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Project Summary

Project 2010-003-00 - Lower South Fork Clearwater/Slate Creek Watershed Restoration

Please Note: This project is the product of one or more merges and/or splits from other projects. Historical data automatically included here are limited to the current project and previous generation (the “parent” projects) only. The Project Relationships section details the nature of the relationships between this project and the previous generation. To learn about the complete ancestry of this project, please review the Project Relationships section on the Project Summary page of each parent project.

Project Number:
2010-003-00
Title:
Lower South Fork Clearwater/Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Summary:
This project is implemented as part of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests (NPCNF)/Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) restoration partnership. This project represents a merger of two ongoing Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and NPT restoration projects, Slate Creek Watershed Restoration (2007-064-00) and Lower South Fork Clearwater Restoration (2010-003-00). The restoration partnership has been ongoing in the basin since 1996 and this project unification greatly increases the geographic area covered, and enhances the administrative and financial efficiency in order to maximize the direct benefit to fish and wildlife.

The goal of the project is to restore the physical and biological characteristics of the watershed to provide quality habitat for anadromous and resident fish species that support the historical, cultural, and economic practices of the Nez Perce Tribe. The South Fork Clearwater River/ Slate Creek watersheds contain designated critical habitat for Snake River steelhead and bull trout, and has moderate habitat potential for spring Chinook salmon. Restoration follows a ridge top to ridge top approach with implementation focused on restoring riparian processes by addressing increased water temperatures, increased sedimentation, cattle grazing affects, aquatic habitat connectivity, and exotic invasive plants. The cost share on this project has been contributed by the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests who provides at least a 20% match including cash and in-kind contributions. Project planning and implementation responsibilities are also shared with the NPCNF.
Proposer:
Proponent Orgs:
Nez Perce Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2011
Ending FY:
2021
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Snake Clearwater 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, Western Brook
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Trout, Rainbow
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"

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 $758,222 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY20 SOY 06/05/2019
FY2021 Expense $758,222 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) 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 (Draft)
2019 $49,909 6%
2018 $307,565 24%
2017 $686,965 41%
2016 $36,220 4%
2015 $161,911 17%
2014 $492,297 38%
2013 $197,603 20%
2012 $263,188 23%
2011 $197,603 18%

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
74017 REL 65 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 2010-003-00 EXP LOWER SOUTH FORK CLEARWATER RIVER WATERSHED Issued $738,522 2/1/2020 - 1/31/2021
CR-344689 SOW Nez Perce Tribe 2010-003-00 EXP LOWER SOUTH FORK CLEARWATER RIVER WATERSHED Pending $758,222 2/1/2021 - 1/31/2022



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):11
Completed:11
On time:11
Status Reports
Completed:39
On time:35
Avg Days Early:4

Historical from: 1996-077-05
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
4936 21728, 26504, 31887, 36698, 46104 1996-77-5 RESTORE MCCOMAS MEADOWS Nez Perce Tribe 03/2001 03/2001 History 31 80 0 0 0 80 100.00% 0
32691 36916 1996 077 05 EXP USFS MEADOW CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION US Forest Service (USFS) 03/2007 03/2007 Closed 15 10 0 0 0 10 100.00% 0
Project Totals 174 337 8 0 3 348 99.14% 14


Historical from: 2000-036-00
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
4271 21711, 26428, 31550, 36514, 41285 2000-036-00 PROTECT & RESTORE MILL CREEK Nez Perce Tribe 04/2001 04/2001 History 26 55 0 0 0 55 100.00% 1
31909 36720, 41803 2000 036 00 USFS MILL CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION US Forest Service (USFS) 03/2007 03/2007 Closed 17 10 0 0 1 11 90.91% 0
Project Totals 174 337 8 0 3 348 99.14% 14


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
51456 60008, 64048, 67897, 71445, 75330, 74017 REL 20, 74017 REL 43, 74017 REL 65 2010-003-00 EXP LOWER SO FORK CLEARWATER R WATERSHED RESTORATION Nez Perce Tribe 03/2011 03/2011 Pending 39 121 8 0 0 129 100.00% 9
Project Totals 174 337 8 0 3 348 99.14% 14


Historical from: 2007-064-00
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
33168 37498, 41860, 47209, 56587, 60023, 63843, 68071, 71499 2007 064 00 EXP NPT SLATE CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION Nez Perce Tribe 05/2007 05/2007 History 43 59 0 0 2 61 96.72% 4
39215 2007-064-00 EXP USFS SLATE CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION US Forest Service (USFS) 09/2008 09/2008 Closed 3 2 0 0 0 2 100.00% 0
Project Totals 174 337 8 0 3 348 99.14% 14


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: 2010-003-00-NPCC-20131126
Project: 2010-003-00 - Lower South Fork Clearwater/Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2010-003-00
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 qualification to submit additional information on Leggett Creek in contracting. Also see Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: The ISRP recommends that the project sponsor provide additional information on the amount and quality of habitat for the Leggett Creek fish passage project—Sponsor to address ISRP qualification to submit additional information on Leggett Creek in contracting.
Council Condition #2 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—Also see Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-NPCC-20131126
Project: 2007-064-00 - Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2007-064-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement
Comments: Implement through FY 2018.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2010-003-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2010-003-00 - Lower South Fork Clearwater/Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2010-003-00
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:

It appears that there is a generally solid strategic basis for selection and development of this project. The use of subbasin and watershed scale assessments help to provide a foundation for restoration planning. However, given the high average gradient of the mainstem (7.3%), it seems likely that there are potential, natural and/or anthropogenic passage issues that have not been fully addressed. Planning documents indicate Leggett Creek is a high priority and an important stream for Chinook and steelhead. Additional information on how many miles of stream habitat will benefit from the proposed restoration, and some estimate describing the number of adults currently using the stream and/or juvenile densities would have been helpful. Based upon the current information, the proposed work appears to have some potential for fish benefits, but its priority would appear relatively low.

There was some question to understand why "excess fill from FS Road 469" was on the opposite side of the stream from the road. This material must be from dredge mining? Additional clarification would have been useful.

Qualification #1 - The ISRP recommends that the project sponsor provide additional information on the amount and quality of habitat for the Leggett Creek fish passage project
Without additional clarification, the ISRP continues to have questions about the value of the Leggett Creek restoration work, particularly the fish passage project at Highway 14. These questions are due especially to the high average gradient (7.3%) for the 5.6 miles of the mainstem that provide anadromous fish habitat. This steep a gradient would normally indicate less than optimum habitat for steelhead and spring Chinook salmon. The high average gradient also suggests a relatively high potential for upstream barriers both natural and anthropogenic. It is requested that the following additional information be provided at the time of contracting. 1. Length of anadromous fish habitat that will be accessed by the fish passage project. 2. Identification of any other natural or anthropogenic barriers that are blocking historical or potential anadromous habitat on the mainstem or major tributaries. 3. Additional discussion regarding the quality and productivity of the accessed habitat, particularly for steelhead and spring Chinook salmon. Also any details that may be available on current and historical salmon populations would be helpful. This information will be particularly helpful to better understand the sponsors statement "For both spring Chinook and steelhead, Leggett is considered a 'historic stronghold' for habitat and population status and rates a 'very high' in potential for habitat."
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

This is a solid proposal with a strong conceptual basis for restoration work. There is good use of a variety of planning documents including a broad scale landscape assessment. The project includes excellent delivery of projects and cost and skill sharing with partners. The proposal actually reflects many of the desired features of ecosystem restoration at the watershed scale. Their appears to have been substantial work to respond to ISRP comments on Technical and scientific methods and on project prioritization, although some questions remain on timing and prioritization of watersheds and related assessments that are planned.

Response requested: More detail is needed to justify why the reconstruction of 1/3 mile of new channel in a previously dredged site on Leggett Creek is expected to be worthwhile, how the reconstruction is to be done, and what alternatives to the reconstruction were considered and why were these alternatives not implemented.

Some additional items, that can be dealt with in contracting include:

1) How much habitat quality and quantity might be gained by this major restoration effort at the end of the proposal period (2018) and how does this compare with the habitat improvement goal of 14%, as required by the RPA? Do the sponsors think this effort will achieve the RPA goal? If not, how much more work is needed?

2) There are questions regarding the timely completion and content of the NPT Monitoring Plan that is under development.

3) Regarding road decommissioning and improvement, NOAA's goal is 1 mile of road per square mile or less. The sponsor has demonstrated that they have the tools to refine this target based on local information. In discussions, it was agreed that the NOAA number is highly unlikely to be reached and a more strategic approach will be needed with the key being to look at which road will give the best sediment reduction response. Additional discussion on this would be useful.

4) More discussion on what are the strategies to avoid weed control in perpetuity? The sponsors are looking at biocontrol methods, and a primary strategy is planting trees. They are also looking at prevention such as wash stations for equipment. Their weed spray contracts with the County have not had great success. It appears that there is a need for a cottage industry that targets spraying rather than doing broadcast spraying of entire hillsides. An advantage is that Weed Management Areas (WMAs) have been identified.

See the ISRP programmatic comments on the Clearwater River projects.

There were initial ISRP questions regarding whether there were active efforts to prevent further degradation of habitat associated with ongoing and future management activities. A good discussion of this was provided in the presentation portion of the review.

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

This is a long term project that has recently been expanded to provide for treatment of a larger land area in the South Fork Clearwater. The rationale for this expansion appears to be well-founded. The project is well-organized and generally strategic in its approach to restoring aquatic ecosystems. The strong partnership allows access and use of a broad range of multi disciplinary skills and is a major strength of the work to address issues at the watershed scale. There is a solid technical basis provided for the work and a good discussion of key processes and associated approaches for treating them. Use of a broad scale landscape assessment is an excellent tool for understanding conditions and processes and to provide a context for watershed and project scale planning. Good examples of this include the discussion about roads as a primary source of sediment and the focus of riparian treatments on tributary streams to more effectively address elevated stream temperatures.

The proposal also noted that IDEQ has done extensive work to establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for temperature and sediment for the water quality limited streams and segments. It would be helpful to know if a Water Quality Restoration plan has been developed and if it has been integrated into the current proposal for restoration treatment.

The prioritization of limiting factors provides a good basis for understanding the context of the work. However, the limiting factor summary as weighted by the BiOp Expert Panel is the keystone of the limiting factors section. If, as shown, sediment is given a 38% value (twice that for temperature, barriers, or riparian condition) does that not mean sediment is the dominant problem and should receive priority in designing rehab actions? The proposal seems to give all putative limiting factors equal weight. Further discussion of the link between the focus of restoration work and the listed limiting factors and weights would be useful.

It is stated that the NPT have had numerous discussions on which watersheds are priority for treatment, yet no results of those discussions are provided. A summary would be helpful.

The proposal described its significance to salmon recovery and to programs in the region. Limiting factors were described and used in a process to identify and prioritize habitat restoration and protection activities. The goal for habitat quality improvement in the watershed as described in the BiOP RPAs (14%) was described. Quantitative objectives and deliverables for habitat restoration actions were described, thereby allowing reviewers to have an idea of how much improvement would be accomplished with the $4.37 million during the next five years. A monitoring program and linkages to associated monitoring efforts were described. Overall, the proposal was well written, and the significant effort was justified. However, it would be good to know how much habitat quality and quantity might be gained by this major effort at the end of 5 years, and how this compares with the goal of 14%, as required by the RPA. Do the sponsors think this effort will achieve the RPA goal? If not how much more work is needed?

This project’s stated goal is to restore the Lower South Fork Clearwater River (LSFC) aquatic ecosystems so that the habitat within these watersheds no longer limits recovery of the ESA Threatened South Fork Clearwater Steelhead population. There are some questions regarding Chinook and other fish species. Do they receive specific consideration during planning? From other portions of the proposal, it appears not. Additional review might indicate if anything is being missed that might be critical to bull trout or Chinook?

Additional maps would have been useful in better understanding the proposal and the locations of various past and proposed treatments.

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

A long list of accomplishments is provided, and a good track record of efforts to quantify the results is demonstrated, especially for sediment and temperature. Not presented in the main body of the proposal, although a hot link is provided, is some very informative effectiveness monitoring of physical parameters associated with fish passage restoration. This appears to be very thorough and to provide some excellent insights into the functioning of the treated sites. There was less information provided on the results of riparian planting. Of the 71 thousand trees and shrubs planted since 1996, what percent are alive now?

The material on stream temperatures over time is useful but needs additional evaluation to determine whether real declines in temperature have occurred. Figure 7 showing conditions Before/After treatment, but at different seasons, should be deleted. A more powerful assessment would have been between treatment and control locations over time. The design and justification of the temperature objective needs some substantial strengthening. The use of some basic temperature modeling, like that used by the former Potlatch Corporation, needs to be incorporated. It is not clear if that has occurred as part of the IDEQ work.

Some indications of positive results are shown for Meadow and Mill creeks where work has been ongoing for ca. 18 and 13 years, respectively. The sediment criterion being used is 30%, versus a 20% target given in the objective. What is basis for the discrepancy? More importantly, what are sediment conditions throughout the project area where cobble embeddedness is measured? Is it a useful metric? What is the percentage of fines in locations where spawning is actually occurring? Perhaps a more focused objective regarding conditions for spawning habitat would provide a more realistic and useful target.

There is a good discussion of adaptive management as related to project level work. This helps to show how lessons learned have been incorporated into the current and proposed restoration activities. Programmatically, it is stated that a formal adaptive management process will be provided as one section of a watershed scale monitoring plan (NPT). This plan is currently under development and a review draft scheduled for June 2013 and a final by December 2013. It would be helpful to know the current status of the plan relative to this schedule. This issue is discussed more in the Programmatic Comments.

Evaluation of Results

There is useful information provided on results of work for fish passage, sediment delivery/deposition, and elevated stream temperatures. Unfortunately, the watershed-wide context of the fish passage improvements is incomplete due to the need for additional assessments of a large number of road stream crossings in the treatment area. There is information provided to show some positive trends in stream temperature while results for fine sediment are not entirely clear at this point. Some improvements in this monitoring are discussed in item 2 above.

It is stated that PIBO has been monitoring habitat status and trend in the watershed for many years, yet no information is provided to show any potential results from this work. This information would help to better understand any changes in habitat quality and complexity over the period of active restoration.

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

There is a good discussion of climate change, non-native terrestrial plant effects, and the design of treatment strategies to respond. There is mention of non-native aquatic species, specifically brook trout, but little further discussion is provided on this topic other than they do not appear to currently represent a major problem. Further discussion of potential issues associated with non-native species would be helpful, particularly given the presence of bull trout in the area.

It would be useful to see some additional discussion of climate change and forest health, which appear to be potential major areas of concern given the possible risk of larger, more intense wild fires and related effects to riparian and aquatic habitat.

For the proposal area, it appears that nearly all of the land is on federal or Tribal properties. If some land is privately held, it would be good to know if private landowners will hinder or help the restoration efforts. Also, are there ongoing activities on Tribal and Forest Service lands such as logging and road building that might impact stream habitat quantity and quality? This and other proposals seem to ignore ongoing activities that might offset the improvements that are being made. This concern was discussed in more detail on the site visit portion of the review.

Also, hatchery supplementation efforts were briefly described. Additional discussion of this effort would be beneficial. How many fish are stocked? How many hatchery and wild fish return as adults? Is there evidence of density dependent growth, migration, or survival? How long will hatchery supplementation continue and to what extent does it contribute to harvests? What are the harvest goals for hatchery and wild salmonids in the watershed, and how are harvests managed now to conserve the wild stock?

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

There is a detailed list of deliverables and their linkage to key processes and associated limiting factors. The metrics for the deliverables appear to be appropriate except for riparian planting where numbers of plants is provided yet the objective relates to 75% expected plant communities. There is no linkage between the two items provided. There is good use of GRAIP to identify and prioritize road segments for improvement. It would be useful to know if this information is also used to identify roads/segments selected for decommissioning. There remain some questions on the background and justification for Deliverable 5, Leggett Creek. This is discussed in initial comments regarding the response requested by the ISRP. Additional maps would have been useful in better understanding location and details of work described.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

Current implementation and effectiveness monitoring has demonstrated some results. There is acknowledgement of the need for improvement and response through development of a watershed monitoring plan. Transition to ISEMP/CHAMP and AEM is discussed and is to be incorporated into this plan. This approach appears to be sound. It would be useful to know if this effort is on track for a June 2013 draft, and for the draft to be reviewed. This suggestion is discussed in the Programmatic Comments.

It is less clear how non-BPA funded monitoring will be integrated into the program in the future. Of particular note, given CHaMP, is the lack of consideration of future plans for PIBO despite its long history of monitoring in the watershed. This appears to be a major opportunity to examine the potential benefits of coordination and partnerships between the two programs.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/27/2013 11:07:02 AM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (7/8/2013)
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2007-064-00 - Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2007-064-00
Completed Date: 6/12/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

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

This is a small program with a narrow scope, but the objective and methods are scientifically sound. There is a good description of regional significance for fish production and recovery of populations at risk. The sole objective is to reduce the number of artificially blocked streams so that zero barriers to anadromous fish exist within the watershed.

Fish species that will benefit from this project are Steelhead - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, spring/summer Chinook salmon - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, bull trout - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, Westslope cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout.

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

The project has followed a sound, logical course in its recent history. In 2007-2008, surveys were completed on culverts, bridges, and fords. A screening process was used to assess high and moderate problem culverts, bridges, and fords. This screening took into account stream gradient, slope position, soil types, and potential stream habitat. Survey data were entered into the Fish Xing program, and the culverts were prioritized for replacement. Information used in the prioritization exercise consisted of the following: potential habitat upstream miles, slope, stream gradient, fish species present, fish usage, and the rating from the Fish Xing program. To date, three of these crossings have been replaced by the NPT in cooperation with the NPCNF.

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

Adequately covered in the proposal

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

This project proposal focuses on continuing the effort to replace the high and moderate priority fish passage barriers within the watershed. All crossings have been prioritized with up to three undergoing engineering survey and design in 2013. The sponsors will continue implementing one culvert replacement per field season. The prioritization document listed 16 crossings total to be replaced.

The use of the passage model was good, although sponsors are not directly assessing fish passage.

Provisions for implementation and compliance monitoring are built into the proposal. Action effectiveness monitoring is proposed and will be part of the NPT AEM plan in 2014. Details are to follow later in 2013, as for other Nez Perce Watershed proposals. At present there is no plan evident for status and trends monitoring. Please refer to programmatic concerns about the lack of explicit plans for status and trend monitoring.

First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
First Round ISRP Comment:

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

This is a small program with a narrow scope, but the objective and methods are scientifically sound. There is a good description of regional significance for fish production and recovery of populations at risk. The sole objective is to reduce the number of artificially blocked streams so that zero barriers to anadromous fish exist within the watershed.

Fish species that will benefit from this project are Steelhead - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, spring/summer Chinook salmon - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, bull trout - ESA Threatened and Designated Critical Habitat, Westslope cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout.

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

The project has followed a sound, logical course in its recent history. In 2007-2008, surveys were completed on culverts, bridges, and fords. A screening process was used to assess high and moderate problem culverts, bridges, and fords. This screening took into account stream gradient, slope position, soil types, and potential stream habitat. Survey data were entered into the Fish Xing program, and the culverts were prioritized for replacement. Information used in the prioritization exercise consisted of the following: potential habitat upstream miles, slope, stream gradient, fish species present, fish usage, and the rating from the Fish Xing program. To date, three of these crossings have been replaced by the NPT in cooperation with the NPCNF.

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

Adequately covered in the proposal

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

This project proposal focuses on continuing the effort to replace the high and moderate priority fish passage barriers within the watershed. All crossings have been prioritized with up to three undergoing engineering survey and design in 2013. The sponsors will continue implementing one culvert replacement per field season. The prioritization document listed 16 crossings total to be replaced.

The use of the passage model was good, although sponsors are not directly assessing fish passage.

Provisions for implementation and compliance monitoring are built into the proposal. Action effectiveness monitoring is proposed and will be part of the NPT AEM plan in 2014. Details are to follow later in 2013, as for other Nez Perce Watershed proposals. At present there is no plan evident for status and trends monitoring. Please refer to programmatic concerns about the lack of explicit plans for status and trend monitoring.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/12/2013 9:22:25 AM.
Documentation Links:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1996-077-05 - Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: 2007 Revised Budget: 1) Reduced budget associated with riparian revegetation, road decommissioning (and find other cost share funds to complete project) and noxious weed treatment; and 2) eliminate budgets associated with culvert designs (work element 3a and e), two culvert replacements, and education component (work element 2c). Address ISRP concerns during contracting.
Assessment Number: 2000-036-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2000-036-00 - Mill Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: 2007 Revised Budget: Eliminate noxious weed treatment and education component. Ongoing project; previous investment; implementation complete after FY 08; FY09 reduced to O&M only.
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-064-00 - Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: 2007 Revised Budget: FTE reduced, complete culvert survey in Little Slate remains unchanged, reduced road decommissioning and culvert replacement (contingent on supplemental funding).

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1996-077-05 - Meadow Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria - In Part
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This is a 10-year-old project to restore the watershed's physical and biological characteristics. The focal species is steelhead. The secondary species are spring/summer Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and rainbow and cutthroat trout. The project involves planting riparian vegetation, replacing passage-blocking culverts, decommissioning roads, controlling weeds, maintaining previously built livestock fencing, and installing salmonid habitat features in streams. All of these can be scientifically justified except the latter item, which is inadequately covered under Biological Objective 5 "Improve aquatic habitat diversity and complexity." The proposed actions under that objective included installation of rock structures and wood material, such as tree stumps. Some of these, particularly the wood material, may be beneficial, but the sponsors have not justified it. The project's hard-engineered structures bring the value of the entire plan for in-channel work into doubt (more on this below). The ISRP is also concerned that too much reliance is placed on the hydrodynamic modeling that was stated in the response. It might be useful for some objectives but not for assessing fish habitat and for the probably ill-advised ideas for hard-engineered structures.

The section on technical and scientific background adequately describes problems that need to be addressed. One particularly strong aspect is the recognition of anthropogenic causes of harm to the watershed and streams -- not just the instream symptoms. The ISRP suggested some reorganization of proposal material, which the sponsors did in response.

The significance to regional programs is adequately shown, as are relationships to other projects. The project history contained descriptions of past activities performed but lacked data on physical and biological results that would indicate what the 10 years of activities have accomplished in terms of improved habitat characteristics and fish populations. Also, it was not clear what assessment may have been made of the dynamic aspects of the fluvial geomorphic process. The ISRP asked for a response on these issues, and the sponsors responded with adequate discussion of physical matters. However, on the subject of the project's biological effects, the response was as follows: "This project has never been under contract with BPA to determine the response of focal species. It is a project focused on implementing on-the-ground watershed restoration projects."

Clearly, the project's overarching goal is to restore habitat for salmonid fishes. This cannot be claimed to have been achieved unless the results compose the suite of conditions that fish actually use and thrive in. It could be argued that monitoring fish abundance is not needed where it is reasonably certain that the work will result in an environment meeting that suite of conditions for the focal species. The proposal does not show that the project will meet that test. The proof of fish habitat restoration is fish.

The proposal's objectives and methods were generally adequate with respect to planned actions but not with respect to in-channel work. The reviewers asked that the methods for increasing "instream habitat complexity" be described in more detail and justified in the response. They asked specifically that the response include description of the kinds of "grade control structures" to be built, and what is supposed to be their function in terms of fish habitat. They asked for discussion of how focal species would use the grade control structures, and what evidence exists that these devices would benefit the focal species and be cost-effective. They also asked what form the "wood material" structures would take, and requested description and literature-based evidence (or statistics from the project's past work) that the planned methods are beneficial.

The response on drop structures and other in-channel work raised ISRP concern that the plan emphasizes hard-engineered methods (e.g., cross-vanes, w-weirs and J-hook vanes), which are of uncertain benefit to fish, and which may harm habitat. The proposal did not deal adequately with the fish habitat aspects of stream processes. From a non-biological literature source, the response lists 12 objectives for "properly designed" stream structures. One is "improve fish habitat," but others would often conflict with it. An example is the objective, "decrease near-bank velocity, shear stress or stream power." There was no consideration that some of the project's focal and secondary species benefit from strong near-bank velocities that bring the most food per unit time past their preferred hiding places under stream banks or in wood lodged against banks—and that strong current against banks is needed to form and maintain hiding cover.

The response is too vague about "habitat diversity and complexity." To say instream structures will be designed to "accommodate" fish habitat by creating pools where they naturally would form is important in a general sense, but it should also be considered that creating proper stream conformation for fish involves far more than that. It also says structures will "protect the stream bank from eroding into the channel; therefore, decreasing excessive sediment into the stream . . ." This intent seems laudable, but over-stabilization with "hard structures" can be harmful, and the response indicates hard engineering. Restoring riparian vegetation (perhaps also adding large woody debris along banks) would often reduce streambank erosion, while still allowing the moderate channel migration that is essential to form and reform natural stream features that compose fish habitat. Channel migration (which involves bank erosion) not only creates undercut banks that shelter fish, but can also recruit gravel from stream banks to replenish the streambed gravel beds that salmonids need for reproduction. The proposal does not consider the benefits of natural rates of channel migration.

In the previous funding cycle, the ISRP review of this project expressed reservation about funding because a complete and detailed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan was not provided. Consequently, a detailed M&E plan was expected in this proposal. This proposal contained good general description of an M&E plan but remained deficient with respect to statistical design and methodological details. The ISRP asked for a response to include details of the plan and methods. The sponsors responded by attaching a monitoring report for 2005, that includes methods, but they did not summarize the methods because it "would be rather lengthy," and instead said ISRP "input would be appreciated," thus implying the ISRP should undertake the lengthy task.

As the project has not been funded for biological M&E, the sponsors should obtain biological M&E in the future via another project which is monitoring their stream and incorporate the results in their proposals.

Finally, in the response loop, the ISRP recommended that the Nez Perce Tribe suggest a priority and rank of the numerous proposals submitted under the titles "protect" and "restore," indicating where habitat actions and protection in the Clearwater offer the most potential benefit. In response, a table showing priorities of projects was attached for this and other projects.

For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading "General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds" at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.
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Documentation Links:
Assessment Number: 2000-036-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2000-036-00 - Mill Creek Watershed Restoration
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:
This proposal is for continuing a six-year-old project to provide fish habitat in Mill Creek and its tributaries by restoring the watershed's physical and biological characteristics from damage caused by such human activities as grazing, timber harvest, and road building. The focal species are Chinook salmon and steelhead. Non-focal species include cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Response was needed on the issues identified below.

(1) The section on technical and scientific background adequately describes the basic problems but could be improved by omitting the descriptions of proposed or contemplated actions. These descriptions belong in the work elements and methods of proposal Section F. The sponsors made these revisions.

(2) Significance to the subbasin plan is adequately shown, but some of the material presented here would be more appropriate for the section on technical and scientific background (Section B). For example, under the heading, Barrier Removal, on page 9, it was stated that "Salmon and steelhead require a network of connected spawning and rearing habitats …" and "reasons for decline" are discussed on page 12. These and other basic considerations should be covered in Section B, not here. The response was adequate.

(3) The project history describes actions performed, but response was needed on the physical (habitat response) and biological (fish population response) results of this work, which should be shown in tables and graphs, and then discussed. For example, fencing around the upper meadow was finished in 2001. What changes in the riparian zone, the stream channel, and the fish population resulted? The 1927 aerial photo set as the goal for riparian restoration (85% cover vs. 5% today) is a good example of work continuity. The response was brief but generally adequate. The sponsor wrote that fish population surveys, rather than being done under this project, are by the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Monitoring and Evaluation project. The sponsors should obtain the pertinent results from that project and present them in future proposals.

(4) The data that were collected on fluvial geomorphology indicate a good fieldwork effort but need to be used to assess the dynamics of the process, in addition to just describing the in-stream state. For example, is there good connectivity with the floodplain? Is there evidence of incision or aggradation? What changes are taking place in the short- and long-terms? An assessment of morphological change over time should become standard methodology in such projects.

The sponsors responded that connectivity with the floodplain is good, that data collected show no evidence of drastic incision or aggradation (but do show that habitat complexity is increasing), and that number of pools is increasing, resulting in more diverse habitat within the stream. They referred the ISRP to their attached monitoring report for more detail. The ISRP observes that although the subbasin plan gave little or no direction on fluvial geomorphology, the project's Monitoring Report contains many measurements, such as Wolman pebble counts, cobble embeddedness, width/depth ratios etc, and indicates that floodplain connectivity is good, and that efforts to reduce sediment input have resulted in greater D50 measurements, etc. Although a commendable number of measurements have been taken, the implications of this data have not been developed to the extent that we know the dynamic state of the creek. What do these measurements say about the dynamic process, for example the balance between erosion and deposition, and the causes that might lead to a change in the current balance? For the work program currently identified, the level of geomorphic inquiry is good, even if it has yet to be interpreted in dynamic terms.

(5) The proposal's objectives were logical and clearly stated. The work elements and methods, however, were vague and unclear in certain respects. For example, under objective 1, "Improve anadromous fish habitat," none of the methods was directed at doing any improvement. They involve only administrative work and collecting data. What form is the improvement supposed to take? If the idea is to evaluate previous work, this should be explained -- and the processes by which whatever "habitat improvement" actions were performed were supposed to benefit the fish. The linkages between the work, expected physical processes, and the fish needed to be described in the response.

The sponsors explained that administrative and data collection functions were listed under the Objective titled "Improve anadromous fish habitat" because "it is that work that leads us to the on-the-ground activities and monitors our successes after implementation," and that rather than listing administrative and evaluation work under each of the other objectives, they are grouped only under "Improve anadromous fish habitat" to avoid duplication. The ISRP observes that this is still an illogical and potentially confusing situation that could lead to misunderstandings and inefficiencies. It probably arose in this proposal because the proposal format or template calls for "Biological Objectives," whereas non-biological objectives—such as an Administrative Objective and often some Physical Objectives, etc.—are needed, as well.

(6) The ISRP asked specification of vegetation to be planted. The response was adequate.

(7) Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are ongoing and featured in work elements. ISRP asked the sponsors to tell how the project will be modified to show the statistical design for the project M&E. ISRP observed that many variables are to be monitored every five years, and that a five-year interval between data collections may be too long. Other parts of the proposal indicate that biological monitoring is done annually. The results should be shown in the project history.

The response referred the ISRP to a monitoring report (including methods) attached in response material. The sponsors relate that statistical design has been used to develop the monitoring plan. Depending upon the parameter being monitored, sampling designs vary from systematic sampling, to cluster sampling. In general, the analysis is completed by determining trends among the variables. Some variables are monitored on an annual basis, such as macroinvertebrates and water temperature, but parameters such as channel morphology are only measured every five years. They point out that the project is focused at on-the-ground habitat improvement actions; it is not a research project that involves intense monitoring with large amounts of statistical analysis.

Sampling design of monitoring is apparent in the referenced document that is attached. Such reference (with attachment) seems the best way to cover that issue, where design is too complex for presentation in a proposal—but it would still help for design to be summarized in proposals.

(8) The ISRP found that the project will benefit focal and non-focal species but asked that in the response, the sponsors clearly describe the physical and biological processes by which they expect this to happen. The sponsors responded with ample but concise discussion that demonstrated understanding of stream habitat issues. Included was the following, which well describes physical and biological relationships for the species involved: "The physical processes are ever changing, as the environment changes. Cover is provided by overhanging vegetation, undercut banks, submerged vegetation, logs, rocks, deep water or turbidity. Vegetation also provides for physical barrier to the effects of high velocities, and creates roughness and relative stability to streambanks. It also provides shade to the streams which reduce stream temperature to levels acceptable to salmonids. Channel bank shape and condition are highly correlated with the quality of fish habitat and can influence fish distribution. Collectively, these factors affect biological conditions, including fish populations."

(9) The ISRP recommended that, in the response loop, the Nez Perce Tribe prioritize and rank the numerous proposals submitted under "protect and restore" titles. This was covered in response attachments.

For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading "General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds" at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.
Documentation Links:
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-064-00 - Slate Creek Watershed Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria - In Part
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The original proposal was a generic, broad-brush habitat improvement project including barrier removal, road decommissioning, hydrologic restructuring, vegetation management and other practices, none of which were sufficiently justified or described. The response trims the project scope to surveying road crossings and producing a prioritized list of barriers whose replacement provides the greatest chance for providing important benefits to native fish. The modified proposal described in the response is fundable at $80K per year, which represents partial funding of the original proposal. The proposed plan and survey should include fish distribution data including that of exotics, in recognition of the hazard of upstream invasion of exotic fish when barriers are removed.

When this survey and planning is completed, a separate implementation proposal can be developed based upon results. This could be the basis for significant collaboration with other landowners and interested parties to leverage investments and generate commitment to larger habitat protection and improvement goals.

The sponsors should be encouraged to include some criteria in their surveys for the amount and productivity (for desired species and based on historic use) of habitat that would become available to migrating fish with a successful project. The hypothesis guiding this work is that of access to productive habitat for the target species. The test of the hypothesis, and thus the science of the project, is whether or not the target species re-inhabits the area, so monitoring fish response to complete the test is needed.

For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading "General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds" at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1996-077-05
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Road decommissioning and culvert removal; assume it occurs on National Forest lands and is covered by BPA-FS MOU.
Assessment Number: 2000-036-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2000-036-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Multiple watershed restoration activities, appears to be entirely within/on National Forest lands; assume BPA-FS MOU applies.
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-064-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Road decommission/culvert replacement on FS lands; assume covered by BPA-FS MOU.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1996-077-05-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1996-077-05
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None
Assessment Number: 2000-036-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2000-036-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None
Assessment Number: 2007-064-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-064-00
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: This project Merged From 1996-077-05 effective on 11/5/2009
Relationship Description: Starting in FY11, projects 1996-077-05 and 2000-036-00 are merged to form new project 2010-003-00. This request was made through the BOG process (Sept 30, 2009). The 2 projects have mis-lined contract end dates. Thus NPT/BPA decided to start this new project in FY11.

This project Merged From 2000-036-00 effective on 11/5/2009
Relationship Description: Starting in FY11, projects 1996-077-05 and 2000-036-00 are merged to form new project 2010-003-00. This request was made through the BOG process (Sept 30, 2009). The 2 projects have mis-lined contract end dates. Thus NPT/BPA decided to start this new project in FY11.

This project Merged From 2007-064-00 effective on 11/1/2016
Relationship Description: Project 2010-003-00 has absorbed all of project's 2007-064-00 budget and work elements under that project permanently going forward.


Name Role Organization
Mark Johnson Interested Party Nez Perce Tribe
Arleen Henry Administrative Contact Nez Perce Tribe
Miranda Main Project Lead Nez Perce Tribe
Marcie Carter Supervisor Nez Perce Tribe
Robert Shull Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Jennifer Lord Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration