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Project Summary

Project 2008-604-00 - Lower Clearwater and Potlatch Watersheds Habitat Improvements
Project Number:
2008-604-00
Title:
Lower Clearwater and Potlatch Watersheds Habitat Improvements
Summary:
This project is intended to implement habitat restoration activities in the Potlatch River Basin as identified in The Accord. The 377,776-acre Potlatch River watershed is located in north-central Idaho and is the largest tributary in the lower Clearwater River. The Potlatch River is critical to wild Snake River steelhead. This project seeks to restore wild Snake River Steelhead to a robust, self-sustaining population within the Potlatch River through coordinated implementation of best management practices on private timber, agricultural and range lands, coordination of interagency watershed planning efforts, and continuation of watershed monitoring and evaluation. This proposal is consistent with the NWPCC Fish and Wildlife Program’s goal to develop habitat-based programs designed to rebuild healthy, naturally producing fish and wildlife populations by protecting, mitigating, and restoring habitats. This project is consistent with the objectives and strategies of the Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2008
Ending FY:
2032
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Snake Clearwater 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 90.0%   Resident: 10.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:

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"

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 $1,059,201 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2021 Expense $1,072,441 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2022 Expense $1,085,847 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 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 $594,114 36%
2019 $444,038 27%
2018 $1,085,497 50%
2017 $1,126,615 44%
2016 $839,298 50%
2015 $952,460 49%
2014 $494,662 38%
2013 $599,296 40%
2012 $601,549 83%
2011 $320,863 40%
2010
2009 $0 0%
2008

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
82582 SOW Latah Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) 2008-604-00 EXP LATAH SWCD POTLATCH BASIN RESTORATION Issued $836,229 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2020
76913 REL 12 SOW Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 2008-604-00 EXP IDFG LOWER CLEARWATER/POTLATCH WATERSHED Issued $375,455 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2020
76913 REL 20 SOW Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 2008-604-00 EXP LOWER CLEARWATER/POTLATCH WATERSHED Issued $341,593 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2021
85460 SOW Latah Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) 2008-604-00 EXP LOWER CLEARWATER/POTLATCH WATERSHED Issued $550,710 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2021



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):22
Completed:17
On time:17
Status Reports
Completed:90
On time:35
Avg Days Late:16

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
43702 49232, 55756, 59853, 63637, 67594, 71182, 75798, 76913 REL 5, 76913 REL 12, 76913 REL 20 2008-604-00 EXP LOWER CLEARWATER/POTLATCH WATERSHED-IDFG-MOA Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 07/2009 07/2009 Issued 45 76 5 0 38 119 68.07% 5
43283 48121, 53815, 61571, 66489, 70419, 74537, 76953, 80499, 82582, 85460 2008-604-00 EXP LOWER CLEARWATER/POTLATCH WATERSHEDS HABITAT-MOA Latah Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) 07/2009 07/2009 Issued 45 124 8 0 19 151 87.42% 0
Project Totals 90 200 13 0 57 270 78.89% 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: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2008-604-00-NPCC-20131126
Project: 2008-604-00 - Lower Clearwater and Potlatch Watersheds Habitat Improvements
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2008-604-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with condition through FY 2018. Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in contracting and for future reviews. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: Objectives and proposed deliverables should be quantitative and should have a predicted time frame for expected results so that restoration outcomes can be better documented—Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in contracting and for future reviews.
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Monitoring System—Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in contracting and for future reviews.
Council Condition #3 ISRP Qualification: Various assessments, particularly fish passage, to support future restoration work should be completed—Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in contracting and for future reviews.
Council Condition #4 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-604-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2008-604-00 - Lower Clearwater and Potlatch Watersheds Habitat Improvements
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2008-604-00
Completed Date: 9/27/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 8/15/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

There was a large amount of additional detail provided which clarified many of the questions that were raised by the ISRP. The link to the Potlatch Plan and comprehensive discussion of the priority setting process were particularly useful.

The response clearly itemizes the significant benefits to steelhead that would be anticipated if the natural impediment to steelhead upstream movement at Big Bear Falls were removed. This portion of the project appears supportable by reviewers, assuming that resident fishes above the falls would not be negatively affected.

Overall, there has been some excellent assessment and strategic planning for restoration in this watershed. Steelhead rearing habitat is expected to be enhanced by ~50%. Unfortunately, it seems like some of the key assessments (fish passage and road condition) needed to help display the full range of restoration project opportunities, in the priority watersheds, have yet to be completed. Having a comprehensive display of restoration project opportunities/needs would ensure the most effective setting of individual project implementation priorities.

The sponsors were not able to provide an estimate of the extent to which the extensive meadow restoration efforts that have been completed (and are ongoing) would increase late summer flows. The ISRP urges the sponsors to aggressively pursue accumulating and analyzing data to enable a better quantitative understanding of that issue. At the same time, reviewers appreciate the value of the meadow restoration work in restoring watershed health and involving the community in those efforts.

Evaluation of Results

Major on-ground activities completed to date include the Pine Creek Barrier Removal and Channel Realignment, the East Fork Potlatch/Bloom Meadows Channel Restoration and LWD Project, and the Corral Creek/ Tee-Colby Meadow, Wetland and Riparian Restoration. Physical results are reported and biological results are pending ongoing monitoring.

The qualifications are the same as those for the companion proposal 200206100, Potlatch River Watershed Restoration.

The sponsors provided a comprehensive and effective response to most of the ISRP concerns. However, some items need additional attention, and those can be resolved at the time of contract preparation:

Qualification #1 - Objectives and proposed deliverables should be quantitative and should have a predicted time frame for expected results so that restoration outcomes can be better documented
Objectives and proposed deliverables should be quantitative and should have a predicted time frame for expected results so that restoration outcomes can be better documented. A good quantitative description of expected accomplishments is provided, but there remains a lack of meaningful project level objectives describing the expected outcomes of the proposed work. Table 6 provides an excellent source material for development of such objectives. Examples of potential project objectives could include: within 5 years following restoration treatment, extend the duration of base flows (0.23 cfs or greater) for at least one month; increase stream surface shading to at least 60% on all perennial streams; achieve at least 80% survival for all riparian plantings, and, at identified fish passage barriers, ensure that all species and life stages are successfully passing the restored, road-stream crossings. Such objective statements provide a more valuable, quantitative description of desired post restoration conditions/outcomes and establish a clear basis to assess the effectiveness of restoration treatments.
Qualification #2 - Monitoring System
Regarding the issue of summer streamflow response to meadow restoration activities, the sponsors provide a discussion of literature on this topic but did not specifically address the question because they say it would be speculative. Reviewers wonder if the sponsors are anticipating an increase in summer flows of 1%, or 10%, or perhaps restoration to a perennial stream following the proposed actions. The sponsors provided some flow monitoring data and referred to general habitat improvements associated with meadow restoration but unexpectedly failed to incorporate any mention of data from the groundwater monitoring system that has been in place for several years. That system purports to "a) test whether restoration significantly increases groundwater elevations and re-establishes connectivity between the channel and floodplain; b) estimate the direction and magnitude of groundwater flow gradients; and c) associate groundwater elevations with surface flow magnitudes and durations." But apparently it has not yielded any results to date. Reasons for that should be resolved during contracting and any appropriate modifications to the monitoring system should be implemented.
Qualification #3 - Various assessments, particularly fish passage, to support future restoration work should be completed
Various assessments, particularly fish passage, to support future restoration work should be completed. A detailed discussion of project prioritization was provided, but little additional information was given regarding completion of fish passage and road condition assessments for the four identified priority watersheds. Given the priority setting process, it appears that having a good assessment of conditions for passage and road condition is critical to ensure that important projects are identified and prioritized early in the planning process. For roads, there was a discussion about completion of a rocking program designed to reduce increased sediment delivery, but there was no discussion about potential improvements to road drainage or pull back/treatment of unstable areas, especially on side-cast roads. Attention to both of these factors is likely to more fully address the issue of accelerated sediment delivery from roads. A road condition survey would allow identification of these needs/opportunities and their incorporation into planned road treatments. Additional information regarding the schedule for completion of fish passage and road condition assessments can be provided at the time of contract preparation.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

This is a joint proposal from the Idaho Office of Species Conservation, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District. During the tour and presentation much improved information was provided that was not in the proposal. The response should supply such information so it becomes part of the written record. It is clear to the ISRP that there is real potential here, especially bringing in private landowners to reverse a culture of agriculture and logging that paid little notice to aquatic resources. This project is tightly linked with its companion, Potlatch River Watershed Restoration (2002-061-00) from the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District.

A response is requested to address the numbered items directly below. Most, but not all, items are identical to those posed to the sponsors of project 2002-061-00. Other comments are provided as feedback for the sponsors.

1) Low summer flow is identified as a major factor limiting steelhead abundance, and reviewers concur. But despite reliance upon meadow restoration as a technique to increase water storage for eventual summer flow, and with placement of monitoring instrumentation at project sites, there has been no assessment of the additional water that might be available in summer as a result of this restoration activity. The response should address this issue, perhaps by identifying high-low limits for anticipated water volume, and compare this relative to current low summer flows. Flow enhancement in response to other actions being considered by both Potlatch projects should be considered in the analysis.

2) In a review of companion 2002-061-00 proposal, the ISRP (2009) concluded that this program met scientific criteria in part. The current proposal failed to specifically address the portions of the program that the ISRP (2009) said it did not meet. Specifically, work elements 29, 30, 181, and 184 were not described in such a way that the ISRP could fully appreciate and support the ecological justification for the bioengineering approach that has been or will be employed. As part of the 2009 ISRP review, plans were proposed by the sponsor to eliminate a natural seasonal passage barrier for steelhead at river mile 5.6 of Big Bear Creek. The ISRP review stated that the effort was not described in such a way that the ISRP could fully appreciate and support. The Big Bear Creek cascades are currently a part of 2008-604-00, where IDFG proposes to leverage funds for the modification of the cascades to improve steelhead passage. Please provide a comprehensive description of fish benefits that would be achieved, and also a description of risks to native fish species found above the cascades.

3) Objectives and proposed deliverables should be provided in quantitative form to the extent practicable.

4) Basic accomplishments should be quantified and documented in the response so that the Council knows what was accomplished with the funding.

5) It is not clear how completed assessments are used to support restoration work into the future. Fish passage, primarily at road-stream crossings, is the primary issue, but it is not clear if a comprehensive assessment of the road system has been completed and, if not, when it will be done. Please clarify.

6) It appears that no comprehensive watershed assessment has been completed. Is that correct? It might not have been needed at the onset of the Potlatch habitat program, but it is more so now. If no watershed assessment is in place, please discuss how current knowledge might suffice as an adequate surrogate in this time-sensitive program.

7) A detailed activity prioritization protocol was laid out during the presentation. A written version should be included in the response.

8) Mention is made in the Adaptive Management section that juvenile steelhead are monitored by screw trap and snorkeling. That information is used to focus habitat actions on the best tributaries. More details of this, especially examples of that process in operation, would be helpful for reviewers.

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

Despite the title, this proposal deals only with the Potlatch system. The proposal provides adequate information linking the effort to regional programs and for justifying the importance of habitat protection and restoration. Three project objectives were identified, but they were not quantitative. The proposal mentions that prioritization of restoration efforts was ongoing, yet a number of restoration deliverables was identified. It is not clear how these deliverables fit within the overall plan for the watershed and the extent to which these actions might improve conditions for steelhead.

This is the companion of 200206100, the Latah SWCD proposal. The description of Project Significance is identical and the Problem Statement nearly so. Objectives are identical for the two projects.

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

Relatively little information was provided on the accomplishments of this project during the past five years or so. Photos were helpful to visualize efforts. From what is provided, reviewers are not convinced that work conducted to vegetate stream banks and add instream cover in the form of single logs will necessarily achieve the desired objective. Such work is not bad in terms of increasing complexity, but it may or may not significantly increase steelhead egg to alevin survival or juvenile production. Monitoring results from the sponsors must be plugged into the efforts to maximize effectiveness.

The numerous actions to increase summer base flow by restoring meadow habitat are likewise in need of scrutiny to ascertain if they are achieving the desired objective(s). Overall, all habitat work needs confirmation of its effectiveness before it is expanded to other locations.

Little information was provided on adaptive management other than to say the NMFS IMW effort will inform decisions.

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

The proposal identified climate change as an emerging limiting factor and briefly noted how the objectives might be beneficial, but the discussion was very general.

The assertion is made that "The cumulative improvement of habitat across the watershed is expected to result in an increase in survival for the egg-to-smolt life history of the lower Clearwater steelhead population of the Clearwater River Major Population Group (MPG) and the Snake River steelhead Distinct Population Segment (DSP).” What is the basis for that statement? What monitoring will assess this? Does this mean that egg to alevin survival is the problem? Is it summer juvenile survival? Is it winter survival?

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

A long list of deliverables was provided, but there was no discussion of the prioritization ranking of each deliverable and the extent to which each deliverable would contribute to the overall restoration goal in the watershed. Prioritization of actions is apparently determined in the following way, "The Technical Working Group associated with Latah SWCD's Potlatch River Watershed Management Plan will likely convene in the spring of 2013 to revisit the restoration priorities within the Potlatch River watershed. This prioritization process will impact the collaborative restoration activities of the participating conservation agencies which include, but are not limited to, Latah SWCD, IDFG, Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and US Forest Service."

If these deliverables were achieved, how much more restoration effort would be needed?

The important essence of the project is only found in the list of deliverables. There are seventeen.

DELV 1, maintenance of restoration practices by the SWCD, seems supportable.

DELV 2-4 are IDFG efforts. DELV 2, Spring Valley flow augmentation, appears to be a valuable component as does DELV 3, Big Bear Creek flow augmentation, to plan potential pond/reservoir construction. DELV 4, Big Bear Creek cascades passage, needs a response as identified above.

The remaining deliverables are shared between IDFG and the SWCD to continue or initiate riparian restoration, channel alignment, meadow restoration, and culvert replacement. Often project funds are intended to be used as leverage.

The ISRP refers the sponsors toour Programmatic Comments regarding large wood, winter habitat, and CREP.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/27/2013 10:28:58 AM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (7/9/2013)

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Mike Edmondson Supervisor Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation
Ken Stinson Project Lead Latah Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Amy Hines Administrative Contact Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation
Dorothy Welch Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Paul Kline Interested Party Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Art Butts Project Lead Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Carolyn Sharp Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Matthew Schwartz Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration