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

Project 2003-012-00 - Shillapoo Wildlife Mitigation
Project Number:
Shillapoo Wildlife Mitigation
The Shillapoo Wildlife Area (SWA) was initially approved as a BPA wildlife mitigation project in 1996 and was re-approved for funding in 2002 as part of the Northwest Power Planning Council's (NWPPC) Provincial/Sub-Basin Planning Process. This project is located in the Lower Columbia Province (Lake River Sub-Basin) and partially addresses wildlife losses due to adverse impacts caused by construction of Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day dams. Land acquisition and management programs to meet mitigation objectives have been under way since 1996 on the SWA. Continued operation, maintenance and enhancement activities funded by BPA are necessary to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat benefits and to ensure BPA's mitigation obligation is met.

Ongoing Maintenance and enhancement work includes restoration of approximately 650 acres of wetland plant communities within the drained Shillapoo Lakebed and management/enhancement of other smaller wetland basins throughout the wildlife area. This primary enhancement focus is envisioned to provide wintering habitat for Canada geese, other waterfowl and sandhill cranes while increasing the overall habitat and wildlife diversity in the area.

Tree and shrub planting will occur along approximately 1 3/4 miles of riparian zone on the west bank of Lake River and in other areas to restore or improve riparian habitat. Some of these areas require that exotic vegetation (usually Himalayan Blackberry) be removed prior to planting making these projects multiple year endeavors. Tree planting will also occur in selected wetland and Oak habitat to improve habitat conditions for indicator species including Great Blue Heron, Yellow Warbler, mink and other species.

Other ongoing maintenance activities include fence maintenance, noxious weed and brush control, and waterfowl forage improvements much of which is accomplished though agreements with cooperating farmers. Water levels are also managed and moist soil management practices are employed in wetland basins where enhancement has occured to reduce reed canary grass cover in order to create favorable conditions for native plants.
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Province Subbasin %
Lower Columbia Columbia Lower 100.00%
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Salmonids
Chinook - All Populations
Chinook - Lower Columbia River ESU
Chum - Columbia River ESU
Coho - Lower Columbia River ESU
Coho - Unspecified Population
Cutthroat Trout, Coastal - All Anadromous Populations
Cutthroat Trout, Coastal - Southwest Washington/Columbia River ESU
Other Anadromous
Sockeye - All Populations
Steelhead - All Populations
Steelhead - Lower Columbia River DPS
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
BiOp Association:

Description: Page: Cover: Cover photo

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 1197 x 761

Description: Page: 1 Figure 1: High water along Lake River on May 23, 2011

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 1197 x 524

Description: Page: 2 Figure 2: Stand of water plantain, a seed producing native plant, in the South McBride wetland that resulted following a disking treatment in 2010. Prior to the treatment, the site was completely dominated by reed canary grass.

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 1197 x 740

Description: Page: 4 Figure 3: A North Unit waterfowl pasture site managed through a grazing permit.

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 1197 x 612

Description: Page: 5 Figure 4: Portion of the “Old Ag” oak habitat site planted in 2011

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 817 x 412

Description: Page: 8 Figure 5: No caption provided.

Project: 2003-012-00

Document: P123545

Dimensions: 707 x 391

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  (FY2019 - FY2021)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2019 Expense $298,962 From: General WDFW (FY19-Q1) SOY Budgets - 9/18/2018 09/18/2018
FY2020 Expense $298,962 From: General FY20 SOY 06/05/2019
FY2021 Expense $298,962 From: General FY21 SOY 06/09/2020

Pending Budget Decision?  No

Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2020   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
2019 $128,349 30%
2018 $131,598 31%
2017 $83,564 23%
2016 $56,627 17%
2015 $47,345 15%
2014 $40,422 13%
2013 $32,156 12%
2012 $39,459 13%
2011 $34,674 12%
2010 $32,363 11%
2009 $27,740 10%
2008 $36,045 12%
2007 $499,558 66%


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-011115 Bonneville Power Administration FY99 Land Acquisitions Active $1,740,657 10/1/1998 - 9/30/1999
BPA-011116 Bonneville Power Administration FY01 Land Acquisitions Active $500,000 10/1/2000 - 9/30/2001
74314 REL 83 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2003-012-00 EXP PROTECT SHILLAPOO WILDLIFE AREA Issued $298,962 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
74314 REL 114 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2003-012-00 EXP PROTECT SHILLAPOO WILDLIFE AREA (WDFW-SHIL) Issued $298,962 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):16
On time:12
Status Reports
On time:28
Avg Days Late:8

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-011115 FY99 Land Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/1998 10/1998 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-011116 FY01 Land Acquisitions Bonneville Power Administration 10/2000 10/2000 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
17610 19956, 25166, 29303, 35035, 39620, 44456, 50061, 54788, 59514, 63005, 66062, 69914, 73891, 74314 REL 19, 74314 REL 53, 74314 REL 83, 74314 REL 114 2003-012-00 PROTECT SHILLAPOO WILDLIFE AREA Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 10/2003 10/2003 Issued 60 353 16 6 67 442 83.48% 5
Project Totals 60 353 16 6 67 442 83.48% 5

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: Wildlife Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2003-012-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 2003-012-00 - Shillapoo Wildlife Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issue # 9
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Equipment/facilities purchase and replacement

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2003-012-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 2003-012-00 - Shillapoo Wildlife Mitigation
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 sponsor response indicates a desire to include more effective monitoring and evaluation in the project. Budgetary constraints make this desire difficult to implement. Continuation of low cost monitoring such as photo points to illustrate progress toward enhancement goals, as well as unanticipated results or unexpected events, is encouraged. Wetland vegetation monitoring of plant cover along transects with the goal relating vegetative changes to wildlife use should be a priority. Effective methods to monitor species of interest such as great blue heron, bald eagles, mourning dove, winter waterfowl, and western pond turtles will require creative strategies to be sustainable. The ISRP applauds the sponsor's willingness to find ways to effectively monitor weed control efforts.

The ISRP is also sympathetic to the WDFW budget situation and appreciates the Wildlife Area's attempts to achieve the goals and objectives of this conservation reserve with a small group of dedicated staff and a few volunteers. With regard to the assertion that the staff is trying to increase their effectiveness monitoring by going beyond HEP ("we do feel that monitoring wildlife response to habitat enhancement measures is important as well and we hope that the ISRP will support our efforts to include this type of monitoring in our future contracts") we can only say "Amen."
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
The ISRP requests a response from the project sponsors including a more detailed description of what will be monitored or a justification why an important wildlife or habitat component of the project cannot be monitored. We realize that funding for monitoring is limited, but with so many possibilities for the area and its wildlife to be affected by non-native species (e.g., exotic plants, feral cats) it is essential that there be some way of tracking the results of restoration actions. Overall, the ISRP felt this project is strategically located and will benefit a variety of wildlife species.

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The technical justification and project significance were well described. This project will help maintain and restore wetland conditions in an area near Lake Vancouver. It will assist in filling gaps between a series of wildlife habitat areas between the City of Vancouver and the Lewis River. The stated emphasis is to create and improve migratory bird habitat, particularly species that occupy riverine lowlands and floodplains, e.g., sandhill cranes. The ISRP previously suggested that the habitat implications for native fishes could be addressed in this project, since the Shillapoo Lake area was undoubtedly an important off-channel rearing site for salmonids and other native species. The sponsors have added some language stating that there should be some benefits to fish habitat along the river, but because of the risk of invasion by non-native species (particularly carp) fish screens will continue to be used to exclude fishes from many of the wetland restoration sites. Other wildlife habitat programs in the area were adequately described, although it does not appear from this proposal that there will be much resource sharing among them. Local universities might be a resource for volunteer monitoring assistance.

2. Project History and Results
The proposal did an adequate job of describing the project history and series of actions surrounding the initial and subsequent land acquisitions in the Shillapoo Lake area. Although most of the information was qualitative it does appear that the sponsors have achieved the majority of their habitat restoration goals. Given the duration of the project, however, it would have been helpful to have seen some wildlife data to demonstrate that the newly created habitat was being utilized.

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
The objectives, strategies, and tasks were clearly described. Most have to do with re-establishing native vegetation, controlling non-native vegetation, and promoting wetland hydrology over the majority of the Shillapoo area, and are a continuation of ongoing efforts. Many of the actions involve elements of both wetland restoration and lowland agriculture as the area is gradually transformed from a diked and drained riverine lake to a natural wetland. There were many items listed in the work elements and for some tasks few details were given. For example, the monitoring section mentions tracking the effects of burning as a management tool, but there did not appear to be any tasks targeting non-native vegetation control or native vegetation establishment that specifically involved controlled burns.

4. M&E
Project sponsors state that they will continue to perform periodic HEP evaluations for crediting. The ISRP is pleased to see that they have incorporated permanent reference points, treatment/control comparisons, and focal species wildlife surveys into an effectiveness monitoring plan. However, the M&E plan remains the weak link in this proposal. The project managers state their hands are full with the actual tasks of restoring the property.

The ISRP needs more details about what will be monitored and how the findings will be used to guide future management activities. For example, the use of photo reference points was not clear (how will they be used to document change?). This area is flood prone, and some flexibility will be needed to get out after a flood to see what happens to wildlife habitat after the flood event. Standardized monitoring by Washington State is mentioned, but no details are presented. Given Washington’s fiscal situation, it is unlikely that the state is going to fund the M&E needed for this project. Although habitat surveys in general will occur on a five-year rotation (except for reference points, which will be monitored annually), more frequent monitoring may be needed for some things. We also encourage the sponsors not to abandon the possibility of monitoring amphibians and reptiles. There are several sensitive amphibians that could make use of the new habitat, and at least one reptile (western pond turtle). Any permanent water bodies created by the restoration work should be occasionally checked for non-native fishes – particularly carp and other warm-water species – and control actions implemented if they are detected. Project staff appears well qualified to carry out or supervise the monitoring work.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2003-012-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2003-012-00 - Shillapoo 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: 2003-012-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2003-012-00 - Shillapoo 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:
Actions related to the project date back to 1992, including ISRP review in 2002 as part of the provincial review process. The SWA is located in the Vancouver Lowlands, and is intended to provide riparian, wetland, and oak woodland habitat across a former lakebed that was drained and developed as agricultural land. A goal of the WDFW acquisition program is to acquire the entire former lakebed and restore it to its former species diversity and wetland functions for wintering waterfowl, while keeping a portion of it in a semi-agricultural state that supports sandhill crane and geese populations. The proposed project should benefit focal wildlife species. It is not clear that the benefits will persist over the long-term because of the great potential for urban pressure on the site.

The proposal clearly identifies the specific objectives in the Lower Columbia River Subbasin Plan and specific parts of the Fish and Wildlife Program. The proposal identifies other similar work but does not identify collaborative efforts. The ISRP encourages collaborative efforts.

The rationale for this project and significance to regional programs is clear. Specifically, the problem of habitat degradation imposing limiting factors on wildlife species is clearly explained. This appears to be a worthwhile project that will benefit wetland-dependent species in the Vancouver Lowlands. Areas targeted for restoration and specific restoration actions are clearly identified.

The objectives are very clearly defined and relate to specific tasks and related to the subbasin plan. The proposal clearly identifies tasks that are related to the objectives. The measurable benefits to wildlife are stated in terms of amount of habitat restored. It appears that reasonable, pragmatic approaches are proposed. An extensive monitoring and evaluation component includes five types of surveys. Monitoring of habitat and of wildlife response to changes in habitat will be done. Evaluation in terms of amount of habitat restored is clearly explained, but identification in terms of wildlife response is not as clearly specified. Identification of specific, measurable benefit to wildlife is recommended.

Information transfer is mentioned but more specific information should be presented. It is not clear that the information obtained will be readily available in a usable format.

The proposal should clearly identify the effect of the habitat restoration activities and resulting wildlife response on fish. Previous ISRP reviews noted the possibility of the potential for negative impacts on fish; the current proposal makes no mention of negative impacts. Indeed, little is mentioned about interactions with the larger lower Columbia River aquatic ecosystem. The ISRP encourages inclusion of a discussion of the effects of the overall actions on fish and aquatic species in the Lower Columbia River ecosystem as part of project reporting.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2003-012-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2003-012-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: O&M on BPA-funded wildlife mitigation site; assume requested funds consistent with terms of MOA. Upon review, BPA concerned that funding is being applied in lieu of state funding; may need additional cost share or other resolution. Rating changed from a "1" to a "2.3."

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2003-012-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2003-012-00
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
Paul Dahmer Administrative Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Daren Hauswald Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Paul Ashley (Inactive) Technical Contact Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Catherine Clark Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Anne Creason Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
John Skidmore Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration