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Project Summary

Project 2002-015-00 - Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Project Number:
2002-015-00
Title:
Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Summary:
Sherman County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides local leadership in implementation of watershed enhancement projects focused on improving fish and wildlife habitat, overall watershed health, and water quality. The SWCD works closely with the four Watershed Councils in Sherman County to develop and implement scientifically sound, economically feasible natural resource conservation plans for private landowners.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Sherman Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) (SWCD)
Starting FY:
2004
Ending FY:
2015
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau John Day 100.00%
Purpose:
Programmatic
Emphasis:
Local Coordination
Focal Species:
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS (threatened)
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

No photos have been uploaded yet for this project.

Summary of Budgets

To view all expenditures for all fiscal years, click "Project Exp. by FY"

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2016 (Previous) $0 $0 $0 $0

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

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

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-May-2017

No Decided Budget Transfers

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2015 0 %
FY2014 0 %
FY2013 50 %
FY2012 23 %
FY2011 19 %
FY2010 60 %
FY2009 60 %
FY2008 63 %
FY2007 62 %
Fiscal Year Cost Share Partner Total Proposed
Contribution
Total Confirmed
Contribution

No Current Contracts




Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):10
Completed:10
On time:10
Status Reports
Completed:41
On time:16
Avg Days Late:15

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
9956 22515, 27179, 33553, 38248, 48308, 53523, 58059, 62021, 65667 2002-015-00 WATERSHED COUNCIL IN SHERMAN COUNTY Sherman Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) 05/2002 05/2002 Closed 41 88 0 0 70 158 55.70% 1
Project Totals 41 88 0 0 70 158 55.70% 1


Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2002-015-00 - Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2002-015-00
Completed Date: 9/26/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 8/15/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

The importance of the CREP program is well justified; however, the sponsor’s responses to the ISRP concerns raise serious doubts about continued project effectiveness. Our major concerns, that the program appears to have accomplished very little over the past three years and the need to explain why the program has been so unsuccessful recently, were not adequately addressed in the responses. Further, several responses to our eight specific concerns indicated a lack of understanding about the need for quantitative goals, use of the Adaptive Management process, and, importantly, the need for revised deliverables, work elements, metrics, and methods to support a revised proposal. These were not provided; therefore, it is not possible to evaluate the proposal in any meaningful way. Further, a plan/strategy to stem the high turnover rate of personnel is essential. It seems that the sponsors need time to re-group, address the substantial shortcomings of the project, and prepare a greatly revised proposal.

First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

This program appears to have accomplished very little over the past three years. The reason may be intransigent landowners or lack of effort to recruit them. As a minimum, there is a clear need to explain why the program has been so unsuccessful recently.

In addition, a response should address the following concerns:

1) Provide a monitoring plan to assess the effectiveness of the proposed actions, and a timeline, on the abundance of the focal fish species (steelhead and redband trout). Juvenile fish – and appropriate wildlife – should be included in this plan as well as Chinook and lamprey.

2) Restoration programs similar to this one have seen their actions undermined by excessive herbivory from native ungulates and beaver. If this is a problem, how will it be addressed?

3) Provide an explanation of the information on past performance related to the number of contracts, miles of buffered stream, and acres buffered. Include information on fish abundance.

4) Provide a revised adaptive management plan that includes hypotheses for individual actions and systematic monitoring to be conducted in order to determine if actions will be effective.

5) Describe how SWCD cooperates with core personnel in the catchments to accumulate knowledge to improve effectiveness of SWCD efforts.

6) Provide evidence that the SWCD is working cooperatively with the Tribes and other key agencies conducting restoration in the catchments. It will be important to show a cooperative effort with ODFW to monitor fish populations and stream habitat response through the implementation of riparian buffers.

7) Provide a strategy or plan to effectively address the consequences of climate change and non-native plant proliferation in future restoration efforts.

8) Revised deliverables, work elements, metrics, and methods will be needed to support the revised proposal.

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

The proposal’s purpose is for Sherman County SWCD to provide local leadership in the implementation of watershed enhancement projects focused on improving fish and wildlife habitat, overall watershed health, and water quality. The SWCD works closely with the four Watershed Councils in Sherman County to develop and implement scientifically sound, economically feasible natural resource conservation plans for private landowners.

They have accomplished these activities in the past and thereby appear to have the technical expertise to successfully complete the proposed work.

The Objective is to increase adult returns and long-term average annual runs in the Deschutes and John Day subbasins within Sherman County. Unfortunately, there is no monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the proposed actions and no timeline given; therefore, the objective cannot be evaluated.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

Reporting of five miles fenced in three years is not an adequate indication of program success. Information is provided on number of projects, stream miles protected, and acres buffered. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these actions on improving the abundances of steelhead and redband trout cannot be determined since the fish were not monitored. Further, the restoration actions were not monitored after installation to determine if they remained effective. There is information provided by year in a Table on the number of contracts, miles of buffered stream and acres buffered. Unfortunately, there is no explanation of Table components or temporal trends, or information on fish abundance. As such, it is not possible to determine if the objective is being met.

Adaptive management is not being practiced as intended. There are no hypotheses offered for individual actions and no systematic monitoring conducted to determine if the actions are effective. Therefore, it is not possible to learn efficiently from the program activities. Further, it does not appear that personnel associated with this project have been associated with the program for very long – also limiting the adaptive capacity of core personnel to accumulate knowledge from their collective experiences.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

It does not appear that the SWCD is working cooperatively with the Tribes and other key agencies conducting restoration in the catchments. Further, the SWCD needs to show that they have a cooperative effort with ODFW to monitor fish populations and stream habitat response through the implementation of riparian buffers. The SWCD state that they work closely with ODFW on all projects involving fish and wildlife habitat within the boundaries of their district, but the nature of that relationship is not articulated.

The ISRP is surprised that climate change was not listed as one of the emerging limiting factors, especially since summer water temperatures and late summer flows are of great concern in both catchments. Near all of the factors mentioned are not “emerging” but existing ones generated from past land use practices. The one exception might be the proliferation of non-native plants. Sadly, invasive species are here to stay. While some control may be attempted – usually at very high costs and effort – the fact is that managers are faced with the emergence of dynamic hybrid communities going forward. The ISRP suggests that it would be more effective to develop strategies that accepted the presence of hybrid communities, increase riparian shade to naturally repel invasive plants (an ecological approach), and only institute chemical control measures for species causing extensive ecological harm to the river (for example, knotweed on rivers west of the Cascades). Has fire been considered as a control measure? It has been very effective in other fire dominated communities including riparian zones.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The deliverables, work elements, metrics, and methods are adequate for the scope of the proposal, as written. ISRP concerns relate to items identified above.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

Monitoring with ODFW is only vaguely discussed.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/26/2013 11:37:00 AM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (7/9/2013)

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-NPCC-20131125
Project: 2002-015-00 - Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2002-015-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Close Out
Comments: Close out due to non-performance.
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2002-015-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 2 - May be reasonable
Comment: Coordination and outreach to private landowners, develop conservation plans for landowners seeking to enroll in USDA programs like CREP; USDA authorized/required; need confirmation that cost share is reasonable (compare with 200102100, for example).

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2002-015-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2002-015-00 - Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The SWCD projects as a group continue to be cost-effective approaches to leveraging a large amount of USDA money in CCRP/CREP contracts that would probably not be implemented without the funding of these development positions. The riparian buffer contracts have the potential for strong benefits to aquatic habitat, and so aquatic species, as well as to non-aquatic riparian species. This project will directly benefit focal species of the Deschutes and John Day Subbasin Plans. Benefits will persist for at least as long as the riparian buffer contracts, and maybe longer if contracts are renewed or if landowners discover additional benefits of riparian buffers that encourage them to maintain them.

The proposal provides a good description of riparian habitat problems in the Deschutes and John Day Subbasins and their linkage to problems of aquatic habitat (stream flows, water quality) and upland conditions. The proposed work is clearly linked to regional programs and to the priority rankings and associated restoration strategies for particular watersheds in the John Day and Deschutes Subbasin Plans. It is also linked to the Sherman County SWCD work plan. However, the proposal would be improved by also demonstrating the relation to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.

The proposal makes the point that there is a growing demand for conservation projects and an associated need for coordination and implementation. It lists work tasks accomplished since 2002, but without evaluation of the impact of these actions. Evaluation of what has happened in the buffers implemented in 2002 and the key factors affecting enrollment would be informative and helpful. NRCS protocols require that CREP contracts be given three annual reviews post-enrollment. What are the outcomes of these reviews?

Enrollment objectives are measured by number of stream miles. An explanation of the source and derivation of these enrollment objectives would provide useful explanatory information. Methods described are reasonable to accomplish the objectives of implementing riparian buffer contracts and coordinating watershed councils. Monitoring and evaluation includes indicators and performance standards, which is a step toward more thorough evaluation of the process. Monitoring and evaluation will be conducted through the application of NRCS protocols, in which a baseline visual stream assessment is followed by subsequent periodic assessments to assess terrestrial change within the riparian buffer. The ISRP recommends that to more completely assess post-project results and effectiveness, a cooperative effort be implemented with ODFW to also monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.

Information transfer is built into the outreach and education objectives. The proposal also describes the transfer of project results (metrics) to the BPA Pisces system. However, the sponsors should clarify whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives? The issue of project data provision vs. USDA confidentiality requirements should be addressed.

Given the growing body of experience in the implementation of these USDA contracts, it would be timely and useful to assess what works, what doesn't work, and nature of the constraints facing voluntary habitat improvement programs. The ISRP recommends that SWCDs collaborate in developing a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for these USDA programs.

The ISRP requests a response clarifying the following issues identified in the review:
1. The relation of this project to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.
2. How enrollment objectives are determined.
3. The potential to develop a cooperative effort with ODFW to monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.
4. Whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives?
5. The potential for SWCD collaborative development of a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for riparian buffer contracts and other USDA voluntary conservation programs.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-015-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2002-015-00 - Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Do Not Fund
Comments:

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Krista Coelsch Administrative Contact Sherman Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Hannah Dondy-Kaplan (Inactive) Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Jacob Calvert (Inactive) Project Lead Sherman Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Emily Lyle (Inactive) Interested Party Sherman Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Jamie Cleveland Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Jenna Peterson Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
John Skidmore Bonneville Power Administration