDLIFE AREA Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 01/2006 01/2006 Pending 64 180 9 0 4 193 97.93% 18
BPA-004794 Gallatin/Colter Ridge Properties-Appraisal 2009 Bonneville Power Administration 10/2008 10/2008 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005058 FY10 Rainwater Wildlife Bonneville Power Administration 10/2009 10/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005507 Rainwater Wildlife Bonneville Power Administration 10/2010 10/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 64 180 9 0 4 193 97.93% 18


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 Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-NPCC-20210312
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
Review: 2017 Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 10/13/2017
Recommendation: Implement
Comments: Recommendation: No issues. Implement as proposed.

[Background: See https://www.nwcouncil.org/fish-and-wildlife/project-reviews-and-recommendations/2017-wildlife-project-review]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-ISRP-20201110
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
Review: 2017 Wildlife Category Review
Completed Date: 11/10/2020
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/28/2017
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Objectives and outcomes 

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have restored 8,849 acres in the South Touchet Watershed of the Walla Walla River subbasin. The Summary provides a general mission statement, but the 2015 Management Plan includes a series of goals and objectives. The objectives are linked to explicit Desired Future Conditions (DFC) that are derived from historical range of variability and have explicit timelines. The quantifiable objectives and timelines could be streamlined to a few primary objectives and the remaining objectives that are related but less central could be followed more opportunistically. Strategies for reaching desired conditions and timelines for when these outcomes are expected are also described in the Management Plan. Benefits to fish and wildlife and habitat due to project actions are consistent with the objectives in the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program. 

One of the hallmarks of the Rainwater Project is that it is based on both ecological goals and cultural goals, which are linked in the Umatilla River Vision and its concept of First Foods. Specific First Foods are identified for each component of the Desired Future Conditions. This is a valuable framework for conservation and restoration of tribal lands and could become a central component in the monitoring and evaluation efforts of the project. 

2. Scientific principles and methods 

The Summary Report and 2015 Management Plan provide detailed discussions of the actions that have been implemented to date. The Umatilla River Vision and the 2015 Management Plan provide explicit explanations of the ecological and cultural relationships on which their restoration and conservation actions have been designed. A good deal of thought and effort to design and implement monitoring is tied to most management activities. Monitoring appears to be well designed, uses standard methods and is analyzed and reported to help assess effectiveness of management actions. 

3. Monitoring and evaluation 

The Rainwater Project has developed a substantial M&E program. One of the strongest aspects of the Rainwater project is the link between their objectives (Desired Future Conditions) and the First Foods as described in the Umatilla River Vision. The Project could develop explicit monitoring of the First Foods or indices of the First Foods and report them as outcomes and measures of both ecological and cultural success. This innovative approach could be a model for other groups. 

The Summary provides examples of project actions that have occurred to reach its Desired Future Conditions. For example, in the project’s riparian habitats, long-term trends in water temperature and steelhead redd abundance are being tracked. Juvenile salmonid abundance is also being examined by using electrofishing and snorkel surveys. The suitability of the river bottom and associated floodplains for beaver was determined using LiDAR, 2-D maps, digital elevation models and a tree height/canopy model. Two hundred and thirty-one acres of river bottom were considered to be highly suitable for beaver re-colonization. The South Touchet Road runs parallel to the stream and delivered sediment to the stream. A new road offset from the stream was built. During a subsequent repair of this new road the proponents used the Washington State Road Surface Erosion Model (WARSEM) to identify where “spot rocking” should occur to reduce sediment inputs. This action reduced the road’s discharge of sediment into the South Touchet by 83%. 

A summary table, such as they used for Desired Future Conditions in the 2015 Management Plan, would be useful for readers and reviewers. One of the major successes of the Project was a 5-6°C decrease in stream temperature in the South Touchet. The interpretation of this trend could be strengthened by comparison with reference systems in the region and statistical analysis of the data. The project contracted to document the response of fish densities and redd counts to restoration actions. Even though densities were 2.5 times greater in the treated reach, the difference was not statistically significant. A modified experimental design may be required to detect trends in highly variable metrics (both spatially and temporally). The relative scale of the treatments to the scale of fish distributions and movement may confound the analysis. Monitoring of plant communities and invasive weeds has documented a lack of success in reducing the relative abundance of non-native plants. In particular, yellow starthistle is an ongoing challenge, especially in steep, remote areas. 

Although streams were surveyed in 1999, they have not been re-surveyed, apparently due to high bids for contract resurveying. This need was also noted in the 2009 ISRP Review. This is an important activity given nearly two decades of protection and management under the project Management Plan. Also, such an effort would complement action effectiveness monitoring activities for restoration projects and also would provide additional insights into the apparent decline in stream water temperatures that were noted in the Summary Report. 

The project has performed bird point counts in three habitats, grassland-forest, mixed conifer forest, and riparian woodland. The grassland-forest and mixed conifer forest were impacted by the Columbia Complex Fire that occurred in 2006. The proponents were able to evaluate the impacts of the fire on songbird diversity in these two habitats. 

The Project has the opportunity to expand the monitoring program even further by working with local universities to encourage the use of their site by graduate students or field classes. Given the location between Washington State University, Eastern Oregon University, Whitman, Gonzaga, and University of Idaho, the project could present programs at the universities to attract useful research and monitoring projects. The project could partner with citizen science programs in the region, such as Ducks Unlimited or Trout Unlimited. The managers know their sites very well and can use their education and outreach efforts to create ongoing partnerships to provide evaluations of the status and trends of critical objectives, effectiveness of their management actions, and unforeseen challenges. 

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

The Rainwater Project has observed beneficial decreases in water temperature in the South Touchet. Fish abundances and redd counts have not changed (either increased or decreased) and remain highly variable. Burning attempts have not had major effects on non-native plants, but a stronger study design will be used in 2017. Plant community composition has responded favorably in some locations, but non-native invasive plants remain a challenge. The Summary identified challenges and alternatives that are being explored. 

The proponents performed two major habitat restoration actions in the South Touchet River. In one case, 5,000 feet of stream was restored by using log structures and boulders to induce stream complexity and create salmonid habitat. Riparian vegetation was enhanced by plantings of aspen and conifers. In the other rehabilitation project a bridge and levee that were constricting the stream were modified. This opened up two side channels and increased floodplain connectivity. Monitoring of juvenile salmonid use was performed in the restored area as well as in a control area to quantify the effects of these actions. 

The Program has attempted restore the project’s grasslands through novel approaches to control noxious weeds, such as Yellow Starthistle, by goat grazing. The introduction of a weevil species to control the thistle is also being evaluated via monitoring programs. Upland forests have been thinned to produce mature forests with shrub understories that will provide benefits to deer, elk, and song birds. This work is being guided by the Forest Projection System (FPS) and the Stand Visualization System (SVS). Sound monitoring designs are being implemented to track changes in upland forests after thinning has occurred. 

Starting from a well-organized and comprehensive management plan, to clearly stated Desired Future Conditions (management objectives) for a variety of habitat conditions, this project appears to be organized and managed to provide benefits to fish and wildlife resources. There is excellent linkage between terrestrial resource management and that for riparian and aquatic species. The project employs a watershed scale, “ridge top to valley bottom” management approach. 

It is clear that the project is developing and implementing new methods to address management issues. It is not clear, however, if the project has a formal adaptive management process in place. Such a plan could be used to simultaneously track status and trends in Desired Future Conditions and evaluate outcomes of novel management approaches. The addition of quantitative objectives with timelines would also help the proponents track whether they are on schedule to meet their Desired Future Condition goals.

Documentation Links:
Review: Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Accord Project. Programmatic issue # 2-3
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

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
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 protection and enhancement of these habitats at the Rainwater project area makes a significant contribution to the ecological health of the subbasin. In addition, the stream habitat within the project area has been identified as high priority for steelhead and Chinook salmon in the subbasin plan. This project is one of the few that includes efforts to assess the response of fish and wildlife populations to habitat restoration. The M&E effort for the Rainwater Wildlife Area is generally well-designed. The effort should provide adequate information on the habitat and population responses to restoration efforts at the project site. There are a few areas where improvements in the M&E effort should be implemented (see below).

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The project sponsors provide a strong technical justification for this project. Habitat types represented on the project area, including grasslands and riparian wetlands, are poorly represented in the Walla Walla Subbasin as a whole due to human activities. Very few of the remaining areas that do support these habitat types are protected. Therefore, the protection and enhancement of these habitats at the Rainwater project area makes a significant contribution to the ecological health of the subbasin. In addition, the stream habitat within the project area has been identified as high priority for steelhead and Chinook salmon in the subbasin plan. There was a bit of confusion regarding the priority of the project streams for steelhead and Chinook in the Technical Justification section. The authors indicate that stream reaches in the project area were prioritized as 12th for steelhead and 15th for Chinook out of 47 stream reaches in the subbasin (page 2 of narrative). But in the following sentence they indicate that the priority ratings were 10th for steelhead and 3rd for Chinook. Either rating establishes the significance of the aquatic habitats at the Rainwater project area, but this seeming discrepancy should be resolved.

The Rainwater Wildlife Area Project is closely linked with other projects in the subbasin and takes advantage of some subbasin-scale monitoring programs to generate information relevant to the effectiveness of the restoration measures being implemented at Rainwater. In particular, the linkage with the Walla Walla Basin Natural Fish Production and Monitoring and Evaluation Project provides very complete information on the response of salmonid fishes to restoration at the Rainwater Wildlife Area.

2. Project History and Results
Significant progress has been made in expanding and enhancing habitat at the Rainwater Project Area since its establishment in 1998. The evolution of the project since its inception is clearly presented in this section.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
The Objectives, Work Elements and Methods are appropriate for this project. Most activities are focused on the maintenance of the area and implementation of new habitat enhancement measures (especially related to the improvement of upland habitats). But the objectives and methods for the M&E program also are well designed.

A large part of the work is devoted to project management and administration. The sponsors should continue to investigate new techniques to accomplish, reduce, or eliminate maintenance and administrative tasks over the long term. Note that in work element 11, methods of biological monitoring and evaluation, were not provided.

4. M&E
The M&E effort for the Rainwater Wildlife Area is generally well-designed. The effort should provide adequate information on the habitat and population responses to restoration efforts at the project site. HEP measurements are augmented with supplemental measurements of habitat and vegetation response to restoration treatments, constituting effectiveness monitoring. These data should provide a relatively good picture of changes in habitat quality over time. In addition, this project is one of the few that includes an effort to assess the response of fish and wildlife populations to habitat restoration.

There are a few areas where improvements in the M&E effort should be implemented.

1) Stream habitat surveys were conducted in 1999-2000 but have not been repeated. A new habitat survey is planned for 2009-2010. More frequent habitat assessments would provide a more sensitive gauge of habitat response to restoration efforts. These surveys do not have to be annual but they should be repeated at least every five years and after major disturbance events. A repeat survey after the 2006 fire would have been informative.

2) Annual monitoring of juvenile fish populations is an M&E element that is very rarely included in project M&E plans. Its inclusion in this project is a real strength of the M&E effort for aquatic habitats. The inclusion of juvenile index sites outside the project area in 2004 will provide some context for interpreting annual changes in fish abundance at the index sites in the project area. However, it appears that the index sites are not sampled consistently. The data presented in Table 4 indicates that some index sites within the project area are sampled in one year and a different set sampled the next year. These data also suggest that the "control" reaches outside the project area were only sampled in 2004. The primary purpose for collecting these data is to determine if there is a temporal trend in fish populations. Therefore, the same set of reaches should be sampled each year (or on some consistent schedule) and the "control" reaches should be sampled on this same schedule. It is not noted in the narrative whether habitat restoration projects have been implemented at any of the juvenile abundance index sites. If not, one or two sites where projects have been implemented should be added.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
First Round ISRP Comment:
The protection and enhancement of these habitats at the Rainwater project area makes a significant contribution to the ecological health of the subbasin. In addition, the stream habitat within the project area has been identified as high priority for steelhead and Chinook salmon in the subbasin plan. This project is one of the few that includes efforts to assess the response of fish and wildlife populations to habitat restoration. The M&E effort for the Rainwater Wildlife Area is generally well-designed. The effort should provide adequate information on the habitat and population responses to restoration efforts at the project site. There are a few areas where improvements in the M&E effort should be implemented (see below).

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The project sponsors provide a strong technical justification for this project. Habitat types represented on the project area, including grasslands and riparian wetlands, are poorly represented in the Walla Walla Subbasin as a whole due to human activities. Very few of the remaining areas that do support these habitat types are protected. Therefore, the protection and enhancement of these habitats at the Rainwater project area makes a significant contribution to the ecological health of the subbasin. In addition, the stream habitat within the project area has been identified as high priority for steelhead and Chinook salmon in the subbasin plan. There was a bit of confusion regarding the priority of the project streams for steelhead and Chinook in the Technical Justification section. The authors indicate that stream reaches in the project area were prioritized as 12th for steelhead and 15th for Chinook out of 47 stream reaches in the subbasin (page 2 of narrative). But in the following sentence they indicate that the priority ratings were 10th for steelhead and 3rd for Chinook. Either rating establishes the significance of the aquatic habitats at the Rainwater project area, but this seeming discrepancy should be resolved.

The Rainwater Wildlife Area Project is closely linked with other projects in the subbasin and takes advantage of some subbasin-scale monitoring programs to generate information relevant to the effectiveness of the restoration measures being implemented at Rainwater. In particular, the linkage with the Walla Walla Basin Natural Fish Production and Monitoring and Evaluation Project provides very complete information on the response of salmonid fishes to restoration at the Rainwater Wildlife Area.

2. Project History and Results
Significant progress has been made in expanding and enhancing habitat at the Rainwater Project Area since its establishment in 1998. The evolution of the project since its inception is clearly presented in this section.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
The Objectives, Work Elements and Methods are appropriate for this project. Most activities are focused on the maintenance of the area and implementation of new habitat enhancement measures (especially related to the improvement of upland habitats). But the objectives and methods for the M&E program also are well designed.

A large part of the work is devoted to project management and administration. The sponsors should continue to investigate new techniques to accomplish, reduce, or eliminate maintenance and administrative tasks over the long term. Note that in work element 11, methods of biological monitoring and evaluation, were not provided.

4. M&E
The M&E effort for the Rainwater Wildlife Area is generally well-designed. The effort should provide adequate information on the habitat and population responses to restoration efforts at the project site. HEP measurements are augmented with supplemental measurements of habitat and vegetation response to restoration treatments, constituting effectiveness monitoring. These data should provide a relatively good picture of changes in habitat quality over time. In addition, this project is one of the few that includes an effort to assess the response of fish and wildlife populations to habitat restoration.

There are a few areas where improvements in the M&E effort should be implemented.

1) Stream habitat surveys were conducted in 1999-2000 but have not been repeated. A new habitat survey is planned for 2009-2010. More frequent habitat assessments would provide a more sensitive gauge of habitat response to restoration efforts. These surveys do not have to be annual but they should be repeated at least every 5 years and after major disturbance events. A repeat survey after the 2006 fire would have been informative.

2) Annual monitoring of juvenile fish populations is an M&E element that is very rarely included in project M&E plans. Its inclusion in this project is a real strength of the M&E effort for aquatic habitats. The inclusion of juvenile index sites outside the project area in 2004 will provide some context for interpreting annual changes in fish abundance at the index sites in the project area. However, it appears that the index sites are not sampled consistently. The data presented in Table 4 indicates that some index sites within the project area are sampled in one year and a different set sampled the next year. These data also suggest that the "control" reaches outside the project area were only sampled in 2004. The primary purpose for collecting these data is to determine if there is a temporal trend in fish populations. Therefore, the same set of reaches should be sampled each year (or on some consistent schedule) and the "control" reaches should be sampled on this same schedule. It is not noted in the narrative whether habitat restoration projects have been implemented at any of the juvenile abundance index sites. If not, one or two sites where projects have been implemented should be added.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
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: 2000-026-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2000-026-00 - Rainwater Wildlife Area Operations
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 meets the ISRP review criteria and benefits wildlife. The ISRP, however, suggests that the sponsor address the following comments to improve the project, but the ISRP does not need to see responses to these comments.

The authors could improve the wildlife monitoring portion of this work by more clearly identifying the variables they will use to measure progress. Specifically, the authors could improve the monitoring and evaluation section by more clearly describing the location and placement of vegetation transects, number of vegetation transects, and measurements they will take on these transects. The authors should more clearly identify which bird species (or will they focus only on bird species listed in proposal) that will be recorded on these transects. The authors should more clearly identify the history behind the selection of mitigation bird species (narrative, p.4) and whether or not the species will be monitored and evaluated.

The authors could improve their discussion of bird surveys by identifying why transects will be used only in grassland cover. The ISRP wondered why birds are not surveyed in other cover types. The authors could improve their presentation of monitoring and evaluation of weed control efforts by quantifying weed distribution and abundance pre- and post-treatment with herbicides.

The authors could more directly communicate where past data are located.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2000-026-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2000-026-00
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: 2000-026-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2000-026-00
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
Allen Childs Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Gerald Middel Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Linda Jones Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Andre L'Heureux Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Lindsay Chiono Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Carl Scheeler Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Daniel Gambetta Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration