Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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Project Summary

Project 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
Project Number:
2000-027-00
Title:
Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
Summary:
The Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Project was purchased in November 2000 to compensate, in part, for the loss of fish and wildlife resources in the Columbia and Snake River Basins. The 31,781-acre Project is located eleven miles east of Juntura, Oregon and is adjacent to the Malheur River. The Project includes 6,385 deeded acres owned by the Burns Paiute Tribe, 4,154 acres leased from the Department of State Lands, and 21,242 acres leased from the BLM. The Project is comprised of meadow, wetland, and shrub-steppe habitats and stretches for seven miles along the Malheur River.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Burns-Paiute Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2000
Ending FY:
2021
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Middle Snake Malheur 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Catfish
Chinook - All Populations
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Crappie, Black
Crappie, White
Freshwater Mussels
Other Resident
Perch, Yellow
Pikeminnow, Northern
Steelhead - All Populations
Trout, Brook
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:
None

Description: Page: Cover: Cover photo

Project: 2000-027-00

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Description: Page: 3 Figure 1: Location of the Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Project.

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Description: Page: 4 Figure 2: Project and surrounding area land ownership.

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Description: Page: 7 Figure 3: Haying of grass (green), alfalfa (red), and water control structure (green star).

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Description: Page: 9 Figure 4: Fence Removal.

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Description: Page: 9 Figure 5: Cattle Grazing.

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Description: Page: 11 Figure 6: Rush Skeleton Weed Locations.

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Description: Page: 11 Figure 7: Native grass planting locations.

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Description: Page: 19 Figure 11: Location of swim-in traps

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Description: Page: 1 Cover: Cover photo

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Description: Page: 4 Figure 1: Location of the Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Project.

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Description: Page: 5 Figure 2: Project and surrounding area land ownership.

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Description: Page: 8 Figure 3: Areas hayed in 2011 (red).

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Description: Page: 10 Figure 4: Cattle Grazing.

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Description: Page: 10 Figure 5: Areas affected by fire in 2011.

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Description: Page: 12 Figure 6: Rush Skeleton Weed Locations.

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Description: Page: 13 Figure 7: Grass planting locations native grass (red), triticale (green), rye (blue).

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Description: Page: 20 Figure 10: Location of swim-in traps.

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Description: Page: 43 Appendix C-Figure 1a: Stream Photo Locations

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Description: Page: 43 Appendix C-Figure 1b: Stream Photo Locations

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 1a: M #1 Upstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 1b: M #1 Downstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 2a: M #2 Upstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 2b: M #2 Downstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 3a: M #3 Upstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 44 Appendix C-Photo 3b: M #3 Downstream - 2011

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 4a: M #4 Upstream

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 4b: M #4 Downstream

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 5a: M #5 Upstream

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 5b: M #5 Downstream

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 6a: M #6 Upstream

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Description: Page: 45 Appendix C-Photo 6b: M #6 Downstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 7a: M #7 Upstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 7b: M #7 Downstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 8a: M #8 Upstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 8b: M #8 Downstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 9a: M #9 Upstream

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Description: Page: 46 Appendix C-Photo 9b: M #9 Downstream

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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 $357,505 From: General FY20 SOY 06/05/2019
FY2020 Expense $38,616 From: General 2000-027-00 FY20 04/06/2020
FY2020 Expense $38,553 From: General - Within Year April 16 Transfers 04/16/2020
FY2021 Expense $357,505 From: General FY21 SOY 06/09/2020

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
2020 $255,870 (Draft) 37% (Draft)
2019 $213,722 35%
2018 $133,787 25%
2017 $121,937 24%
2016 $91,303 19%
2015 $91,303 21%
2014 $30,971 (Draft) 4% (Draft)
2013 $27,981 8%
2012 $38,493 10%
2011 $29,771 4%
2010 $70,971 18%
2009 $150,385 32%
2008 $449,445 58%
2007 $124,039 28%

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
BPA-011101 Bonneville Power Administration FY01 Land Acquisitions Active $1,314,410 10/1/2000 - 9/30/2001
2947 REL 1 SOW Burns-Paiute Tribe 2000-027-00 ACQUISITION OF MALHEUR WILDLIFE MITIGATION SITE Terminated $184,318 11/1/2000 - 10/31/2001
BPA-008047 Bonneville Power Administration TBL task order Active $0 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
BPA-008248 Bonneville Power Administration TBL task order Active $0 10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015
84113 SOW Burns-Paiute Tribe 2000-027-00 EXP MALHEUR RIVER WILDLIFE MITIGATION BPT Issued $434,674 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020
CR-343788 SOW Burns-Paiute Tribe 2000-027-00 EXP MALHEUR RIVER WILDLIFE MITIGATION BPT Pending $357,505 1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):25
Completed:23
On time:23
Status Reports
Completed:66
On time:53
Avg Days Early:4

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-011101 FY01 Land Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2000 10/2000 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4050 20864, 25901, 31011, 36159, 40839, 45458, 50547, 55222, 59433, 63747, 67695, 71145, 74624, 78136, 81111, 84113 2000-027-00 ACQUISITION OF MALHEUR WILDLIFE MITIGATION SITE Burns-Paiute Tribe 03/2001 03/2001 Pending 60 262 22 0 27 311 91.32% 0
BPA-008047 TBL task order Bonneville Power Administration 10/2013 10/2013 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
66332 2000-027-00 EXP MALHEUR RIVER INSTREAM IRRIGATION REHAB Burns-Paiute Tribe 08/2014 08/2014 Closed 5 7 0 0 1 8 87.50% 0
BPA-008248 TBL task order Bonneville Power Administration 10/2014 10/2014 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 65 269 22 0 28 319 91.22% 0


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: 2000-027-00-ISRP-20201105
Project: 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
Review: 2017 ISRP Wildlife Review
Completed Date: 11/5/2020
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 Summary Report provides a useful, information-rich overview for a long-term project. The Summary Report clearly describes project goals and provides sufficient details to indicate how management strategies and approaches could be expected to provide benefits to wildlife. The proponents identify three management goals for the project. Quantitative objectives and timelines to reach the objectives are needed so that monitoring can be used to evaluate progress toward the goals and quantitative objectives. 

2. Scientific principles and methods 

The Summary Report identifies activities taken to achieve results in a well-organized manner. For example, activities related to monitoring of high-priority species, improving water quality, enhancing habitat types, controlling noxious weeds, protecting springs and seeps, and managing grazing are clearly summarized. Rationales for use, or alteration, of methods are justified. 

The ISRP commends the proponents for presenting monitoring results in considerable detail in figures and tables. This presentation helped us to better understand the challenges the proponents are facing, to identify possible problems with the experimental design, and to focus potential concerns with the monitoring program. 

The proponents also state in a number of places that various surveys are intended “to detect possible benefits or consequences of land management actions” on small mammal, amphibian populations, and vegetation cover and composition. However, an experimental design with proper controls is needed to determine whether changes in metrics computed from surveys can be attributed to management actions rather than to other uncontrolled factors. BACI (Before After Control Impact) design are often used for this kind of ecological study. 

Many of the statements about declining or increasing trends seem to be based on the slopes of polynomial curves fitted to data in Figures 3-11. These claims are questionable as they are not supported by statistical analyses. Moreover, the curves in Figures 9 and 11 seem to be fitted incorrectly, or perhaps are affected by data or weighting schemes not shown in the figures. The curves inappropriately extend beyond the range of observations prior to 2015. 

A number of graphs showing species abundance are used to describe general population trends from about 2006 to present. References were provided for the protocols used to collect data, but methods specific to this effort were not described. Additional methods were provided in the 2004 Wildlife Mitigation Plan, but without reference to this plan it is difficult to determine the extent to which these methods were applicable to efforts described in the Summary Report. For example, how many samples were taken each year in each location and each month? Do error bars in the graphs show standard deviations or some other measure of variability? 

3. Monitoring and evaluation 

Much of the Summary Report is devoted to describing M&E activities. The summary used to describe monitoring and evaluation by activity including migratory bird surveys, brood surveys, small mammal surveys, amphibian surveys, vegetation assessment, and stream photo points provides an effective overview for understanding the project. This information is helpful, but difficult to fully evaluate because information on methodology and quantitative objectives is not provided. 

The presentation of monitoring and research findings should link directly to quantitative objectives so that progress in achieving the objectives can be assessed. However, quantitative objectives were not developed, and the results do not seem to address all of the nonquantitative objectives described earlier. For example, there was little description of the degree to which noxious weeds were controlled and what actions were taken to improve water quality. 

Data provided in the Summary Report shows that a lack of precision in abundance indices will make it difficult to detect trends. The cause of this variability is not clear. It could be due to differences among observers or other sources of variability in detectability or abundance. A statistical power analysis should be performed to estimate the sampling rates needed to gain sufficient precision to detect trends, especially for the amphibian and small mammal surveys. Sampling efforts to date have generated estimates of variability, which can now be used to conduct the power analysis. 

Population data were provided for birds and small mammals. How do these values compare with values in other areas where habitat is relatively undisturbed, or with expected values for “healthy” habitat? To what extent can population and vegetation trends be linked to actions taken on the wildlife area? 

The Summary Report describes two research components in terms of objectives that could easily be converted to testable hypotheses. 

Other minor points:

The wording “frequency of invasive plants occurring in all quadrats” in the captions for Figures 19 and 20 is confusing (and potentially misleading); presumably, the y-axis is the percent of quadrats containing the species based on all quadrats examined. 

In Table 6, why is n/N = 0.003 (instead of 0.15) for the western harvest mouse? With such small numbers, the Simpson index should be calculated with the “sampling without replacement” formula. 

In Table 7, the column headings (species names) are missing. Also, as described in the text, relative species cover is no longer a percentage measure. It is a dimensionless index (the ratio of two percentage measures). 

Appendix A provides a number of photo points comparing riparian and stream bank habitat changes from 2007 to 2016. Photos can be very useful to document changes. Were the before and after pictures taken during the same month?

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

The project summary presents quantitative and qualitative results. Lessons learned are well described and are used to motivate suggested changes in management and monitoring as described in a section titled, Adaptive Management. These suggestions do not address the major issues of whether current treatments have been or will be useful for achieving desired outcomes. The ISRP is concerned that this project cannot implement adaptive management because its objectives are not quantitative, sampling rates and monitoring are insufficient to detect trends in the face of natural variability, and the experimental design is inadequate to attribute changes to treatments. 

Adaptive management in this wildlife area is described as correcting mistakes and recognizing patterns, rather than active decision-making stemming from a series of anticipated outcomes. Most of the concerns in this section involve methodology rather than achieving desired habitat conditions. Ideally, adaptive management should stem from quantitative objectives and timelines, followed by monitoring and evaluation that shows progress toward those objectives. Adaptive management should describe alternative actions taken to better achieve project goals and objectives. The lack of quantitative objectives inhibits implementation of adaptive management. 

Past annual reports described project activities to enhance wildlife habitat by haying and grazing, controlling noxious weeds, and managing water flow. The 2017 report refers to these activities in the Executive Summary, but it does not describe them under Section II (Results: Reporting, Accomplishments, Impact, and Adaptive Management). Consequently, it is not clear whether these activities were continued through 2016. Instead, the 2017 Summary Reports focuses exclusively on monitoring and evaluation, and research. Given the issues with experimental design and statistical evaluation described above, it is unclear how much benefit the project has provided to fish and wildlife.

Qualification #1 - Additional information needed in next Management Plan
Quantitative objectives and timelines to reach the objectives are needed in the next management plan so that monitoring can be used to evaluate progress toward these objectives. A formal adaptive management plan should be included in the next Management Plan. Adaptive management should stem from the quantitative objectives and timelines, followed by monitoring and evaluation that shows progress toward those objectives. The adaptive management plan should describe alternative actions that could be taken, if needed, to better achieve goals and objectives. The project proponents should consider questions such as the following when responding to the qualified recommendation for this project. This list is not exhaustive but is presented to aid in identifying quantitative objectives. 1. What measurable metric(s) for habitat conditions and abundance/diversity of wildlife can be used to describe the viability of focal species? 2. How many acres of upland, wetland, floodplain meadow and riparian habitats are to be enhanced? 3. To what extent will density of noxious weeds be reduced? 4. How many springs and seeps (or acres) will be protected? 5. What metric best defines whether or not grazing practices are managed to meet wildlife objectives? 6. What is the quantitative objective that defines success for the number of annual access and hunting permits issued to the public? 7. To what extent should deer/vehicle collisions be reduced?
Documentation Links:
Review: Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-027-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issue # 2-3 and # 7. Sponsor to provide adaptive management report to ISRP by FY 2013. See ISRP recommendations.
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

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2000-027-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
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 have provided most of the detail to support approval of the scientific merit of the proposal. The material provides a better understanding of the management objectives of the Burns Paiute Tribe for this land parcel. Consistency in staffing will contribute to effective adaptive management in this challenging environment. The ISRP qualifies the recommendation with the suggestion that in two to three years there is a review of monitoring progress.

For the most part, the response was helpful in framing the various work elements. One answer that is lacking is to the question concerning what proportion of funds is for O&M and what is for future acquisition.

The four-year rotation is an excellent plan, but it is also important to consider when in the year grazing occurs and for how long. To shift plant populations and create patchiness with grazing will probably result in overuse of key perennial forage species and may also be detrimental to livestock gain. If possible, yearlings would do a better job of this than pairs. Small burns could give these same results faster. With off-stream water and salt, most cattle should be discouraged from loafing in riparian areas unless the weather is hot and this is the only shade.

Wet meadows and hayfields would be easier and less costly to manage if they are in native grasses that do not require regular haying or periodic replanting. Grazing will keep these plants in a vegetative stage that produces good quality winter forage.

Vegetation data taken during the HEP survey can be statistically analyzed independently from the HEP analysis and used to monitor vegetation changes, if enough sites are sampled and they are measured more frequently than the five-year HEP interval. Line intercepts and plots are preferred over step point sampling for less common species. These are quick methods amenable to statistical analysis, as is the ISRP recommendation for more photo-points that could be accomplished with very minor budget increases.

The ISRP suggests that a review occurs in the next two to three years to evaluate monitoring progress.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
The project has good potential for benefiting fish and wildlife but does not adequately describe activities or present a convincing case that objectives can be accomplished. The relationship between O&M and acquisition should be stated. The response should better organize objectives and justify and explain work element and methods. Using livestock grazing and haying to improve fish and wildlife habitat should be explained in more detail. Monitoring efforts are commendable, although some suggestions are offered below. Lessons learned from events such as “failed” seedings should be related, so that others might benefit from your experience. The ISRP requests a response that includes more data summaries and descriptions of activities to evaluate mitigation activities (e.g., weed management). HEP is appropriate for crediting, but the science is outdated for effectiveness monitoring. Metrics for M&E should be provided and justified in a response.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
As noted in a previous review, the logic for the project is that multiple fish and wildlife species could benefit from these restoration activities. The proposal includes cultural justification that complements the biological justification. The project has good potential for benefiting fish and wildlife but does not adequately describe activities or present a convincing case that objectives can be accomplished. A response that better justifies work elements and monitoring and evaluation is needed. More details are provided below.

The proposal states that this is an ongoing project to manage 6385 deeded acres of various habitats along the Malheur River. Later the proposal states that this is an acquisition project. The sponsors should clearly state what type of project is proposed and if both, make that connection obvious.

2. Project History and Results
The proposal provides an interesting chronological history summarizing work activities and cost for the restoration actions that have taken place over the last eight years. The results are explained in qualitative terms. It would be helpful to explain which efforts have been perceived as most successful and why, and which have required the most maintenance or adaptive management. It was useful to see the results of the 2006-2008 wildlife surveys, although there are insufficient results yet to be able to determine whether the restoration actions are having the desired effects. Evaluations of lessons learned from past events such as plantings failing, haying not completed, and no amphibians trapped despite activities such as irrigating to keep wetlands full, should be provided.

Some objectives are repeated in number or in repeated wording. It is not clear that using salt to attract cattle away from riparian areas without fences will be adequate to protect the riparian habitat. Opportunities for off-stream watering should be explored. Using livestock grazing and haying as management tools where the goal is to improve fish and wildlife habitat should be explained in more detail in a response. Establishment of a long-term grazing policy as part of a management plan should be a priority.

It was not clear why only nine photopoints were selected for long-term photo documentation of stream and riparian condition. Justification should be provided in a response. The 5-year aquatic habitat surveys in "critical streams" and 10-year surveys in secondary priority streams are probably too infrequent to document restoration-associated changes. The ISRP recommends at least 3-year survey intervals or more frequent surveys in case a large natural disturbance event (wildfire, flood, or multi-year drought) occurs. The annual temperature monitoring and fish survey plans appear adequate. The wildlife surveys, also conducted yearly, are well described, and project personnel are qualified for the work. We applaud the use of the Weed Information Management System as part of the weed control activity.

The ISRP discourages use of HEP to determine vegetation trends or to evaluate if habitat needs of each target species are improving. HEP is appropriate for crediting, but the science is outdated for effectiveness monitoring. Metrics for M&E should be provided and justified in a response.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-027-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
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: 2000-027-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2000-027-00 - Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation
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 logical need for the project is explained. Multiple fish and wildlife species could benefit from these restoration activities. The proposal demonstrates significance of the project to the Malheur subbasin and includes cultural justification that complements the biological justification. The project history is clearly recounted.

The sponsors provided a response to the ISRP review that better explains provisions for monitoring and evaluation. This continues to be an issue identified in past ISRP reviews. The ISRP review asked for more details concerning monitoring and evaluation including: 1) benefits to fish and wildlife including an evaluation of how persistent the benefits will be, 2) possible adverse effects on non-focal species, 3) short and long-term success of habitat manipulation. The ISRP encourages more adaptive management as the project proceeds. The sponsors have provided additional information that responds to ISRP questions and concerns in a very effective manner. It is clear that extensive monitoring is planned and personnel are available to effectively evaluate the project.

Relationship and collaboration with other projects are noted as well as outreach and educational activities. However, some methods to share successes and lessons learned with others involved in similar monitoring and restoration activities should be identified.

Most objectives seem appropriate given the detail presented. The presentation of work elements was not very detailed in the proposal, but the response effectively provided justification for the methods chosen.

The facilities, equipment, and personnel are reasonable, and their description is well written. Personnel appear quite adequate now that additional resource personnel have been identified to assist with setting up and evaluating the monitoring program.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2000-027-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2000-027-00
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: 2000-027-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2000-027-00
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
Kyle Heinrick (Inactive) Technical Contact Burns-Paiute Tribe
Deborah Arntz Administrative Contact Burns-Paiute Tribe
Siena Lopez-Johnston Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Calla Hagle Project Lead Burns-Paiute Tribe
Zachary Gustafson Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Virgil Watts III Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Carter Crouch Project Lead Burns-Paiute Tribe
David Kaplowe Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Jody Lando Project SME Bonneville Power Administration