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Project Summary

Project 2006-004-00 - Wenas Wildlife Mitigation
Project Number:
2006-004-00
Title:
Wenas Wildlife Mitigation
Summary:
The Wenas Wildlife Area (W.A.) was approved as a wildlife mitigation project in 1996. The BPA-funded portion of the Wenas Wildlife Area encompasses 70,487 acres of state land, including 54,259 acres of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife land, 16,228 acres of Department of Natural Resources holdings and 3,485 acres managed on behalf of the Bureau of Land Management. This project partially meets BPA's mitigation obligation to compensate for wildlife and habitat losses resulting from the construction of Grand Coulee, McNary and John Day hydroelectric dams.
The focal species, representing habitat losses associated with the dams, are sage grouse, mule deer, western meadowlark, black-capped chickadee, yellow warbler and mink.
In addition, the Yakima River and Umtanum Creek also support ESA listed steelhead.
Located in Yakima and Kittitas Counties, the Wenas W.A. is predominately comprised of shrub steppe vegetation (29,060 ha (71,777 ac)), with the remainder consisting of riparian forest (423 ha (1,045 ac)), ponderosa pine forest (563 ha (1,390 ac)) and riverine habitat (130 ha (320 ac)) located along the Yakima River. Present habitat conditions were influenced primarily by past agricultural practices, extensive livestock grazing, and fires. Years of soil disturbance, uncontrolled vehicle use, and fires have all contributed to degraded shrub steppe and riparian habitats and widespread weed infestations throughout the Wildlife Area.
The management strategies for the Wildlife Area address several critical landscape level limiting factors such as shrub steppe habitat conversion, degradation, and fragmentation, as well as species-specific limiting factors. Management activities that have been implemented to address habitat conversion and degradation factors include seeding old agricultural fields to native-like vegetation, protecting and maintaining existing habitat, and controlling introduced vegetation. These activities and strategies also address factors that limit local populations of sage grouse such as quality and availability of nesting, foraging and wintering habitat.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2006
Ending FY:
2018
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Yakima 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Bass, Smallmouth
Catfish
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Coho - Unspecified Population
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Freshwater Mussels
Kokanee
Pikeminnow, Northern
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Trout, Brook
Trout, Brown
Trout, Bull
Trout, Lake
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 100.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:

Cover photo

Figure Name: Cover

Document ID: P118194

Document: Wenas Wildlife Area, 2009 - 2010

Page Number: 1

Project: 2006-004-00

Contract: 44851


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 *
FY2017 (Previous) $414,174 $414,174 $414,174 $497,009 $415,285

General $414,174 $414,174 $497,009 $415,285
FY2018 (Current) $442,635 $442,635 $442,635 $442,635 $360,819

General $442,635 $442,635 $442,635 $360,819
FY2019 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

General $0 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Jul-2018

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2017 - FY2019)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2017 Expense $414,174 From: General FY17 SOY Budgets 06/02/2016
FY2018 Expense $414,174 From: General FY18 SOY Budgets 07/17/2017
FY2018 Expense $28,461 From: General July 25th 2017 Transfers 07/25/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2018
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
2017 (Draft)
2016 $174,076 30 %
2015 $452,180 40 %
2014 $655,335 44 %
2013 $832,776 70 %
2012 $763,692 68 %
2011 $414,418 54 %
2010 $132,235 27 %
2009 $224,163 40 %
2008 $130,675 28 %
2007 $210,075 38 %

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
74314 REL 9 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2006-004-00 EXP WENAS WILDLIFE AREA: OPERATIONS AND ENHANCEMENTS Issued $414,174 7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018
74314 REL 44 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2006-004-00 EXP WENAS WILDLIFE MITIGATION: O&M (ENHANCEMENTS) Signature $442,635 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):14
Completed:3
On time:2
Status Reports
Completed:53
On time:17
Avg Days Late:10

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
24950 29533, 35034, 39851, 44851, 55102, 61677, 65913, 69573, 73075, 74314 REL 9, 74314 REL 44 2006-004-00 EXP WENAS WILDLIFE AREA O&M Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 10/2005 10/2005 Signature 53 168 0 0 18 186 90.32% 5
Project Totals 53 168 0 0 18 186 90.32% 5


Review: Wildlife Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2006-004-00-ISRP-20090618
Project: 2006-004-00 - Wenas 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 project history with timeline was presented as requested and was quite informative. It indicates that several monitoring projects need to be started. It was useful to learn that some of the native-like grasses may not be self-sustaining in the long-term and that some competition exists between native and native-like species. In most cases weed issues are important, and there is a need to establish native forbs after the weeds are controlled. The rationale for choosing projects was based on those areas in poorest condition, usually related to overgrazing. Choice of projects also included proximity to present sage grouse populations and soil depth which provided a better chance of success. This empirical approach seems reasonable and appears to include the wildlife management concepts of connectivity and perhaps carrying capacity. Some preliminary data (using about 50% of information) was presented from the nested frequency plots, as requested, but the data shows considerable variability which limits the ability to detect changes at this time. The ISRP is hopeful that the nested frequency plots will become very useful in the future. As implied in the Sunnyside comments, WDFW is proposing a more deliberate M&E strategy that will be integrated across all WDFW eastern Washington BPA mitigation projects (refers to Schroeder report), and it seems like a great concept.
First Round ISRP Date: 3/26/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
This is a thoroughly prepared proposal and meets most scientific criteria with the exception of reporting results. If no data are produced to indicate if the project is meeting goals and objectives (with accruing benefits to wildlife) how can it be evaluated or justified?

The sponsors are asked to respond to the following:

1. tabulate the project history along a timeline so that patterns of success and problems can be assessed;
2. metrics are rarely given for Work Elements that have measurable attributes, e.g., Work Elements 1.1 and 1.2;
3. what is the scientific rationale for choosing projects, is any kind of a habitat network planned or are they chosen on availability/opportunity?
4. 125 permanent nested frequency plots established in 2002 to monitor establishment and success of native and native-like seedings - 52 plots were revisited, but no data are presented although there was some general discussion of the findings. Please present this analysis;
5. "Preliminary surveys have been conducted on many of the wildlife areas enabling a brief assessment of data collected to this point. Not all wildlife areas have been surveyed at this stage, primarily because of the time and money required to initiate surveys." How do the proponents plan to prioritize this survey work?

1. Technical Justification, Program Significance and Consistency, and Project Relationships
The justification for the Wenas Wildlife Area habitat restoration project is very detailed and builds a strong case for its support using many references and appropriate supporting data. The program is large and clearly significant and enables inclusion of a complete set of landscape and habitat elements for focal species (including major habitats for anadromous fish) with extensive home ranges and migration patterns. The sponsors have good working relationships with numerous other agencies which share common goals for restoration of the habitats of key focal species.

Relationships to other projects are described in detail and this project is coordinated with shrub-steppe recovery efforts that are consistent with WDFW’s LT Murray, Oak Creek, Quilomene/Whiskey Dick, Sunnyside, Asotin, Sagebrush Flat, Scotch Creek and Swanson Lakes Wildlife Areas.

2. Project History and Results
The project history is described thoroughly in a detailed narrative, but it would be useful to tabulate this information along a time line so that patterns of success and problems can be assessed by reviewers. The sponsors state "When restoration efforts began native species from local watersheds were not commercially available, so cultivars were chosen that had the closest resemblance to the native species." These cultivars are referred to as "Native-like." The proposal would be improved by inclusion of further details on these species. Do the native-like species perform the same ecological functions as native species, and have they caused any problems in the area?

3. Objectives, Work Elements, and Methods
Work elements and objectives are commendable and similar to other areas, including reintroducing the sage grouse by 2020, connecting the functional core habitat units by 2015, restoring the natural fire regime (maintain fire breaks), and thinning stands of trees. However, in most instances metrics are not given for Work Elements which could have measurable attributes, e.g., Work Elements 1.1 and 1.2. It would be useful to learn if there is any scientific rationale for choosing projects. Is there any kind of a habitat network in mind or are they chosen on availability/opportunity?

4. M&E
The ISRP in 2007 pointed out that HEP and HSI should not be emphasized as management tools. These are for accounting, not effectiveness monitoring. The ISRP wanted to see the number, length, and location of transects used for monitoring and also wanted to see the results of these surveys. This report describes the plots as requested and lists 125 permanent nested frequency plots established in 2002 to monitor establishment and success of native and native-like seedings – 52 plots were revisited, but no data are presented although there was some general discussion of the findings. The ISRP is interested in seeing data, which are important for making proper management decisions.

Five exclosures were constructed between 1968 and 2003 to monitor use by big game (especially elk). In 2005, intensive vegetation sampling occurred in all 5 exclosures. One table of percent cover inside and outside the exclosures was presented. No wildlife data were presented, no data on success of weed control activities, or effects of fertilizing on native or native-like vegetation. On page 26-27 the importance of M&E is recognized, but it appears that the collection and use of the data is planned to occur in the future (including integration of wildlife information with habitat information).

Schroeder et al. (2008) and Chao 2004 are cited, wherein future comparisons will be made between reference and treatment sites. We wonder if Dr. Schroeder is spread too thin on all of these projects. The sponsor states on p.26 "Preliminary surveys have been conducted on many of the wildlife areas enabling a brief assessment of data collected to this point. Not all wildlife areas have been surveyed at this stage, primarily because of the time and money required to initiate surveys." It would be helpful to learn how the proponents plan to prioritize this survey work. A strategic approach might be encouraged. It seems that data collection schemes for M&E are transitioning.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2006-004-00-NPCC-20091217
Project: 2006-004-00 - Wenas Wildlife Mitigation
Review: Wildlife Category Review
Approved Date: 5/31/2009
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Programmatic issue # 9
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: Equipment/facilities purchase and replacement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2006-004-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2006-004-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
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; will need additional cost share or other resolution. Rating changed from a "1" to a "3."

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2006-004-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2006-004-00
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: 2006-004-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2006-004-00 - Wenas 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 sponsors provided an effective, detailed response to concerns raised by the ISRP. The response on the monitoring, although generic, did indicate that they had a plan. This response was quite similar with the response to 200201400, therefore the ISRP evaluation of the response for this project is similar to that presented for 200201400.

Sponsors provided information about monitoring and evaluation such as noting that they currently incorporate standard Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and Habitat Suitability Indices (HSIs). See general ISRP programmatic comments on HEP; this shouldn't be emphasized as a management tool. In addition, for operation and maintenance projects before and after photographs document the progress and completion of the project. They also provide some general information about monitoring of various mammal and bird species of interest. They should be more specific on the site designs. In the future, the ISRP wants to see the number, length, and location of transects used for monitoring and also see results obtained from these surveys. Also in the future, the ISRP would like more specific information included in proposals or linkages to readily available documents that specify monitoring and evaluation information.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2006-004-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2006-004-00 - Wenas Wildlife Mitigation
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Paul Dahmer Administrative Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Cindi Confer Morris Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Paul Ashley (Inactive) Technical Contact Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Steven Gagnon Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Tabatha Rood Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration